After months of hard work and more than six months since their previous stable release, the uTorrent team has released version 1.8 of their BitTorrent client, with significant improvements and updates. Adding to the excitement, we were told that a public Alpha of the Mac version will be released in the next few weeks.
uTorrent is the preferred client among many BitTorrent users. In December we reported that the number of uTorrent users worldwide had more than doubled in a year. At the time, 5.1% of all Windows PCs had the BitTorrent client installed, and this number has probably been growing further since then.
Users have had to wait a while for this new release, since the last stable uTorrent, version 1.7.7, was released back in January. A lot of work has been done in the meantime though, and the list of changes and additions that were implemented is “absolutely massive”, to quote Firon. One of the most significant updates in the latest version of uTorrent is that it comes with built in IPv6 support, which improves connectivity and thus performance. Other new features are better Windows Firewall registration on Vista and improved distribution of new connections across torrents.
The journey from 1.7.7 has been a long one, but now that 1.8 stable is out, the uTorrent team will dedicate more time developing the long awaited Mac version of the client. uTorrent developer Greg Hazel told TorrentFreak that they will be “more heavily focused” on the Mac version now, which they have worked on for more than a year already. The good news for Mac users is that Greg hinted that the first public Alpha version will be released in just a few weeks.
uTorrent was initially developed by Ludvig Strigeus, and the first public version of the application was released in September 2005. A year later, in December 2006, uTorrent was acquired by BitTorrent Inc., but it will remain separated from other projects that the company is involved in. As Ashwin Navin, President and Co-founder of BitTorrent Inc. told us last year: “utorrent.com and uTorrent community will exist indefinitely. It’s vibrant and growing, and we value the feedback provided in the forums a lot.”
uTorrent 1.8 can be downloaded from the uTorrent website, and the list of changes, improvements and additions is available in the forum thread announcing the release.