Some time ago, I needed to download a driver file that was only possible to retrieve via BitTorrent, and since that time I have periodically been checking up on the availability and reliability of native BitTorrent clients for the Android platform.
I mainly discovered that most Android “clients” (and I use the term loosely) mainly permit one to instruct a home desktop computer to download a torrent, then stream the content or file to the Android device in question. Since I consider the whole concept tedious, I kept my eye on a real Android BitTorrent client app named aTorrent. As with most software, kinks get worked out over time, and at this juncture, I consider most of the major issues with aTorrent to be worked out and the best native client available for Android tablets.
First and foremost, if you are thinking about using aTorrent over cellular or mobile connections, I wouldn’t bother. You could string a gold-stranded USB cable directly from your tablet to the destination hard drive and be more cost-effective. Due to very nature of the BitTorrent protocol, you are connecting to multiple machines at various times for pieces of the file or files you are downloading. This means a huge amount of communication is required to determine “who has my next piece”, and a huge bill your greedy telco will gleefully charge you if you opt to use BitTorrent using cell data. I highly recommend using the app on an Android device with a fast, reliable WiFi connection. This is doubly true in America, where most mobile data connections generally are not fast or reliable.
Continuing on, to download say a Slackware Linux DVD image, you first need the .torrent file. This is the file that tells the client app the size of the download, name and number of the files to download, as well as helping to keep track of the number of bite-sized pieces that remain before the all important 100% download completion goal is reached. Upon downloading the .torrent to your tablet or mobile, browse to the save location (usually in /sdcard/Download), tap the torrent, and aTorrent will open it and begin the download.
I have been using this app on my Transformer to grab Linux distros, programming source, tools, etc. for some time now and it passes with flying colours. Some mobile users are reporting lags around the 30% completion mark, but I believe those have been corrected with the latest version, and I have yet to experience a “show stopper” on my Transformer running Honeycomb. View the screenshots above for the “step by step”. This walks-through from saving the .torrent file, opening, downloading and how to delete a .torrent file with additional descriptions.