That Android smartphone or tablet you have is a powerful computer, and it can run a BitTorrent client just like your desktop PC or laptop can. If you’re downloading torrents on your PC and copying them over to your Android device, why not skip the PC entirely? You can download torrents directly on your Android with one of these Android BitTorrent apps. This is particularly useful for videos you might want to watch on the go.
Be aware that running a BitTorrent client on a smartphone can eat data like crazy – you’ll probably want to only download torrents on Wi-Fi. (Look in the apps’s settings for an option that will only download torrents over Wi-Fi.) Even if you have an unlimited data plan, using a large amount of mobile data for torrents might get your mobile data throttled.
There are also a variety of torrent remote control apps, which act as remote controls for torrent clients running on your PC. For example, with uTorrent Remote, you can remotely access uTorrent on your home PC from anywhere, queue up torrents, and manage them on the go.
BitTorrent Beta is the official BitTorrent client for Android. It’s made by the same company that developed the BitTorrent protocol – they also currently own and develop uTorrent. With a reputation like this, we’d expect great things from BitTorrent Beta – and it doesn’t disappoint, although it’s lacking some features at the moment. Unlike some of the other applications below, its interface actually looks reasonably modern.
BitTorrent Beta includes most of the features you’d expect from a solid BitTorrent client, including multiple torrent downloads, bandwidth limits, configurable network ports, and download destination selection. It also supports RSS subscriptions. Unfortunately, one notable feature that’s missing is the ability to select specific files in a torrent to download. At the moment, it’s all-or-nothing – if you want to download a torrent file, you’ll have to download all the files inside it. This feature seems particularly crucial on mobile devices with less storage capacity, so hopefully it will be implemented soon.
aTorrent is another solid BitTorrent client. It includes most of the features BitTorrent includes. While it lacks the ability to download torrents from RSS feeds, it makes up for it with other options. For example, with aTorrent, you can select which files you want to download from a multi-file torrent. You can also enable downloading only if an external power supply is connected – this will prevent torrents from running down your battery. aTorrent also supports DHT for trackerless torrents and can load magnet links, which are becoming more popular.
aTorrent’s interface isn’t as modern, but it includes features BitTorrent (Beta) doesn’t yet offer. The free version includes ads, but has all the same features of the PRO version. For $5, you can buy the PRO version, which removes the ads.
tTorrent is a solid torrent app with a variety of features. Unfortunately, the free Lite version has a download speed cap of 250kB/s, in addition to containing ads. For $4, you can purchase tTorrent Pro, which uncaps your download speed and removes the advertisements.
At first glance it would seem that tTorrent is a prime candidate for passing over – with other apps that have solid free versions to choose from, why try an app with such a crippled free version? As the tTorrent Pro page boasts, tTorrent has the best review scores of an Android torrent app, so they must be doing something right to please their users.
One nice feature is in-app torrent search – rather than kicking you out of the app to your browser browser, as BitTorrent (Beta) and aTorrent do, you can search for torrents and open them from within the app, without having to hunt down torrents manually, which can be slower on a device with a smaller screen.
tTorrent includes a lot of other options and features. All of aTorrent’s features are present, as is the RSS feature found in BitTorrent (Beta). If you’re willing to spend a few dollars for an application with a great search interface and combination of features, tTorrent is a great choice. Its interface doesn’t feel as dated on modern versions of Android as aTorrent and aDownloader’s do, too.
aDownloader is another solid torrent app. While its interface isn’t quite as polished as some of the above apps, it includes a good helping of options – all of the options and features from the above apps are here, including RSS subscriptions. Unfortunately, in-app torrent search seems to depend on Demonoid and is currently broken, as Demonoid is down for the foreseeable future.
aDownloader is only available as an ad-supported version – you can’t pay to remove the ads. Some recent commenters on Google Play aren’t happy with this app and mention that it doesn’t work properly on Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, but it ran fine for me on my Nexus 7 (which runs Jelly Bean).
For more information about downloading files over BitTorrent and using torrent files, check out The Free A-Z Torrent Guide, our in-depth guide to BitTorrent.
Have you tried these Android torrent apps? Which one is your favorite? Leave a comment and share your experience!