BitTorrent Turns Web Browsers Into a File-Sharing Hub

BitTorrent Inc., the people behind the popular BitTorrent client uTorrent, have just unveiled a new project that turns web browsers into fully fledged file-sharing hubs. "Torque" uses the new Btapp.js library and enables developers to code a wide variety of browser-based file-sharing apps. To show what it's capable of, BitTorrent released a torrent client for Chrome and a browser-based file-sharing app.

Downloading torrents in a web-browser is nothing new. Opera integrated BitTorrent support half a decade ago, and for other browsers there are plugins and web-based tools available.

However, BitTorrent Inc. believes that much more can be done from the browser environment. A few hours ago the San Francisco-based company released an alpha version of “Torque,” a new project that aims to further integrate BitTorrent downloading into the browser.

With Torque, developers can easily build a wide variety of downloading and sharing web-apps.

“Torque is both an underlying, fully fledged torrent client, as well as a simple JavaScript interface designed to make the technology as accessible as possible,” Patrick Williams, lead engineer on Torque told TorrentFreak.

“Our hope is that the development and use of torrent technologies can scale the same way that a torrent swarm does, and this is our initial effort towards that goal.”

BitTorrent Inc. is currently showcasing two Torque based apps. One is an extension for the Chrome browser which allows users to download torrent files as if they were regular files.

The second tool is called “Paddle Over,” a website through which users can easily share files with each other from any browser. People can share files with just one person, or a whole group, depending on who they choose to share the invite link with.


Paddle Over, one of the Torque apps

Torque is still in an early phase of development, so bugs are to be expected. However, over time BitTorrent Inc. hopes many great and innovative apps will be built with it.

“One of our aims here is to help artists and publishers build better ways to reach fans, and we believe that Torque can be a powerful tool for them to distribute their work. The overarching goal here is what it’s always been for us as a company; open innovation on the Internet,” Williams told TorrentFreak.

Torque is clearly a new direction for BitTorrent Inc., the company which is mostly known for their flagship software uTorrent. Two month ago we revealed that BitTorrent may be looking to re-brand itself as Gyre, and perhaps Torque is part of this new direction.

Developers who want to build Torque apps are invited to take a look at the Btapp.js library. Users can check out the first apps in the Torque labs.

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