In the tech world, a lot happens in a week. So much news goes on, in fact, that it’s almost impossible for mere mortals with real lives to keep track of everything. That’s why we’ve compiled a quick and dirty list of the top 10 tech stories from this week. Everything from Nike’s charitable way of celebrating Back to the Future to iOS 9.1 and new emoji for iPhone owners — it’s all here.
If you’re inexplicably hypnotized by one-second videos played on loop ad nauseam, Instagram has a present for you, and it’s called Boomerang. Today, the app that makes all of our lives look better than they are is releasing a new standalone app that allows you to take five photos, string them together into a GIF, and play them over. And over. And over. Tapping into our collective obsession with GIFs, using Boomerang is as easy as tapping the photo button on your phone — then, the app does the rest.
In 1989, Marty McFly and Doc Brown traveled to October 21, 2015, and 26 years later we finally have something to hold from their trip. Nike is celebrating Back to the Future Day by releasing the illusive self-lacing Nike Mag sneakers for charity in Spring 2016. The official Twitter account fortweeted out a picture of Michael J Fox wearing a pair of the elusive sneakers. The proceeds will go towards The Michael J Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research.
Xbox One owners enrolled in the Preview program might want to hold off on updating to the Windows 10-inspired “New Xbox One Experience” dashboard for the time being. That’s because, as a number of Reddit users have reported, consoles with NXOE installed are failing to format newly connected hard drives
“I was one of the lucky ones that was able to get 2TB My Passport Ultra external hard drive for $29.99 this past weekend,” one user wrote. “But now, when I am trying to set it up to format it for Games and apps, I come to the part where I can name the hard drive, briefly see the keyboard and current title ‘External’ before it quickly goes away and replaces it with the blue spinning circle. I’ll wait, but nothing will ever happen.”
Consumer Reports named the Tesla Model S as its “Best Overall” new car to buy two years in a row, and earlier this year it claimed the electric car “broke” its ratings scale. Right now, however, the magazine doesn’t have such nice things to say about the car.
While it still maintains that the Model S is the “best-performing car” it’s ever tested,Consumer Reports says its reliability is another matter. In the recently-released Annual Auto Reliability Survey, the Model S slipped from an “average” predicted reliability rating to “worse than average,” causing Consumer Reports to pull its “recommended” rating for the car.
In the survey, which included responses from 1,400 Model S owners, the main reported problems included issues with the drivetrain, powertrain, charging equipment, body squeaks and rattles, and problems with the 17-inch central touchscreen that is one of the Model S’ main selling points.
Apple’s software updates are like a workday lunch: perfunctory and predictable, but nonetheless appreciated. Especially appreciated, in this case, because of a few notable emoji additions: tacos, places of worship, and … well, a disembodied hand flipping the bird. In upgrades rolling out for the iPhone (iOS 9.1), the Apple Watch (watchOS 2.0.1), Apple’s introduced new graphics, fixed bugs, and laid the groundwork for the soon-to-be released iPad Pro and new Apple TV. The new emoji, which in addition to the aforementioned characters, include a bag of popcorn, a scorpion and other animals, sports equipment, an unhappily bandaged smiley, and more than 150 others.
Next page: 5 more tech stories you might have missed this week