uTorrent Apps Arrive, Plus Free Movies and Privacy Features

The uTorrent team has rolled out the stable release of uTorrent 2.2 today. The highly anticipated release is the first to open up BitTorrent's App Studio to uTorrent's 65 million users and introduces optimized proxy privacy settings. To emphasize the collaboration with independent artists, the launch of uTorrent 2.2 coincides with a promotion of the free-to-download film ‘Four Eyed Monsters'.

utorrent appsBitTorrent Inc. has been very active with the development of uTorrent this year. Among other things, the company pushed out two experimental clients (codenamed Falcon and Griffin) from where new features were tested in public. One of the most discussed features has been uTorrent’s support for Apps.

BitTorrent Apps is a web-based extensions framework to add new functionality without compromising the lightness of the core BitTorrent client. Similar to other apps, addons and extensions in today’s web browsers and phones, the Javascript-based Apps allow 3rd party developers to create applications that will integrate seamlessly with the client. They can be added to the client with a single click and are displayed using an embedded browser window.

Initially the Apps were only been available to a relatively small group of uTorrent users who downloaded the experimental ‘Griffin‘ client. In September this test audience was expanded to the users of BitTorrent Inc’s Mainline client, and today the “Apps Studio” is made available to all uTorrent users, 65 million in total. The release of uTorrent 2.2 includes the Apps Studio and comes with a handful of Apps that are approved by BitTorrent, but users can also install unofficial Apps such as the EZTV one we featured previously.

One of the official Apps that are included is that of VODO, a platform where independent filmmakers share their work for free. To celebrate the fact that Apps are now bundled with uTorrent, VODO is releasing two new films today – ‘Four Eyed Monsters’ and ‘Snowblind‘. For the producers of these films, BitTorrent provides an opportunity to have their works seen by millions of people without having to worry about distribution problems.

“The barriers to filmmaking have fallen, but the gates around distribution through traditional TV, theatrical and video-on-demand remain locked,” says Arin Crumley, creator and star of ‘>Four Eyed Monsters’. “With a user base of over 80 million [Mainline included], BitTorrent is exposing our film to an audience larger than many television networks and fostering a direct connection between audiences and filmmakers.”

“The creators who embrace this modern approach will encourage a new culture of audiences who support the production of movies they want to see and help distribute the ones in which they fall in love,” Crumley added.

Aside from the ‘Apps Studio’ and the release of the films through VODO, uTorrent 2.2 has several other features and enhancements in store. The skinning format which allows users to change the look of the client has been renewed, the client is now able to move files if you change the download location of a file, and there is now an add torrent dialog for magnet links.

On the privacy side there are also several much needed and demanded improvements. First of all, there was a huge security leak for the users of some proxy services. uTorrent users broadcasted their real IP-address instead of the secure one when they were connected to an UDP tracker (most proxy operators warned their users about this). This has now been fixed in the latest stable release. In addition, the latest release makes it easier for users of proxies to configure their client so they are indeed anonymous.

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