BitTorrent: now available for iPhone

BitTorrent: now available for iPhone

Hacker 'core' has been able to compile a version of Transmission for the iPhone's ARM processor.

In what must rank among the most pointless exercises in the history of hacking, an enterprising – and, presumably, bored – programmer has succeeded in shoehorning the Transmission BitTorrent client onto the iPhone.

No, really.

The client – most recently seen in the 8.04 'Hardy Heron' Ubuntu Linux distribution – is most commonly used to download large files via the BitTorrent peer-to-peer system on a computer connected to a broadband line. Even on a fast line downloads can take many hours to complete when there are few seeds available, so it's not exactly the sort of app that springs to mind when you're talking about on-the-go use.

Nevertheless, iPhone hacker 'core' has chosen to spend his time cramming a command-line version of the client on to his iPhone, and it even works. Sort of. The application appears to crash when downloading files over the phone's EDGE connection, although WiFi use is a trifle more stable. And, let's face it, unless you're on an unlimited-use package with a really generous Acceptable Use Policy then you're going to be wanting to use WiFi wherever available anyway.

Stability problems aren't the only reason the client might not be the iPhone's killer app: due to the constant data transfer – and associated continuous use of the radio transceiver – your battery is going to take a major hit.

So, it's a BitTorrent client for a mobile, but you need to be within range of a WiFi base station. Oh, and you should probably plug in to the mains as well. Wait, why don't you just use a desktop?

Novel use of the iPhone is to be applauded, but I can't help but feel this is more of a boast than a practical hack.

What's your opinion: a useful thing to have on your smartphone, or is BitTorrent unsuitable for mobile use in this way? Share your thoughts over in the forums.


Discuss in the forums Reply
Jamie 4th March 2008, 09:09 Quote
This doesn't surprise me, I'm sure almost any linux command line applications will work on the iPhone with a bit of hacking.
cjoyce1980 4th March 2008, 09:11 Quote
If you want a greener way of downloading then watts per hour is gonna be a whole lot less then using your pc, but novel still
Xir 4th March 2008, 09:28 Quote
Hmmm, quite useless at the moment...but:

For me the next thing isn't "web2.0", i don't want to share my pictures and diary with the world, thank you.
For me the next big thing is "Internet Anywhere".

Once you get a flatrate and acceptable speed out of your mobile devive (beeing an Iphone or whatever else), could you not save your home line?

Same thing happened to the phone, mobile calling has gotten so cheap, you don't need a landline anymore (except for internet)

cyrilthefish 4th March 2008, 11:36 Quote
This isn't a new thing ;)

These have been out for ages for windows mobile
koola 4th March 2008, 12:59 Quote
It's good what this guy has done, but better is using Clutch through Safari to manage your torrents.
rjkoneill 4th March 2008, 13:17 Quote
phone call
me - i have been waiting outside starbucks for 48hrs for this film to finish download
Firehed 4th March 2008, 14:32 Quote
Originally Posted by Jamie
This doesn't surprise me, I'm sure almost any linux command line applications will work on the iPhone with a bit of hacking.
Sure, but that doesn't stop it being pointless.

As koola points out, WebUIs to existing torrent programs are a much better and more practical thing to do. But then again, a lot of the Linux-lovers do things like this just to say they did :)
bahgger 4th March 2008, 18:39 Quote
"Your recently downloaded file has taken up 12.5% of your total diskspace. More memory required. What would you like to do?"
rhuitron 5th March 2008, 00:39 Quote
^ It's an apple. So you're fu-du-cked!

And more over, this seems very useless to me.

Rather I use my laptop and Wifi signal than an Iphone.

BTW, I hate apple.
Bluephoenix 5th March 2008, 10:00 Quote
one thing where it does become practical is in being used to push smaller files (media especially) to mobiles, as long as there are some dedicated seeding servers.

the more people get that file, the faster the download becomes.
Log in

You are not logged in, please login with your forum account below. If you don't already have an account please register to start contributing.

Discuss in the forums