AT&T has launched a new Locker app for iOS that provides free online storage for photos, videos, and documents, but its concept is hobbled by restrictions and is best avoided.
AT&T Locker, which also launched on Android earlier this year, provides 5GB of online storage, the same amount offered by Google Drive, Dropbox, SugarSync, and Box. Through the new iPhone app, users can upload existing photos or choose to automatically upload new photos every time they open the app.
Using the app is simple enough. There’s a big “upload” button for selecting files, along with a “share” button for sending files to Facebook, Twitter, or MySpace. (Yes, MySpace.)
Users can then view a list of files they’ve stored online, along with any they’ve shared on social media.
But beyond the simplicity of the app itself, AT&T Locker has little to offer. It may even be detrimental to use, because the app isn’t available for non-AT&T phones and tablets.
To be sure of this, I looked for the app on my third-generation iPad with Wi-Fi. A search in the App Store returned no results.
I also checked device compatibility through Google Play, and found that the app would only install to AT&T hardware. AT&T Locker has a website, so you can get to your files from any desktop computer, but that’s it.
The service has other restrictions as well. The only way to create shareable links to files is by sending them in an e-mail, and there isn’t a way to send documents directly into other apps, like Pages. The website is based on Adobe Flash, and lacks the helpful context menus you find in the web versions of Dropbox and SkyDrive. AT&T doesn’t offer a desktop app, so you can’t drag and drop files into or out of the locker.
In the end, AT&T just doesn’t offer anything that other services don’t. It has the same amount of storage and fewer features and, worst of all, it’s exclusive to AT&T’s mobile devices. Maybe that seems like good business sense to AT&T, but for users, this locker offers no benefit to being locked down.
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Jared Newman covers personal technology from his remote Cincinnati outpost. He also publishes two newsletters, Advisorator for tech advice and Cord Cutter Weekly for help with ditching cable or satellite TV.