Feb 15 AT 4:17 PM Bobby Pineapples 15 Comments

Torrents and Google Android

Torrents on a cell phone?  Imagine the possibilities(both legal and illegal).  You are standing in Best Buy browsing for a new DVD to purchase.  What if instead of purchasing it, you could scan the UPC code and “rent it” for a lesser charge?  By the time you made it home, the movie would be waiting for you on your PC, Xbox 360, PS3, iPhone, and more.

Sign in screen

Sign in screen

Everyone knows that if you give the customer more options for purchase, they are likely to convert and take advantage of it.  This is exactly why we will see this feature coming soon to a phone near you.  The technology already exists; we are just waiting for someone to type up the code and get legal to approve it.  Allow me to demonstrate what is already available on the T-Mobile G1.

ShopSavvy is an application that allows you to scan any UPC and check online for better prices and local availability.  In the latest version, you can even make the purchase right on your phone using Paypal.  Amazon also allows 1-click purchases of physical goods and MP3s while browsing their site from a mobile device.

No Torrent clients have been developed for Android and I’m not really sure you would actually want that.  If you were downloading torrent files directly to your phone this would use up a lot of CPU and battery power as well as eat a lot of bandwidth.  The ideal solution would be to remotely control a torrent client from your mobile phone.

Downloading a torrent

Downloading a torrent

To great joy I found remote control of torrents is currently possible on Google Android devices with the utorrent client available for PC and Mac.  The default installation of uTorrent comes with a remote web user interface.  All you need to do is turn on the WebUI feature, install the miniUI for mobile phones, forward the correct ports, and go to the login page your Android device.

Once you are logged in with the miniUI you have full control over your desktop client.  You can browse all your torrent files, view active downloads, and add new torrents for download.  Adding a torrent file is easily performed with Android’s built in copy and paste functions.  You can also upload torrent files saved on your phone by using Opera mini.

The search options

The search options

So right now it is possible to:

  • Go to a retail store
  • Find a DVD you want to watch
  • Locate the torrent file
  • Start the download on your home PC

The only thing that is missing is the ease of use for the end user and the legal ability for purchase and download to other devices.  The real question: who will put this feature in the customers hand first?  Will it be a company like Big in Japan who develops Android software or will it be some hacker from The Pirate Bay?

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  • http://www.daverea.com Dave

    Wow – killer idea. What’s needed is a RBKP … “Remote Bittorrent Kickoff Protocol”. It could be as simple as writing a plugin for your bittorrent client of choice that monitors an IMAP mailbox, waiting for inbound e-mails with attached .torrent files.

    With the availability of set-top boxes like the Myka, the remotely-kicked-off torrents could be downloaded right into your home theater system!

  • http://clarklab.net clark

    man, I already spend way to much time downloading, this is the last thing I need!

  • Ben

    Ive made a Yahoo pipe thats a utorrent/ISOHunt mashup:


    To make it work for your house change the settings to match your uTorrent settings (connection port, Web UI user/password.

    To make a link with those settings all ready change the part of the link where it says..


    which broken down is..


    .. so just change those to match yours, eg.


    which gives you this personalised link


    The top ‘=== uTorrent Web UI ===’ search result is a link to your miniUI for uTorrent (u should install it, it’s wicked) on iPhones

    Feedback welcome


  • http://iphone.pipes.yahoo.com/pipes/pipe.info?_id=dd067913baf97e9ae9a77612dd29e737&host=host&port=16103&password=password&user=admin&renderer=iui#___1__ Ben
  • http://g1wallz.com G1 Wallpapers

    I’ll pass on downloading torrents from my G1 but being able to remotely control a torrent client from your mobile phone would definitely be awesome!

  • Pi

    I submitted an email about this a while back to a couple development sites, but this is the first I’ve actually heard of people thinking about it. I’m glad someone is listening.

    However, I had a couple more points that might be worth mentioning.

    With my submission I mentioned the barcode scanner, but I also mentioned using a mashup with Shazam so that you could have your phone listen in and automatically search from what it hears. Also, integration of torrent status into the status bar, similar to how the gmail client synch’s your emails. Maybe a torrent wishlish feature, like one that would allow you to save potential torrent files to your phone that you could que remotely at a later time (this would be great if your computer is off).

    If you want to know more, send me an email.

  • RandyJC

    Ohh!! i see the possibilities :D

    2 bad i aint a developer! or i would write it myself :p

    I see myself walking in the city, and i see cool movie in the store. i scan it, and my G1 sends it 2 my PC at home

    he’s matching up the best results i get response with the 3 best matches.

    i choose and download. through my status bar i can see the progress on my G1

    SWEET :p

    i live in the future i’d think..

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  • http://www.bynick.nl Nick Nijenhuis

    My Idea is maybe a bit harder to understand, but yet easier to use I think Because it works for Torrents and NZB’s, You don’t need a Utorrent client. All you need is an FTP like AndFTP and a Remote FTP server, upload the files to a map, and let your remote Utorrent or SabNzb pick the files from there.

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  • http://Website Conrad

    First off this is a good article. Although in the end you say Hacker From Pirate Bay! A. Hackers do are not people who download torrents. Hackers are people who have a great interest in computers. B. Torrenting itself is not illegal. Even pirate bay hase some legal downloads. Do some research before you leave a post to scar the internet.

  • lexusa

    hey i have a t mobile g1 and i downloaded a antivirus appand installed it on my phone but i cant find it anywhere and dont kno how to start it, any help?

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