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Highly-rated BitTorrent Sync mobile beta app hits Google Android

BitTorrent Sync, which lets users coordinate files across multiple devices, continues its slow rollout, and has now opened in beta.

The free service launched in the pre-alpha phase in January, and quickly garnered tens of thousands of users, before launching full alpha in April.

The response to the early stages of BitTorrent Sync has been what spokesman Christian Averill called "really incredible"; nearly 8 petabytes have been synced to date, he said.

This latest release includes two of the most frequently requested features of alpha users: mobile apps and an archive capability.

"With the explosion of smartphones and tablets in the market, it's no surprise that our Alpha users have been clamoring for the ability to use BitTorrent Sync from their mobile devices," Averill said.

Android users can head to the Google Play store to download the beta app and begin syncing folders with computers, sending files to other mobile devices, or backing up pictures and videos. An iOS version is expected to launch soon.

SyncArchive, meanwhile, provides basic versioning capabilities: The searchable folder saves all previous versions of users' files, and will evolve into a more prevalent feature over time.

As with any update, the system comes with some added features and fixes, including one-way synchronisation, one-time secrets, the option to exclude specific files, an advanced preferences configuration, support for additional types of NAS devices, and an improved Linux WebUI.

Still, this version remains free, simple to use, and secure, Averill promised.

"BitTorrent Sync was designed to solve for what we see as real, fundamental challenges to data synchronization: limitation on speed, size, and space," he said. "Because BitTorrent Sync is based on the principles of the BitTorrent protocol, you can sync as many big files as you want. Transfers are encrypted, and information isn't stored on any server, or in the cloud. Your content belongs to you, and stays on devices of your choice. That's the way syncing should work."

This system is especially pertinent in the wake of the recent NSA and Prism developments — without relying on servers, Sync users' data is never exposed to prying eyes. Meanwhile, a lack of servers means Sync doesn't contribute to the cloud's environmental and energy-based concerns.

And, according to Averill, the product will never shut down, making it available to users 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for the rest of time (or until BitTorrent kills it).

"The user is always in control of their own data," he said.