Android Central

Update: Whoops. Koush sends word that Carbon wasn't quite ready to go when we posted and that the folks in the forums spotted it early. It's now "live" live, so make sure you have the most recent version.

After a couple of weeks in beta, Koushik Dutta -- aka Koush -- has released his Carbon backup app on Google Play. The app uses Android's built-in backup feature to sync apps -- and crucially, app data -- to the SD card or cloud storage. If you're rooted, you just need the app itself. If not, there's an accompanying desktop app that can help you sync an unrooted phone.

A word of warning for Motorola users -- the app isn't available for Moto devices due to a bug in these phones which prevents Android's backup features from working correctly. A manual download link is provided on the Play Store listing for those running custom ROMs, or anyone who just wants to try anyway.

Carbon comes in two flavors -- there's a free version, which offers an basic ad-supported service. Then there's an ad-free premium version, which costs $4.99 and adds in more advanced stuff like Android-to-Android sync and cloud storage sync.

Both apps are available for phones running Android 4.0 or above -- hit the Google Play link above to grab the basic version, or head over here for the premium version.

via Android Central forums

There are 31 comments

draken says:

Will this allow me to back up my Angry Birds progress on 4.0.x (ICS) and restore it on 4.1.2 (JB) without having root on the 4.1.2 phone? So far haven't found a way of moving my progress over.

still1 says:

Yes. even if you are not rooted. for cloud backup you need premium.

kronium says:

So besides not needing root, why is this better than Titanium Backup? Titanium can send backups to more cloud services and has way more options.

still1 says:

cross device syncing

kronium says:

? You can do that with titanium.

jay28w says:

yep. With Titanium I sync to dropbox my call logs, txt msgs, swiftkey settings & results file, and a few other sets of data and when I switch phones I suck em back from drobox and restore to my other device. I do this multiple times weekly depending on whether my primary device I am using is my personal or biz phone.

koush says:

You should really try Carbon sync. It's in a different class. You just restore straight from your other device. You don't need to even be near it. It just happens automatically, and live.

Are you saying that when I backup app data for Swiftkey, it doesn't include my settings?

I see that Carbon doesn't include call log & SMS backup (only the developer knows if that is a future update) but I've honestly never cared about backing those up, to be honest. 99% of my texts are just my wife telling me to stop & get something on my way home from work anyway....who needs to keep those?

$4.99 (Carbon Backup Pro) vs. $6.58 (Titanium Backup Pro)

Not needing root is an absolutely HUGE selling point though. Now everyone can backup their apps & data instead of the small minority of Android users who root their devices. Titanium has been top dog for a long while now without any real contenders. I think they price their Pro app too high & it's about time someone comes along & shakes things up.

Competition benefits the consumer.

jay28w says:

My Backup at $4.99, has been avail for non-Rooted for some time. Data and apps, I beleive.

This segment has room for more players, and am cautious to believe it will shake up the big dogs for awhile.

I'll dl and play with both versions of Carbon. I wonder how much different, or value add, the desktop-app is from simply plugging in the usb cable and dragging the backup folder over to the pc?

briankurtz79 says:

I really wish o could do a cloud backup without root and not need a desk top app. My laptop broke but I still need to do my backups

youngjediboy says:

So for those of us who aren't rooted and have never used Titanium, which one should we go with?

Try them all & decide because it really comes down to personal preference.

I am rooted so I may see different features than you would. I've also not tried My Backup in a long time so they may have really changed their UI. This app seems pretty solid & comes from a reliable developer. I don't recall any of the competitors offering PC sync, but like a commentor said above, you can always hook up to a PC thru USB & copy your files that way.

jontalk says:

Since I'm new to this, am curious how installing a backup app affects performance and battery life.. I would think the app is constantly syncing and draining battery, correct? Please advise. Thanks.

Tietherope says:

It will only sync when you manually choose to.

sniffs says:

Anyone having issues using a Mac? Says I run app on Mac, run app on phone and it automagically does the rest, yet on my Mac, says it was enabled, but on my phone, still shows 'Waiting for the Carbon Desktop application to enable application on your android..."


seabadger says:

a new version ( has fixed this. Its in the store already (though my phone didn't see it yet, so I uninstalled from the phone and installed from the web page :)

kronium says:

Really needs a select all option.

Pull up the bottom menu & hit the "select all" button.

superm1 says:

It has one, but it's totally unintuitive. Pull up the blue bar at the bottom and there it is.

tillerrw says:

Just after posting my 5 star rating I decided I should actually try to restore from the backup I created. I tested it with Temple Run which I had backed up previously with SaveSync. I tried both the app data only and the app and data back up on Carbon and neither time did the restore function restore my app data. I won't give up on Carbon just yet but won't be rating it higher than 1 star or paying for the premium version until this issue is resolved.

tillerrw says:

Koush replied to my email and apparently Temple Run is one of the few apps that doesn't store data properly so it doesn't work with Carbon. I tried Doodle Jumper and the process worked flawlessly.

valapsp says:

Can anyone confirm if it's able to backup need for speed most wanted's data?

jtschanz says:

Looks good! Not rooted (yet) and would like to back up my settings for SweetHome (my favorite photo downloader app)

joediver says:

Love how fast and easy it is. Simpler than Titanium. 5 stars!

davinci27 says:

I need to back up a ton of stuff. games mostly. I play alot of games.

wyrmbyte says:

Can I back up more than one phone?

BCwrangler says:

The App or the software isn't getting along with my Mac

stub2 says:

Can I back up photos from the gallery?

spleenfreak says:

I installed it and have tried two restore The Tribez and Rock the Vegas and both will not restore. I was very excited that this might work but now I am just bummed out......

Renita Ghosh says:

I just installed and did a test of trubackup, which I stumbled upon. For me, its just way more easy to use, the interface is clean and simple to navigate. It lets me choose what data to backup because lets be honest, I keep a lot of trash on my phone and best of all, it has free cloud protection!