My review of the Tango video app for smart phones

I’ve been really enjoying an app called Tango lately. I wanted to share it here because I think it might be a good resource for personal and business use. Basically, Tango enables you to make free video calls with your smart phone to anyone in the world (iPhone, Android, iPod Touch). It does not use minutes on your phone, but rather data, so as long as your data plan is ample or unlimited, this is a great app.

I’ve had conversations with my twin brother every day this week using Tango, and it’s been fun to connect for a few minutes and “see” him. It’s actually so much more personal to talk with someone on the phone like this. Previously my brother and I tried to use our phone’s built-in video chat, but his iPhone4 and my myTouch4G weren’t compatible with each other, so Tango has filled the void thus far.   

Overall the app is easy to set up and simple to use. It’s free to download in the app market, so that’s always a plus. The biggest downfall is that the quality feels like a mediocre webcam experience much of the time. When the connection is solid, I love the app, but when the connection is not great, the app feels clunky because words get lost. The phone connection from my office (as shown above – green screen in background) and my brother’s office is actually really good, so I’m not too sure why the video connection would not be equally as good. Hopefully over time the app will get better and better in this regard.

I can see Tango having a use for business too because I can talk with clients directly and show them firsthand what I am seeing while inspecting properties. I actually just sent an email to a local broker to see if he’ll install it so we can talk shop when need be while I’m out in the field. Additionally, an app like this might give a personal touch for business. It’s so important to get “Facetime” with clients, so it’s always a bonus to find ways to have more personable interaction.

If you install Tango, let me know what you think. Or if you use a similar app on your smart phone to make video calls, I’d like to hear about it. Or if you would like to do business together, and meet on the phone first, let’s have a video conversation. My number is listed below.

UPDATE in July 2011: I get quite a few hits on this post, so I wanted to give a little update. I don’t use Tango much because of the mediocre quality. It’s a great idea, but it just seems to need some fine-tuning in the quality department. Facetime is far superior, but I do not have an iPhone. I’m looking forward to exploring video useage a bit more with Google+, Facebook and Skype on mobile.  

If you have any real estate appraisal, valuation consulting, or property tax appeal needs, contact me at 916.595.3735, or via Facebook.


  1. says

    Very cool Ryan. I have not tried Tango but use Skype all of the time. I have actually had a Skype video call while out shopping, yes, I am that guy now. And you thought people just talking on their cell phones were annoying! The Skype video is not quite as good as the iPhone’s Facetime but I can use Skype over 3G and Wi-Fi where Facetime is limited to just Wi-Fi. I will have to give Tango a try and see how it compares.

    • says

      Uh oh, you’re “that guy”. 🙂 Video chat is actually very fun. I can picture using it out in public to in various places too. Keep me posted which app is superior, especially between Skype and Tango. Thanks, Bryan.

  2. says

    Hey Ryan,
    Man, thank you so much for the tip on this. I just downloaded the app for iPhone and am looking forward to using it. I actually had it search my contacts and there a number of Tango app users in my contacts to connect with. I’m really glad for this tip because my daughter, Anna, has been trying to Facetime me and sometimes she’s in a wifi zone and sometimes not. Tango will help solve some of this. Lisa will really like it, iphone to iphone. Appreciate You! Bill

  3. says

    Wen ur not on the app can u still receive calls or do u have to be in the app on the contacts screen to receive them?

    • says

      Once you install the Tango app, you can recieve a Tango call when someone else dials you using their Tango app. You don’t have to have your Tango app open for it to work. Let me know if that answers your question.

    • says

      Hi Rachel. It’s been a while since I’ve used Tango, but from what I remember you can only receive calls from people you are connected with on Tango. That’s how it was for me anyway.

  4. patrick says

    Question, does your phone number show up on the person you are calling’s phone when using tango? I might want to video chat with a few people without giving them my phone number. Thanks.

  5. says

    The only people I can call are others listed in my address book that also have the Tango app. Out of 1000 people in my phone, for example, I think I have 13 Tango friends. There is an option to invite others to join Tango to be able to have conversation. I cannot call friends using Tango unless they have the app also. Ultimately, it seems like the app is closed to only communicate with those in your address book with Tango – meaning you do not dial someone’s phone number (but they already have your phone number probably since they’re in your contacts already). Is there a way around this? I”m not sure. It sounds like someone in your situation might want to sign up with Tango using a Google Voice number so that you can show that number but hide your real number. I don’t know if that’ll work, but it may be worth a shot.


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