Last summer, Apple paved the way for face-to-face calling and conferencing on mobile phones with FaceTime, available over WiFi connections between users of the iPhone 4. The iPhone 4 features a front-facing camera, so users can easily see and talk to each other. However, with Android phones introducing front-facing cameras, there are now apps available to make an iPhone video call to a non-iPhone mobile phone possible.
Tango is a free app available for both iPhone and Android users that offers free mobile video calls over 3G, 4G, or Wi-Fi between anyone using the Tango app. Each user downloads the app and enters their phone information. Tango then instantly connects to your entire contact/phone book. The entire setup for Tango, once downloaded, takes less then a minute.
Tango will automatically recognize which friends have already installed Tango. When you’re ready to call your friends using Tango, visit the “Contacts” list from the Tango app. You can invite friends to use Tango with you from the “All” list, or call friends already using Tango from the “Tango” list. The face-to-face video calls made via Tango are easy to initiate with one click on your friends’ names from the contact lists, and the calls are exceptionally clear. You can even mute video calls made from Tango or choose to place them on speaker.
The great part about using Tango to make an iPhone video call to a non-iPhone is that these face-to-face video calls can be made over 3G or 4G – not just WifFi, which is required for FaceTime on iPhone 4 FaceTime. This means video conferencing can happen anywhere, and can be taken anywhere; for example, I can start a call in the office, take it to the train, and end at home thanks to carrying the call on 3G instead of relying on WiFi. Additionally, the quality of calls made using Tango are very comparable to calls using Apple’s FaceTme.