Never thought I’d see the day, but here I am reviewing Android software.
Carbon App Sync and Backup by ClockworkMod just recently came out of beta, and is now in the Google Play Store as a free application.
Although hidden in it is the paid “Premium” option, which is what you need if you want to backup to online cloud services. Otherwise it just lets you backup to an SD card or to your Mac or PC, and to add to the inconveniences, it has ads and most of its features are disabled. Upgrade to the Carbon Premium version for US$4.99 though, and you get everything from soup to nuts.
(Don’t confuse the app with Carbon for Twitter by dots & lines, a popular Twitter client; although they have the same name in your Apps menu, they’re loads different.)
The app is great because it doesn’t require you to root your device, and works just fine without it. A word of caution though: it doesn’t work on Motorola phones—mainly because Motorola phones have a bug that breaks the app’s backup mechanism. So until Motorola fixes it, ClockworkMod refuses to make Carbon available for Motorola phones, which I guess is reasonable. But it works with every other Android cellphone or tablet out there now.
You need to download the desktop component of Carbon for the Mac or the PC before you can use it, but once you install it, it’s clear sailing from there. For the first time you use it, you’ll need to connect your device to the desktop computer to enable Carbon, but after that, you won’t need to anymore unless you turn the device off. Then you’ll need to connect it again.
You have the option to enable backups for each of your apps, or you can also enable all of them at once. But to save on space, you can just enable the app data to be backed up; that makes the backup process a bit faster and easier, although you’ll have to get the app from the Store when restoring. If you have big storage on your SD card or Cloud apps, go whole hog and backup everything; it’s the only way to go, baby.
You can set up the device to backup to the computer or an SD card, but that gets old really fast. For a more flexible, wireless setup, you’ll need to upgrade to the Premium version, which’ll let you backup to, and restore from, the popular cloud services. It also allows you to setup backup schedules, and lets you backup from various Android devices even if they’re not on the same network.
Here’s a rundown of the features of the free and premium services:
A. Carbon (Free) features:
Backup and restore to SD card
Backup and restore from PC
B. Carbon (Premium) features:
Automatic Backup schedules
Android to Android sync
Cloud backup and restore from:
* Google Drive
For an app backup software, Carbon does the job, and without rooting yet, which makes a winner in my book. Since it appeared in the Google Play Store last week, it has generated about over a hundred thousand app downloads, and it looks like it’s just getting started.
You can get the free version of Carbon App Sync and Backup from here.
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