The Pirate Bay makes searching for torrents easier on mobile devices

The Pirate Bay's mobile site is designed to render better on small screens

The Mobile Bay rendered on an iPad

The Mobile Bay rendered on an iPad

The Pirate Bay launched a mobile site on Thursday to make it easier to navigate the search engine for torrent files on mobile devices.

Called The Mobile Bay, the mobile version of the site features bigger buttons and renders better on mobile devices than the desktop version of the site did before.

The mobile version though offers fewer options than the regular version, apparently to save some space. The links to TV shows and Music that are shown prominently on the site's regular home page are removed in the mobile version, while some other links are also cut from the already rather minimalist home page.

The mobile version also omits a large ad that is often present on the regular home page. On the rest of the site ads are still present though they seem to be somewhat less abundant than on the desktop version.

The site's operators built the mobile version because the main site renders poorly on mobile devices, The Pirate Bay team told Torrent Freak. Before, mobile users were shown a tiny version of the normal home page.

Where other sites are opting for "responsive" technologies that adapt web page layouts to the size and capabilities of the target device, The Pirate Bay is letting -- or forcing -- users to choose which version they want. Visits to thepiratebay.se are not automatically redirected to the mobile site on iOS and Android devices.

In the future, The Pirate Bay also plans to release a series of niche sites that will give the TV, music and movies section their own dedicated sites, Torrent Freak reported. The site is also working on a project called RSSbay, which can be used to generate personalized torrent RSS feeds that can be used to launch torrent downloads remotely, the report said.

There are other advantages to maintaining different domains for these services: The Pirate Bay also aims to make itself more resilient to possible legal action blocking access to a domain. If one gets taken down, there will be others left, The Pirate Bay told Torrent Freak.

Loek is Amsterdam Correspondent and covers online privacy, intellectual property, open-source and online payment issues for the IDG News Service. Follow him on Twitter at @loekessers or email tips and comments to loek_essers@idg.com

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