“I have an iPhone but my friends don’t. Is there a way to make FaceTime iPhone video calls to non-iPhone devices like Android phones?”
Being able to video chat with my family makes my travel schedule easier on everyone. Apple made video calls easier last summer when they launched FaceTime as an iPhone and Mac feature. Unfortunately FaceTime on my wife’s iPhone won’t work for video calls with my Android phone. So how can you make iPhone video calls to a non iPhone device? Making Android video calls to an iPhone or vice versa is as easy as downloading a free video calling app to the iPhone and Android hardware.
To make iPhone video calls to non iPhone devices you want to download a free app called Tango. Video calls are connected over your standard 3G or 4G data plan, or via WiFi. Initial setup for making video calls to non-iPhone users is incredibly easy. The first time you use Tango, you enter your name, email, and phone number into the app. Tango then instantly scans your entire contact/phone book for other Tango video call enabled phones. You make a video call using contacts from your contact list, which can be filtered to see only those with Tango installed. Tango automatically detects if a contact has the ability to do video calling and shows a video camera icon next to the contact.
As you can see in the screenshot, the video quality adjusts depending on the quality of the connection available, so 4G service or WiFi connections will generally provide a better video experience than 3G. Unlike other types of iPhone-to-iPhone or iPhone-to-Android calling, you aren’t charged against any minutes in your voice plan with Tango, but may incur data charges if you are not using an unlimited data plan or WiFi.
Tango offers two clear advantages over FaceTime. The most obvious advantage is the ability to make a video call to Android and other non-iPhone devices. The second advantage is the previously mentioned ability to make video calls using your cellular data plan, which is something FaceTime doesn’t currently support.
If there’s someone on your contact list you want to video call, you can easily invite them using Tango. The person will get an email they can either accept to download Tango to their own phone, or they can ignore your request. Just like a standard phone call, video calls made with Tango can be muted or placed on speaker phone. You can also turn the camera around, by switching from front-facing camera to rear-facing camera.
Download Tango from the iTunes App Store or send your Android friends to get Tango from the Android Marketplace.