uTorrent Expands, Launches Apps and Labs

The uTorrent team has released a new version of the BitTorrent client that supports extensions, or apps as they call them. The new version, codenamed Griffin, is part of the new uTorrent labs where users will get early access to new projects, including live streaming (Pheon) and remote access (Falcon).

utorrent labs uTorrent has come a long way since it saw its first public release in September 2005. Over the years it grew out to be the most widely used BitTorrent application around with more than 50 million monthly users worldwide.

On the development side the uTorrent team at BitTorrent Inc. hasn’t been sitting still either. Today they launch “uTorrent Apps”, an exciting new project that could be considered another milestone. With apps, users can easily install extensions and add custom features to uTorrent.

“Apps for µTorrent is a brand new web-based extensions framework that makes it easy for users to get more and do more with µTorrent without compromising the client’s renowned lightness and speed,” Simon Morris, BitTorrent’s VP of Product Management says.

Similar to other apps, addons and extensions in today’s web browsers and phones, uTorrent apps will allow 3rd party developers to develop applications that will integrate seamlessly with the client. At launch there are already four free apps available, developed in cooperation with uTorrent.

Among the apps that are currently available are a free virus scanner for BitTorrent downloads and the µGadget which allows users to monitor and control torrent downloads more easily from a browser. VODO, the BitTorrent powered distribution platform for filmmakers that is supported by all the major torrent sites, also has an app already.

For developers who want to code uTorrent apps there will soon be an SDK available. “Apps are a new type of file with a .btapp suffix that consists entirely of HTML and Javascript and can be added to the client and displayed using an embedded browser window, so very little extra code is needed,” Morris explains.

The apps can be added to uTorrent from within the client and take just a click to install. We expect that most torrent sites will soon release their own apps to complement uTorrent. That’s just the start though, the possibilities are endless.

The uTorrent Griffin release is part of the new uTorrent labs section where the development team is giving users early access to their latest projects. Besides Griffin, the remote access project Falcon and the live streaming project Pheon are also listed.

We have already covered Falcon in the past. Besides secure remote access, this client also enables users to stream torrent video files files. Pheon is BitTorrent creator Bram Cohen’s pet project and is expected to be released later this year.

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