Apparently they (whoever “they” are) are calling 2008 “The Year of the Mobile Torrent”, and if that’s the case then chances are Apple will undoubtedly be driving that bandwagon (or ambushing it). A “torrent”, as it’s used here, describes a communications protocol that allows computer users to talk about files. Or, put more familiarly, a torrent is an application that allows people to “do” P2P file-sharing.
Having said that, not just does it appear a P2P file-sharing client for the iPhone may be fast along the way, however in fact it’s already here, though currently in a format considerably inaccessible to most users – but no doubt not for long.
No, not all file-sharing is illegal. In reality, the only file-sharing that is against the law is the sharing of copyrighted files (like RIAA’s music and Hollywood’s movies – but that’s why we have 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 after you recognize that, you are able to only expect that such facility for the iPhone is at least imminent.
Gizmodo was the first to report on the innovation, declaring a hacker who goes by the name of Core has just created the very first native P2P client for the iPhone kickasstorrents alternative. Although the program – based on the popular Mac P2P client – Transmission – remains in the command-line stages (in other words: without a simple user interface that the common techno-unsavvy consumer can operate), it’s nonetheless a groundbreaking step on the road to peer-to-peer file-sharing between iPhones.
The quantity of content worth sharing from iPhone to iPhone will also be stymied until a user-friendly GUI (graphical user interface) is incorporated to the design. Also a buggy hurdle for would-be users to keep yourself updated 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 use this or any torrent on the iPhone, you’ll have to use Wi-Fi.
Torrenting – as it’s sometimes called – can be much burden on the iPhone’s battery and so will need the device be plugged in to make sure that files download completely.
A web search to learn more with this subject revealed that several mobile torrents already exist – such as for example SymTorrent and Wizbit for Symbian smartphones and WinMobile Torrent for Windows Mobile Devices – though none (until now) for the iPhone.
Now, there is a µTorrent MUI for the iPhone (called µPhone) but it doesn’t actually allow you to share files (“yet”, they say); rather it lets iPhone users view the status of active torrents, pause and resume torrents, and input new URLs to torrent all via a PC. Put simply, the µPhone torrent MUI acts as a sort of remote control for using µTorrent to talk about files over a PC.