Carbonite app enables remote activation of Android cell phone cameras

Three new Carbonite features offer tracking, backup and access

Cloud storage provider Carbonite today released a new feature as part of its free Carbonite Mobile app for Android phones that allows users to remotely activate their smartphone cameras, taking photos of who may be using the lost or stolen phone or its location.

With the new "Capture" feature, "you may capture your thief red-handed, or use the picture to help find of your lost device," a Carbonite spokeswoman said. "Recognize the underside of your car's driver seat?"

Additionally, upgrades to the app include a Protect feature, which lets users identify the location of their mobile device, much in the same way "Find My iPhone" locates an iOS device using GPS tracking.

Like the iPhone app, Carbonite's Protect app also lets users sound the ringer -- even if the phone is muted or set to vibrate. Additionally, it can lock the screen on the device using a personalized PIN, and if it's stolen the owner can remotely destroy all personal data and reset the device to factory conditions.

Carbonite's new Backup feature lets users back up full-resolution photos and videos securely to the cloud and archives any photos and videos accidentally deleted from the device.

Finally, a new Access tool lets users see all of their backed-up files from any device with the app or through Carbonite's web portal. For current Carbonite online backup customers, the app will also give users access to the files in a PC or Mac backup.

Lucas Mearian covers storage, disaster recovery and business continuity, financial services infrastructure and health care IT for Computerworld. Follow Lucas on Twitter at @lucasmearian or subscribe to Lucas's RSS feed. His e-mail address is

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