The name BitTorrent conjures up the specter of piracy, but BitTorrent the company has been working on a few legitimate ventures based on the same peer-to-peer technology that lets you download the latest Game of Thrones. The newly launched BitTorrent Now is a music and video streaming platform aimed mostly at independent artists you're probably not familiar with.
Your options for moving files on Android devices continue to get better. Earlier today Pushbullet unveiled Portal, an easy QR-based way to exchange files between your phone/tablet and PC using your local wireless network. A few hours later, BitTorrent Sync has released Shoot, a different QR-based way to move things from one mobile device to another.
Shoot is simple. You tap 'send' on your device, have the recipient scan the QR code that appears on your screen, and then watch as the transfer starts. The app works on Android, iOS, and Windows Phone, so you should be able to send something to pretty much anyone you know with a smartphone.
BitTorrent brought an alpha version of its Bleep private messaging client to Android last year, and today it's officially launching on all major platforms including Android. Bleep doesn't require an account to sign up and all your messages are encrypted with local keys so no one else can access your data.
BitTorrent Sync is the cloud storage solution for people who don't like clouds, those who rather keep their files saved locally without giving up the convenience of accessing data from their desktops and mobile phones alike. Today's a big day for the service, the launch of version 2.0 and a pro tier worth $39.99 a year.
A pro account lets users maintain access to files on devices where the data isn't saved. Instead of downloading the full contents of a folder, you store placeholders that load on-demand (white folders in the image on the left below). This is especially useful for mobile users whose 32GB Android phones can't possibly handle all of the songs and videos stored on their 2TB NAS (speaking of which, Sync 2.0addsexpands support for network-attached storage devices, increasing the number of boxes the service can run on).
Android users have yet another option for data-only calls and text messages today, as BitTorrent Inc. posted an alpha version of its Bleep communication client to the Play Store. Bleep is designed to be an alternative to conventional calling and texting systems like Skype or WhatsApp, and requires no central server or service. Bleep has been invite-only since July, but now it's ready to go public. Clients are also available for Windows and OS X computers.
The core idea here is privacy: because Bleep makes a person-to-person connection with no middleman, there's no way for anyone to hack in via remote and get to all that sweet, sweet, personally-identifiable communication.
The world is rife with cloud storage providers who would be happy to hold on to your data so you can share it with others, but you have to give up a little control to keep your files on a server you don't own. BitTorrent's Sync service offers an alternative "cloud-free" solution, and the Android app has just been bumped to v1.4 with a number of new features.
This is what I like to see in an Android monetization model: options. The BitTorrent company released a full-function version of µTorrent (AKA uTorrent or MicroTorrent) a little more than a year ago. The beta app was free, but now there's a paid version that drops the beta tag in favor of a "Pro" label. The new app is $2.99 and includes all of the improvements made to the original app, with a little extra.
The description says that the Pro version of µTorrent is ad-free. I don't doubt that, but I also don't see any advertising in the free beta app.
Up to now, there's been no shortage of rudimentary BitTorrent apps for Android, both in the areas of actual download clients (usually pretty poor stuff) and remote managers for desktop torrent programs. But now, downloaders have access to one of the most popular and celebrated torrent clients out there: µTorrent, often called uTorrent or MicroTorrent. The officially blessed BitTorrent client is now available as a beta Android app, downloadable to any Android device running Eclair or later.
The µTorrent Beta seems to be an updated version of BitTorrent Beta, the official BitTorrent company's app. Both apps (along with the remote managers for their desktop programs) are available on Google Play now.
BitTorrent users now have another useful tool at their disposal with the introduction of an official BitTorrent remote client to the Android Market. BitTorrent Inc. (which also owns uTorrent), recently released BitTorrent Remote, an app that allows users to monitor, manage, and control torrent downloads on the go from their mobile devices.
Besides enabling control over torrent downloads, BitTorrent Remote also allows users to get a detailed readout of information related to each download, including speed, file size, seeds, and ETA. The client also allows the user to begin downloads by simply downloading them on a mobile browser, or clicking torrent links within webpages.
Before anyone jumps on me, I know there's a number of remote torrent management applications out there on the Market, including ones that work with uTorrent. This app, however, is being put out by none other than BitTorrent Inc., the owners of uTorrent. That means you can expect a remote torrent client that actually works, as opposed to the aforementioned mediocre alternatives. Not to mention the fact that uTorrent Remote packs a feature set other remote torrent apps simply can't match.
What a suspiciously legitimate download queue.
Unfortunately, there's a catch. You need to be using the 3.0 Alpha build of uTorrent on your PC (get it here) in order for this app to work, which is currently only available for Windows.