Carbon: The backup solution for non-rooted Droids

Posted on Friday, February 15th 2013 at 5:49 p.m.

So it’s almost time to replace my HTC Thunderbolt.  We’ve had some good times and it just got Ice Cream Sandwich pushed to it, but the update has made it slower than I would like.  Luckily I will be getting an upgrade soon and can tolerate the less than ideal speed for now.  Supposedly a way to speed up the phone is to do a factory reset but then I would lose all the game data that I have saved so far (I’m looking at you Game Dev Story).  Also, all my saved game data will go bye bye when I get a new phone anyway.  So I did what anyone would do in my situation.  I went to Google and tried to find a backup solution for a non-rooted phone.  Enter: Carbon - App Sync and Backup

So while I was scouring Google trying to find a solution, everything I found was for rooted phones and to be honest, I never had a reason to root my phone.  It seemed to work fine even with the bloatware and I never had the ambition to “void my warranty” (not really but I would have to undo everything if it broke) just to remove some software that I don’t really need.  There had to be a way to get all my app data backed up without rooting my phone… there had to be.

That was when I found Carbon, which is developed by Koushik “Koush” Dutta (of ClockworkMod fame and more).  Carbon requires Ice Cream Sandwich as your Droid OS or higher (4.0+) and it can be used with rooted phones and non-rooted phones.  For non-rooted phones, my situation, you just need to install a desktop application that will allow you to perform the backups.  Once you have the software (and phone drivers if you run Windows) you can then backup your app data to your phone’s SD card through an extremely user-friendly UI.

The free version allows you to download to an SD card or to your PC as well through a PC download option.  If you pay for the premium version ($5 currently), it removes the ads and also gives you additional backup locations like Google Drive and also allows for scheduling backups.  It also provides Android to Android sync which is good for people with phones and tablets who want their progress to be the same across both.

So I downloaded the app and as a test of the backup and restore (free edition), I did a backup of Duke Nukem 3D in Carbon which took a couple of seconds.  I then went into the App settings and deleted the data for the application, which erased my save in the game.  I then went back into Carbon, choose to restore from USB storage (SD), selected Duke Nukem 3D, and it was restored.  I went into the game and sure enough, my save file was there in its uncorrupted glory.

If you’re looking to factory reset your Android phone or are switching to a new phone the in future, check out Carbon.  The free version is more than enough for most people.

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