Apparently they (whoever “they” are) are calling 2008 “The Year of the Mobile Torrent”, and if that’s the case then odds are Apple will soon be driving that bandwagon (or ambushing it). A “torrent”, as it’s used here, identifies a communications protocol which allows computer users to share files. Or, put more familiarly, a torrent is a program which allows individuals to “do” P2P file-sharing.
That said, not only does it appear a P2P file-sharing client for the iPhone might be fast in route, however in fact it’s already here, though currently in a format considerably inaccessible to the majority of users – but undoubtedly not for long.
No, not absolutely all file-sharing is illegal. Actually, the only file-sharing that’s against regulations is the sharing of copyrighted files (like RIAA’s music and Hollywood’s movies – but that’s why we’ve iTunes, right?). For the sharing of other types of files – personal memoirs, diary entries, and travelogues, recipes, photos, YouTube videos, etcetera, etcetera – P2P file-sharing is perfectly legal, and once you realize that, you are able to only expect that such facility for the iPhone is no less than imminent.
Gizmodo was the first to report on the innovation, declaring that the hacker who passes the name of Core has just created the initial native P2P client for the iPhone alternative to kickass torrents. Though the program – based on the popular Mac P2P client – Transmission – remains in the command-line stages (in other words: with a lack of an easy user interface that the common techno-unsavvy consumer can operate), it is nonetheless a groundbreaking step on the way to peer-to-peer file-sharing between iPhones.
The amount of content worth sharing from iPhone to iPhone is likewise stymied until a user-friendly GUI (graphical user interface) is incorporated into the design. Also a buggy hurdle for would-be users to be aware of is the incompatibility between P2P file-sharing in general and EDGE networks – currently the iPhone’s wireless connection of choice. So in order to make use of this or any torrent on the iPhone, you’ll have to utilize Wi-Fi.
Torrenting – as it’s sometimes called – can be much burden on the iPhone’s battery and so will require the unit be plugged in to ensure files download completely.
A net search to learn more on this subject revealed that several mobile torrents already exist – such as for instance SymTorrent and Wizbit for Symbian smartphones and WinMobile Torrent for Windows Mobile Devices – though none (until now) for the iPhone.
Now, there’s a µTorrent MUI for the iPhone (called µPhone) but it doesn’t actually enable you to share files (“yet”, they say); rather it lets iPhone users view the status of active torrents, pause and resume torrents, and type in new URLs to torrent all by way of a PC. Quite simply, the µPhone torrent MUI acts as a sort of handy remote control for using µTorrent to share files over a PC.