Tech News

The New HTC One Is an iPhone, Browser Popcorn Shuts Down… [Tech News Digest]

Dave Parrack 21-10-2015

HTC copies Apple, Browser Popcorn runs out of time, Giphy helps you create GIFs, the best way of destroying drones, and celebrating Back to the Future Day.


HTC Pays Tribute to Apple

There’s a popular saying that suggests, “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery”. Which, if true, means HTC adores Apple and everything it produces. Why? Because the new HTC One A9 is an almost carbon copy of the iPhone 6. Just with Android rather than iOS running things. Which, to be fair, isn’t a bad combination.

Unfortunately, we’re not sure Apple’s lawyers will see things the same way. Because Apple is known for being litigious when it comes to protecting its patents and designs Is Everyone Ripping Off Apple's Designs? [Opinion] Apple's products all have a certain look to them. Steve Jobs and Jonathan Ive wouldn't have it any other way. The question is whether everyone is ripping off Apple's designs at this point in time... Read More . Samsung has been the main target of these lawsuits so far, but HTC may have inadvertently put itself in the firing line with the HTC One A9.

In terms of a smartphone, the HTC One A9 is a solid option, with a 5-inch screen, a Smapdragon 617 processor, 3GB of RAM, 32GB of storage, a 2,150mAh battery, and a 13-megapixel camera. Add Android 6.0 into the mix Get Android 6.0 Marshmallow Features Without Updating Android 6.0 Marshmallow is on its way, but while you wait, you can actually get a lot of its best features right now on any device. Read More and it’s a nice little package. However, the styling is pure Apple, and most people would be hard-pressed to tell the difference between the HTC One A9 and an iPhone 6.

Which all means this might be the perfect handset for people who love the look and feel of the iPhone but who hate iOS. It might also be the perfect handset for lawyers, who will be rubbing their hands with glee at the prospect of another lengthy legal battle between two tech giants.

Browser Popcorn Is No More

Browser Popcorn, a version of Popcorn Time designed to be used in Web browsers, has been shut down just a few days after launching. Popcorn Time Is Popcorn Time Safe? How to Watch Safely Popcorn Time is illegal. If you're thinking of using it, here are several things you should know before you put yourself at risk. Read More is an app which lets you stream movies through a very simple, Netflix-style UI. Browser Popcorn brought that same idea to the Web, removing the need to download anything.


This innate usability made it an obvious target for the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), which instantly issued a cease-and-desist letter at the creator of Browser Popcorn. Who, as it turns out, is a 15-year-old developer named Milan Kragujevic. He made the sensible decision to distance himself from Browser Popcorn once the authorities came knocking, saying:

“It was a nice ride, but it’s time to move on. I will be distancing myself from further development of Browser Popcorn. This was never intended to be a battle for piracy, more of an experiment with the streaming technology. If you’re looking for someone who is familiar with streaming technology, you might want to hire me. If you’re looking for a great alternative to piracy, check out iTunes or Netflix.”

Kragujevic has left instructions for running a local version of Browser Popcorn on your computer. However, it’s important to remember that these ARE copyrighted movies you do not have permission to watch, which means streaming them is illegal in most countries around the world 4 Ways Internet Piracy Can Be a Good Thing Let’s open up a can of worms and think about this for a minute: is online piracy really that bad? Read More . You have been warned!

Giphy Launches GIF Maker

GIFs have become an integral part of the Internet GIFs, The Language Of The Web: Their History, Culture, and Future Everything you ever wanted to know about the history of GIFs, how they've evolved, and their cultural impact and significance. Read More in recent years, being used to express an emotion or sum up a feeling in a very visual manner. And as GIFs have become more popular, sites collecting and curating them have sprung up. One of which is

For Giphy to succeed it needs people to create GIFs. The more the merrier. Obviously. But creating a GIF isn’t the easiest thing to do. Which explains why Giphy has released GIF Maker, a tool to help even the simplest of folks to create GIFs.


Drop in a video URL, select a start time and a duration, type in a witty caption, and let GIF Maker do the heavy lifting. The results may not be perfect, but this sure beats spending hours crafting a GIF The 5 Best Sources For Animated GIF Images I’m convinced that the animated GIF reveals something about humanity. Present your average person with a repetitive moving picture and they’ll become absolutely entranced. I’ve lost many hours of my life to dancing bears and... Read More which no one else is likely to appreciate anyway.

DroneDefender Shoots Down Drones

This time last year we asked our readers, “A Drone Hovers Over Your Property: What Would You Do? A Drone Hovers Over Your Property: What Would You Do? [We Ask You] There's a very real prospect of someone flying a drone around your neighborhood. But what would you do if it hovered over your property? Read More ” To which most replied, “”Shoot it out of the sky!”, or words to that effect. I don’t understand it myself, but then I’m British and most of our readers are American. So, it may be a cultural difference between the two nations.

Regardless, it means our readers may be interested in the DroneDefender, a “portable, accurate, rapid-to-use counter-weapon to stop suspicious or hostile drones in flight, providing critical security protection at home and abroad”. The DroneDefender uses targeted radio waves to force drones out of the sky, which is surely a more sensible solution than guns pumping out bullets.

A Modern Back to the Future Trailer

And finally, today is Back to the Future Day, as if you didn’t already know. I mean, it’s everywhere, and rightly so, as the future finally becomes the present. Sadly, most of the gadgets from Back to the Future II haven’t made it into reality, but we’ll carry on dreaming regardless.


Still, this video is the perfect way to celebrate Back to the Future Day, as it shows what the trailer for the fist film would have looked like had it been released in 2015. Movie trailers 8 Hilariously Bad Movie Trailers [Stuff to Watch] Movie trailers are designed to tantalize an audience into wanting to spend their hard earned cash in the cinema. Now there are a few terrible movie trailers of bad films, but generally speaking many are... Read More are a very different beast these days than they were in the 1980s, selling the film in a much more emotive manner.

Your Views on Today’s Tech News

Do you think the HTC One A9 looks like the iPhone 6? Are you sorry to see Browser Popcorn taken offline? Will you be using Giphy’s GIF Maker to make GIFs? Have you ever been harassed by a drone? How are you celebrating Back to the Future Day?

Let us know your thoughts on the Tech News of the day by posting to the comments section below. Because a healthy discussion is always welcome.

Related topics: Drone Technology, GIF, iPhone, Movie Trailer.

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  1. Dave Parrack
    October 27, 2015 at 7:33 pm

    That's a fair point. There is clearly a back and forth between manufacturers copying popular features and mimicking popular design elements.

  2. Anonymous
    October 22, 2015 at 12:03 pm

    HTC One M7 came out in Mar 2013, and the iPhone 6 in Sep 2014, about a year and a half later. The 6 looked so similar to the M7, many people mistook the M7 for the new iPhone 6.

    iOS now supports functions, released during iOS 7, that had always existed in Android. Being an owner of both iOS and Android devices and having supported mobility since the days of the now defunct Palm devices, I see the merits of all modern mobile OSs, Blackberry and Windows included, but in regards to this article on who is copying whom, let's not forget Apple's design similarities to the HTC One line of phones. Just my 2 cents worth.?