Lenovo REACHit Manages Files Across Cloud Accounts
Lenovo's new REACHit service and mobile apps let you access, share and manage files stored in Box, Dropbox, Google Drive and OneDrive. It's not perfect, though, and CIO.com apps reviewer James A. Martin found a notable flaw.
(UPDATE: Lenovo reached and provided clarification on the lack of drag-and-drop functionality that we pointed out in this post. The company’s comment is in bold below.)
While doing research for a recent CIO.com article I wrote on cloud storage services, I confirmed something I’d long suspected. Lots of people use, say, Dropbox as their main cloud file depository; Google Drive for collaboration documents; OneDrive because of its integration with Microsoft Office; and so on.
So searching for, accessing and transferring files between multiple cloud services is a real-world problem. Lenovo just released a (mostly) solid solution: REACHit, a browser-based service, along with apps for Android, Windows, Windows Phone and, coming soon, iOS.
REACHit is free to use, and it is designed to make it easier to transfer and manage files between Box, Dropbox, Google Drive and OneDrive. Setup is simple. I created a Lenovo account in minutes and successfully connected my Dropbox, Google Drive and OneDrive accounts using the Android app on a Nexus 7 tablet.
In most cases, searching for files across all cloud accounts worked as expected. I was also able to open files, make edits and store the files locally on my Android tablet. Sharing files via email, downloadable links and other means also worked as advertised.
On Android, however, I wasn’t able to transfer files between cloud accounts. Lenovo’s press release says “REACHit allows users to move files from a phone to PC or between storage locations by dragging and dropping the files within the app’s interface.” But how? Dragging and dropping didn’t work for me, nor did I find any instructions for transferring files between accounts in the Android app’s help section or in Lenovo’s REACHit online FAQs. (After this post was published, Lenovo reached out with the following statement regarding the drag-and-drop feature: “REACHit only provides support for dragging and dropping files through the PC interface. The next release of REACHit will allow users to grad and drop files from a phone to PC and will be available in January 2015.”)
Something else worth mentioning: REACHit is sluggish on my Nexus 7. Maybe users with newer tablets or smartphones will have a better experience, but I was frequently annoyed by the lag time.
REACHit is new, and new apps and services often have bugs or half baked features. The ability to transfer files between cloud services is important, however, and I was disappointed I couldn’t get it to work in the Android app. It did work on the REACHit website.
Fortunately, there are other fish in the cloud-storage-management sea, namely Otixo. This freemium service is a terrific option for managing and transferring files between multiple cloud accounts, including the usual suspects (Dropbox et al) plus some you wouldn’t expect, such as Facebook (for photos), SugarSync, Picasa, FilesAnywhere and Amazon S3.
Otixo offers free mobile apps for Google Play, iOS, Windows Phone and Windows. Though it works best on the Otixo website, I find it useful on Android and iOS, too, because it lets me move files with ease. Though Otixo offers a basic free service, you’re limited to transferring one file at a time. Premium accounts ($48 a year or $5 per month) support WebDav, unlimited file transfers and other features.
I’m inclined to step back from REACHit for a while, until its iOS app is available and the service has a little time on the ground. In the meantime, the Otixo free plan works well for me.
James A. Martin is a seasoned tech journalist and blogger based in San Francisco and winner of the 2014 ASBPE National Gold award for his CIO.com blog. He writes CIO.com's Living the Tech Life blog and is also a content marketing consultant.