On Wednesday, the company announced its plans for BitTorrent Sync 2.0, which is scheduled to launch in 2015. Early next year, Sync will also drop the beta tag, introduce the long hinted at Pro version, roll out a mobile-to-mobile Sync-based app, and brand new Sync tools for IT types.
Whew. Let's dig in!
Why this matters: There's a lot of concern over how our files and data in the cloud are treated by hosting companies like Apple, Google, and Microsoft. Sync offers a nice alternative to the cloud since it provides similar functionality with peer-to-peer serverless technology. The next version of Sync will bring some cloud features you're probably missing from services like Dropbox, such as selective file sync.
Expected in the first three months of 2015, Sync 2.0 will introduce Sync Pro, which includes all kinds of goodies. Topping the list is the ability to selectively Sync files within a large folder. Let's say you have a 50GB folder of pictures on your PC that's way too big to sync to your tablet. Regardless, you'd still like to have some of those pictures on your mobile device. Sync Pro in Sync 2.0 will let you pick and choose individual files within folders to sync to make that possible.
BitTorrent is also improving the way permissions work on Sync folders with on-the-fly changes. Right now, when you initially share a folder with someone, you can choose whether to give the recipient read/write or read-only permissions.
If you give a co-worker read-only access to a project folder by accident, you have to re-share that folder again to upgrade their permissions. With Sync Pro that won't be necessary. Instead, you'll just open the user list for the shared folder and change the permissions for that person right there.
Finally, Sync Pro will include a new automatic sync feature. This will enable you to create the same Sync profile on multiple devices. That way, instead of manually sharing folders across multiple devices, Sync will automatically share specific folders across all devices using the same profile.
Say, for example, you had a music folder and a documents folder on your PC for sending tunes and special documents to your tablet. With the new automatic sync feature you won't have to share each folder individually on a new device. Just install Sync onto the new tablet or phone, load up your profile, and the folders will start syncing.
BitTorrent says profiles won't require a sign-up with the company or any kind of web-based membership. Instead, the new automatic sync feature will rely on an alphanumeric key that you'll have to copy across devices, similar to what you do know with BitTorrent Bleep.
That's a lot of new stuff for Sync fans, but to get it you'll have to pony up $40 per year. However, BitTorrent says there will be a trial period during the initial Sync 2.0 rolls out that will allow all users to try Sync Pro for a limited time.
Fear not, free users: You'll also be able to continue using the no-cost Sync service that you've been shifting files with thus far. Sync 2.0 and Sync Pro won't kill off the free tier.
Drop it into Sync
BitTorrent is also releasing a brand new Sync-based app in the first half of 2015 that will be for Android, iOS, and Windows Phone. The new as-yet unnamed app will be powered by Sync but will be simplified to enable you to quickly transfer files between mobile devices.
BitTorrent first tried out mobile-to-mobile Sync in version 1.2.
Sync for IT
People who use Sync in enterprise settings will also be glad to hear that BitTorrent is rolling out a product for IT administrators in 2015. This will offer a number of IT-centric features such as remote access, the ability to sync with at least 1,000 devices (the current limit is 50), and a detailed log of sync events.
If you're interested in trying out Sync 2.0 before it rolls out next year, BitTorrent will be offering a public alpha for die-hards to try out. The alpha preview is not ready yet, but you can sign-up to be notified when it is by following the link on BitTorrent's Sync 2.0 announcement blog post.