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Almost immediately after Pushbullet unveiled its Portal app today for easy file transfers between desktops and smartphones, BitTorrent is out with its own similar app, called Shoot.

Shoot, quite simply, allows people to quickly and easily share batches of photos and videos with friends – but it’s also said to be very powerful and very privacy-conscious.

Since Shoot is made by BitTorrent, the company which has built its business on top of peer-to-peer technology, you never have to create a relationship (aka an account) with the company and unlike with services like Gmail you aren’t restricted to sending small files under an arbitrary size of the company’s choosing – BitTorrent says the app can “move GBs of files easily.”

What’s special about Shoot is that it uses BitTorrent’s proprietary Sync P2P technology, so files aren’t sent to a server somewhere where they can be accessed by hackers; P2P is a decentralizing technology that essentially uses the users’ computers as the storage servers for files. Functionality wise is where it starts to look like Pushbullet Portal – a unique QR code is generated each time a user selects the files they want to send, and all the receiver has to do to download them is press the “Receive” button in the app and scan the QR code from the senders’ phone. Voila, the file transfer begins! I will say, however, that most software is poorly designed and if a particular design works well, it may be worth copying for the benefit of users’ sanity. And QR codes in particular have been making something of a comeback, with Snapchat most notably now using them as a way to quickly share and add new friends.

There are some downsides to Shoot: it only works between mobile devices (Android, iOS, and Windows are supported), only photos and video can be transferred, and the app costs $1.99 after the first three file transfers. Fortunately it’s always free for the receiver, so if you want to get some files to somebody and they don’t have the app, they won’t have to pay anything to receive your files.

The company has a neat promo video up showing how it works in action:


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