I'm sure at this point most Android users are familiar with Koushik "Koush" Dutta's work. There's Rom Manager, DeskSMS, TabletSMS, Clockwork Tether, and a variety of Recovery Bootstraps. Now his latest app, Carbon – App Sync and Backup has made it out of beta testing.
Appearing in the Google Play Store yesterday Carbon gives Android users a viable alternative to the very popular Titanium Backup. Obviously the majority of the people using either of these applications are those who flash ROMs and have their device rooted, but Carbon has an added twist. No root access is required to use this app.
There are two different versions of Carbon, a free version that is somewhat limited, as well as a paid one with more bells and whistles that will run you $4.99. The free version of Carbon offers full backup and restore to both your PC and SD card however since it's free you will be subjected to ads. For most people this is enough and offers roughly the same experience as the free version of Titanium Backup. If you are more of a power user then spending the $4.99 shouldn't be a problem. For your money you will get you options including cloud backups to the big three (Box, Drop Box, and Google Drive), scheduled automatic backups, and of course no ads.
One of the big selling points of Carbon is that no root is required. This is something we haven't seen from other backup utilities and it's a welcomed option for people who just aren't comfortable messing around with their device too much. Non rooted users will have a little more work ahead of them than their rooted friends however. In order to get everything up and running the Carbon program must first be installed on their PC and then adb drivers must also be installed. After that it's just a matter of connecting your device and computer. For rooted devices the app "just works", something anyone who knows Koush's work shouldn't be surprised by.
There is just one problem with Carbon as it stands right now. It doesn't work well with Motorola devices. Apparently "Motorola phones have a bug that break Android's backup mechanism." Why are we not surprised?