Nick Summers is a technology journalist for The Next Web. He writes on all sorts of topics, although he has a passion for gadgets, apps and Nick Summers is a technology journalist for The Next Web. He writes on all sorts of topics, although he has a passion for gadgets, apps and video games in particular. You can reach him on Twitter, circle him on Google+ and connect with him on LinkedIn.
BitTorrent has announced a new service today called Sync, that uses peer-to-peer technology to synchronize personal files across multiple computers and devices.
The file-sharing client says that although the feature is still in a pre-Alpha stage at the moment, they are allowing a small number of users to test it via an application form on their Labs page.
“We’re hoping that users like you can help us build something sick,” the company said. “If you’re comfortable using early, incomplete software, and if you’re committed to helping us figure out a better way to sync, we want to hear from you.”
Any other details are scarce at the moment, although a screenshot published on BitTorrent’s blog shows a separate window, entitled “SyncApp”, with a few different tabs such as Devices, Folders and Transfers. Also worth noting is the smartphone icon in the top-left hand corner, which points to a future release on mobile devices.
Gigaom reported the news, and was told by the company that Sync will be able to share files between different devices without any cloud caching. BitTorrent was also cited as saying there would be native apps for OSX, Windows and Linux.
It looks like Sync could work for files not only downloaded from the client itself, but also any other folder stored locally on your PC or laptop. That would put it in contention with a whole host of other cloud-based storage services, including Dropbox, Google Drive and iCloud.
Plenty of people use BitTorrent though – albeit for often unscrupulous reasons – so the company does have the advantage of starting with a large pool of potential users.
The announcement of Sync follows the release of Surf, a Chrome extension that allows users to discover and download torrents directly in Google’s Internet browser.
To try and shake its long standing image of being a tool for piracy, last December the company also launched a new marketing campaign, called DoesBitTorrentEqualPiracy.com. On the website it listed 50 ways that the client has helped the Internet build and share useful content.
Image Credit: Karin Dalziel / Flickr
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