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Winners and losers: Xbox gets an energy-saving update as Apple Music bug switches playlists

It’s time for us to pick our winner and our loser in tech from the past week. 

This week, Xiaomi updated its Redmi Note line with four new phones, the Redmi Note 12, Redmi Note 12 5G, Redmi Note Pro 5G and Redmi Note Pro+ 5G, with the latter sporting a huge 200-megapixel camera. You can check out our first impressions of two of the smartphones right now. 

Lenovo, meanwhile, unveiled a new range of laptops called Lenovo LOQ. LOQ is a new gaming line with more affordable prices than the existing Lenovo Legion range. 

However, our winner this week is Microsoft after the company announced a new Xbox tool. Taking the loser title is Apple as Apple Music dealt with a very strange bug. 

Xbox Wireless Controller in Pulse Red

Winner: Microsoft 

Our winner this week is Microsoft after the company announced a new set of tools that will allow developers to keep a better eye on their carbon emissions

Microsoft recently revealed that the majority of Xbox’s greenhouse gas emissions are caused by gameplay electricity. In response to this data, the company has created a measurement tool designed to monitor energy consumption and carbon emissions in real-time. 

“The Xbox Developer Sustainability Toolkit includes analytical and visual systems, measurement tools, and resources to help creators make informed decisions about energy consumption and carbon emissions, associated with their game designs”, said Xbox’s director of sustainability Trista Patterson (via Eurogamer). 

“The toolkit helps developers to leverage precision engineering feedback to help identify and reduce energy consumption in scenarios when a player doesn’t need it, thus ensuring the player experience is not negatively impacted”. 

Developers can use the insight provided by the tool to reduce their energy consumption in a variety of ways. 

According to Eurogamer’s report, a few developers, including Unisoft and 343 Industries, have already been using the toolkit, with the latter having reduced Halo’s energy usage by 15% by lowering the resolution of the Pause menu. 

It’s always positive to see tech companies make actual steps toward lowering their carbon footprints. Hopefully, this new toolkit will have an impact on the energy consumption of other games across Xbox’s platform as more developers begin to make use of it. 

Close up image of top half screen of an iPhone 12 displaying J Balvin Colores on Apple music

Loser: Apple 

Our loser this week is Apple after a number of Apple Music subscribers spotted an unusual bug that not only deleted their playlists but in some case’s replaced them with someone else’s. 

The strange issue was first brought to the attention of the Apple Music subreddit nearly a month ago. 

Here, some users described one-off songs being added and removed from existing playlists, while others explained that entirely new playlists had appeared in their libraries. In both instances, the subscribers affected were understandably puzzled by the changes. 

One person even noted that their library looked as though it had been reverted back six whole months, with multiple playlists having vanished and new ones appearing in their places. 

According to a report by 9to5Mac, there’s no evidence to suggest that any of these Apple Music (or worse, iCloud) accounts have been hacked. Rather, it’s most likely a syncing server problem muddling up the data between users. 

Thankfully, the bug only seems to be affecting the iPhone app and not the Mac app, TV app or web player. However, this still isn’t ideal for Apple Music users who listen to playlists on their commute, when they’re out and about or on the way to school.

According to some users affected, they are able to delete the new playlists as you can any in your library. However, the ones that have vanished appear to be gone for good. Hopefully, Apple will address this issue soon and (if they’re lucky) do something to track down those mysterious missing playlists.

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