A look at BitTorrent Sync Alpha for Android

Martin Brinkmann
Jun 19, 2013
Google Android

BitTorrent Sync, the file synchronization software, was up until now only available for Windows, Linux and Mac OS X as an alpha version. It enables you to share data between two computer systems directly, bypassing the cloud in the process.

This makes it ideal for situations where all devices you want to share data between are connected to the Internet or a local area network. Most file synchronization services that use cloud storage, like SkyDrive, Dropbox or Google Drive, require an Internet connection as they save the data to the cloud, and from there to other authorized devices.

It takes only a couple of steps to sync data using BitTorrent Sync.

  1. Open the program on the first computer.
  2. Switch to Folders and click Add.
  3. Select the folder you want to sync and click generate to create a random secret code.
  4. For full access, enter the secret code under Folders > Add on secondary devices.
  5. If you want read-only access, right-click the folder on the primary device, select advanced, and copy the read-only code instead.

BitTorrent is currently working on an Android version of BitTorrent Sync that is not publicly available as of now. The new mobile version enables you to sync data between desktop systems and your Android device.

connect mobile

This works similar to synchronizing data between two desktop PCs. There is however one difference that I'd like to point out. Instead of sharing the folder secret, you get an option to use a QR Code instead. The reason behind this is that it is difficult to send the secret code to the Android device.

So, instead of sending you an email or entering it manually, you use a QR Code instead. Let me show you how that works.

  1. Open the BitTorrent Sync client on your desktop and there the folders listing.
  2. Select the folder that you want to sync with your mobile, right-click it and select Connect Mobile.
  3. A QR Code is displayed on your desktop.
  4. Open the Android version of BitTorrent Sync and select the plus icon in its interface.
  5. Pick a folder location you want the data to be saved in and tap on the Scan QR Code afterwards.
  6. Scan the code displayed on your desktop and the syncing will start automatically.

bittorrent sync mobile bittorrent sync android

You can open the settings to make some interesting changes. Here you can enable syncing in cellular mode, enable the battery saver which stops the synchronization automatically if battery drops below a certain percentage, and configure Camera Backup mode to automatically sync photos taken with the device's camera to other connected devices.

Files can also be transferred from a mobile client to another one. Just tap on send and either select the files you want to send. This displays a QR code on your phone that you need to scan with the other device.

You need BitTorrent Sync 1.1.15 or higher to use the mobile feature on the desktop. The Android app is not available publicly, but you can download the latest version from here. (Thanks Caschy)


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  1. Albert said on August 18, 2023 at 1:49 pm

    Thanks for the tip Martin.

    It is for these kinds of posts that I follow GHacks.

    1. Mike Williams said on August 26, 2023 at 8:55 pm

      What’s up with the generic comment, are you a bot?

  2. Tachy said on August 18, 2023 at 3:23 pm


    Where on the planet is that still in use? I was forced to give up using my RAZRV3 years ago because 2G was phased out by AT&T.

    1. arbuz said on August 20, 2023 at 5:02 pm

      Everywhere 3G has been turned off and you don’t have LTE coverage, and believe me there are many developed countries where this is the case and if it weren’t for 2G you wouldn’t even be able to make a phone call.

    2. Doc Fuddled said on August 31, 2023 at 5:55 pm

      Maybe I missed it, but I don’t believe tha term “2G” is in the article. Perhaps you are referring to “AGM G2”??

  3. Tachy said on August 18, 2023 at 3:27 pm


    Your website has gone insane.

    When I the post button I then saw my comment posted on a different article page. When I opened this article again, it is here.

    1. Martin P. said on August 31, 2023 at 4:39 pm

      @Tachy @Martin Brinkmann

      ” Your website has gone insane. ”

      Same here. Has happened several times.

      1. owl said on September 1, 2023 at 3:42 am

        @Martin P.,

        For over two weeks now,
        I’ve been seeing “Comments” posted by subscribers appearing in different, unrelated articles.
        For the time being,
        it would be better to specify the “article name and URL” at the beginning of the post.

  4. Anonymous said on August 18, 2023 at 11:17 pm

    @tachy a lot of non-phone devices with a sim in them rely on 2G, at least here in europe.
    Usually things reporting usage or errors/alarms on something remote that does not get day to day inspection in person. They are out there in vast numbers doing important work. Reliable, good range. The low datarate is no problem at all in those cases.
    3G is gone or on its last legs everywhere, but this stuff still has too much use to cancel.

    Anyhow, interesting that they would put that in. I can see the point if you suspect a hostile 2G environment (amateur eavesdroppers with laptop, ranging up to professional grade MITM fake towers while “strangely” not getting the stronger crypto voip 4G because it is being jammed, and back down to something as old ‘stingray’ devices fallen into the wrong hands).

    But does this also mean that they have handled and rolled out a fix for that nasty 4G ‘pwn by broadcast’ problem you reported earlier this year? I had 4G disabled due to that, on the off chance that some of the local criminals would buy some cheap chinese gear, download a working exploit and probe every phone in range all over town in the hope of getting into phones of the police.

  5. Andy Prough said on August 19, 2023 at 3:04 am

    >”While most may never be attacked in stingrays, it is still recommended to disable 2G cellular connections, especially since it does not have any downsides.”

    The downside would be losing connectivity. I spend a lot of time way out in the countryside where there’s often no service or almost none. My network allows 2G, and I need it sometimes. I have an option on the phone to disable 2G, I may do that when I’m in the city and I have good 5G connectivity, but not out in the country.

    I would imagine that the stingray exploits, like most of the bad things in this world, are probably things you will run into in the crowded big cities.

  6. owl said on August 21, 2023 at 3:40 am

    I stopped using it in a mobile (Wi-Fi line) environment, so I’m almost ignorant of the actual situation,
    But the recent reality in Japan makes me realize that “the infrastructure of the web is nothing more than a papier-mâché fiction”.

    It is already beyond the scope of what an individual can do.
    What we should be aware of is the reality that “governments and those in power want to control the world through the Web”, and efforts to counter (resist and prevent) such ambitions are necessary.

  7. Anonymous said on August 26, 2023 at 9:27 pm

    Why do you want people to disable the privacy features? Hmmmmm?

  8. Anonymous said on August 27, 2023 at 2:30 am

    Now You: do you plan to keep the Ads privacy features enabled?

    I’d like to tell you, but apparently if you make a post critical of Google, you get censored. * [Editor: removed, just try to bring your opinion across without attacking anyone]

  9. Tachy said on August 27, 2023 at 5:15 am


    You website is still psychotic. Comments attach to random stories.

  10. John G. said on August 28, 2023 at 2:46 pm

    @Martin please do fix the comments, it’s completely insane commenting here! :[

  11. ECJ said on August 28, 2023 at 5:37 pm


    The comments are seriously messed up on gHacks now. These comments are mixed with the article at the below URL.


    And comments on other articles are from as far back as 2010.

  12. Naimless said on August 29, 2023 at 12:57 am

    What does this article has anything to do with all the comments on this article? LOL I think this Websuite is ran by ChatGPT. every article is messed up. Some older comments from 2015 shown up in recant articles, LOL

  13. Paul Knight said on August 31, 2023 at 3:35 am

    The picture captioned “Clearing the Android Auto’s cache might resolve the issue” is from Apple Carplay ;)

  14. Anonymous said on August 31, 2023 at 9:57 pm

    How about other things that matter:
    Drop survival?
    Screen toughness?
    Degree of water and dust protection?

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