Use Tango for FaceTime Calls Over 3G Networks

Tango enhances the video and audio communication experience, offering capabilities that FaceTime lacks, functioning seamlessly over 3G and 4G networks. Launched just last week, I spent the weekend exploring its features.

My experience with Tango on my iPhone 4 was quite satisfactory. The app allows users to initiate and receive calls via WiFi or cellular networks. It’s also compatible with various Android devices such as the Droid, HTC Hero, Evo, and Nexus One, broadening the scope of connectivity beyond just iPhone users.

Upon downloading Tango, you simply register with your name and email, and it automatically populates your Tango contact list with friends who are also users.

Making a call is as straightforward as selecting a contact’s name, with options for either video or audio-only calls. The app supports both cameras on the iPhone 4, allowing users to switch between them during a call, similar to FaceTime.

The app’s performance was tested through calls to an Android device and a particularly challenging call to a friend visiting the Great Wall of China. Despite fluctuating between 3G and Edge networks, the call was surprisingly stable; video quality was adequate and audio was clear. Tango intelligently notifies users of any network instability, and although the video eventually froze and the call dropped, the overall performance was impressive under the circumstances.

It’s important to note that incoming calls require the user to select between video chat and audio-only options; neglecting to make a selection will result in a blank screen.

Simply tapping the Tango icon activates the call.

Downloading Tango is highly recommended for those needing reliable video chat functionality without WiFi. While it is not compatible with the iPod touch, it does work on the iPhone 3GS (note: no front-facing camera). Tango is particularly useful for showing others your surroundings, even if face-to-face conversation isn’t feasible.

Tango effectively fills a gap that FaceTime has left open. Although it’s possible that FaceTime may incorporate similar features in the future, Tango currently provides a robust solution for those with adequate connectivity.

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Ronald is a dedicated writer for TUAW, bringing a wealth of knowledge and enthusiasm for all things Apple. With a keen eye for detail, Ronald covers the latest news and updates on products like the iPhone, iPad, MacBook, and Apple Watch. His insightful articles help readers stay informed about the ever-evolving world of Apple technology. When he’s not writing, Ronald enjoys exploring new apps and discovering innovative ways to use his Apple devices.