The first beta of the highly anticipated uTorrent 3.0 has been released. Many of the new features have been in testing for quite some time now, but this is the first time uTorrent 3.0 has reached a state where it's mostly complete and ready for wide testing.
uTorrent is the most popular BitTorrent client in the world and for good reason, it managed to stay small and light even as it added new features and stay simple even as it offered plenty of advanced functionality for users that knew what 'knobs' to turn.
"We are excited to announce that the first beta build of µTorrent 3.0 is here (download). It’s packed with new features and updates with a focus on convenience and a better, more streamlined user experience," Jordy Berson, Director of Product Management for µTorrent, announced.
uTorrent 3.0 tries to keep the same formula, even as it crams in even more features and functionality. While pandering to the 'noobs' with features aimed at making BitTorrent easier to understand for new, non-tech savvy users, it also has plenty to offer to long-time users as well.
Drag and drop file sharing - creating a torrent with a couple of clicks
For new users, uTorrent 3.0 comes with a simple way of sharing files, aka creating a torrent and seeding it, just drag and drop what you want to send over an area inside uTorrent and you'll get a web link you can give to friends.
Not only you don't have to know anything about BitTorrent files, magnet links and whatnot, your friends don't even need to have uTorrent installed, they can get the app from the same link you send them.
Also for new users, as well as purists which may be starting to get fed up with all the bells and whistles the once minimalistic BitTorrent client keeps on adding, there is now a Simplified View.
Video streaming of partially downloaded files
Those that have been using experimental builds won't see that many surprising features in uTorrent 3.0 Beta. Video streaming is one of the touted features, but it has been available in one form or another for about a year and a half now.
Still, new users will be very happy to be able to start watching a movie before it finished downloading. Especially with very large files, as long as you have a good internet connection, you'll be able to start enjoying the movie or episode soon after you've added it to your list, while the rest downloads in the background.
Torrent comments and ratings
uTorrent 3.0 also comes with one of the most requested features so far, the possibility of adding comments to the torrents you download. You can have your say and also rate the torrent to enable others to know if there are any issues with the files or if it's just not a worthwhile download.
Web-based uTorrent Remote
If you leave uTorrent running on a computer at home, while you're at work or away, you'll appreciate the ability to control the app remotely via the web-based interface. There is also an Android app available.
Portable Mode - run uTorrent from an USB drive
Conversely, if you want to take your torrents with you when you're on the go, uTorrent 3.0 can run in Portable Mode which leaves no trace on the machines it's used and also maintains all of your settings, torrent list and so on.
More uTorrent web apps and other updates
Of course, there are now even more applications in the uTorrent repositories, the App Studio. There are also many other improvements under the hood, which aren't obvious from the first look. As for a stable version of uTorrent 3.0, there are no definitive plans yet, it will become available when it's ready.
uTorrent 3.0 Beta is available for download here.