If you have not heard of AT&T’s Address Book functionality, then you have arrived at the main reason why the carrier announced it will pull the plug on the service.
Similar to Apple’s and Google’s backup services, Address Book served as a cloud-based means to automatically save your contacts, regardless of whether you upgrade your phone or lose it. However, with other cloud-based backup services becoming more popular in recent years, they have eliminated the need for something like Address Book.
As a result, AT&T announced it will retire the service in phases starting January 2017. Customers will receive text messages that notify them of the termination. Do not be surprised if you get that message, even though you do not use the service — an Address Book account was created when you first set up your phone.
According to AT&T, any contacts on your phone will remain there, though contacts saved on your Address Book account will be deleted. Furthermore, you can export contacts saved on your account to your computer by going to your Address Book account online, go to Settings, and click on Export. Finally, you will not be able to restore contacts to your phone through Address Book if you upgrade or lose your phone.
As previously alluded to, Address Book is a relatively archaic way of saving your backups to the cloud, with similar services becoming more abundant. The option of saving your contacts to your SIM card remains, however, just in case you are someone who does not want to rely on cloud backups to get your contacts back.
AT&T made relatively larger waves in recent days, with the carrier announcing Stream Saver. The service lets subscribers cut back on data use by lowering a video’s resolution, though watching the video still counts against your data cap. AT&T plans to launch Stream Saver sometime in early 2017.