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BitTorrent’s Android app updates make sharing a cinch

BitTorrent isn’t exactly known for its apps, but the company is beefing up its smartphone presence for on-the-go, peer-to-peer file-sharing. A Wednesday redesign makes the BitTorrent and µTorrent apps for Android easier on the eyes and adds a slew of new features, which is good news for the 50 million users who have downloaded BitTorrent for Android.

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BitTorrent's refreshed Android app lets you track your download progress.

Aside from the style overhaul, the apps now offer the ability to download individual files within a torrent either or before or during your download, pick a download location; track your files’ download progress, and delete torrents alone or both torrents and files. Now you can manage your files wherever you go.

BitTorrent also refreshed its more heavily used desktop clients—an updated µTorrent rolls out Wednesday and the next version of BitTorrent will be released next week for 170 million monthly active users. Both updates are designed to feature BitTorrent Bundles, or the packages of content BitTorrent distributes for artists like Madonna and Moby. Bundles rolled out last April and have been downloaded more than 60 million times. The problem BitTorrent faces with Bundles was discovery: making them easier for users to find. Now that the company’s desktop clients have Bundles baked into the menu, downloads could skyrocket.

Putting Bundles front and center in the BitTorrent clients is also key for the company’s next step: allowing creatives to sell their content using a Bundle paygate. So far, Bundles have been free collections of songs, films, interviews—anything the artist wants to distribute across the system to drum up interest in their latest project. BitTorrent has no interest in being a store, but it does plan to give publishers tools to make money off their work, which also advances the BitTorrent goal of shedding its reputation as an illegal file-sharing company.

The BitTorrent and µTorrent updates arrive just days after BitTorrent teased a mobile streaming application for its BitTorrent Live alpha project. No word yet on when the Live app will be ready to launch, but the company indicated that peer-to-peer live-streaming could change the way users consume news.

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