The last year has been crazy busy – Inquisitor got bought by Yahoo! and became the focus of my attention in the following months. It was eventually ported to two new browser platforms (IE and Firefox), and was also re-conceptualized as an iPhone app (all of which I’m proud of). For those months my time was under contract to Inquisitor, with side projects like Ski Lodge, NewsFire 1.6, and Safari140 squeezed into the weekends.
The consequence was that my core projects received less attention than they deserved. The good news is that time pressures have changed. Xtorrent is now my priority and after many months of teardown and reconstruction, the next major release of Xtorrent is imminent.
Let’s dive right in… Xtorrent 2 features a brand new torrent engine named Xcore. This engine has been designed exclusively for Mac OS X and written in 100% Cocoa. The result is a lightweight, powerful, and very stable download engine that supports torrent extensions such as encrypted message streams. I made the choice to use the very latest in Cocoa technologies, hence Mac OS X Leopard is now a requirement.
Xtorrent 2 opens up the search feature. In Xtorrent 1.x, search was a closed box over which the user had no control. Xtorrent 2 changes this by letting the user opt in or out of specific search providers, and even extend it by adding their own.
In the user experience department, Xtorrent 2 is more refined than its predecessors. One improvement is a super simple downloads queue along with inline controls that make it easier to pause and resume downloads. Other changes include better search suggestions, refined graphics, Twitter support for sharing torrents, and significantly improved performance in key areas.
Xtorrent 2 will be released initially as a private preview in the coming days. As soon as any rough edges are smoothed out it’ll be released more widely.