The most popular BitTorrent service in the world has released an app that allows users to access and download torrents directly to their Android smartphones and tablets. The uTorrent service currently boasts 150 million or so active users per month and now, with smartphones, is expanding the business to an avenue that's been relatively underserved in the torrent world, according to Torrent Freak.
The uTorrent app was released on Wednesday and is expected by many to capitalize on the increasing reliance people have on their smartphones as well as their growing willingness to illegally download music, movies, and other media to their devices. It will also be available on Android tablets, something that isn't expected to happen yet for the iPad.
The Beta version released to the public Wednesday is a free app that doesn't include any speed or size limits, according to the product description on Google play. It also lets users subscribe to RSS feeds and play content on their devices, just as the desktop version does.
Torrent Freak reports that up until Wednesday, users could only monitor their uTorrent downloads with their phone, and the remote app did not allow them to download new torrents.
"We are very excited to add uTorrent for Android to our mobile product arsenal that is already reaching almost 4 million users," BitTorrent Inc. said, according to Torrent Freak.
The app is not scheduled to be released to Apple devices like the iPhone, iPad, or iOS "any time soon." The company does, however, have a strong following on Apple computers. Likehacker reported in 2011 that uTorrent is the best BitTorrent client for Mac users.
The Android app is available for devices running at 2.1 and higher. Torrent users who download the new client will also be able to play back their content while they download.
This story follows the news that uTorrent would be turning to online advertising to boost its revenue. Although BitTorrent users complained about the decision, uTorrent's willingness to continue expanding its business model is in direct defiance of the trouble other BitTorrent services have faced in recent months. The popular site Demonoid was shut down by the Ukrainian government at the end of July and Gottfrid Svartholm - one of the Pirate Bay's founders - was arrested in Cambodia after appearing on international most wanted lists.
The sheer number of uTorrent users certainly makes the company's higher-ups confident in the decision, though, as BitTorrent fans have clamored for a client that would allow them to download content onto their phones and tablets. As users shift from computers to other devices, uTorrent has shown so far they will be accommodated.