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Does Google Duo make sense if you use an iPhone?

Posted by Nick Tylwalk on August 16th, 2016
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

It might be true that if you're a big enough company, it's never too late to get into any particular market. So if, say, Google wants to do a standalone video calling app, no one can really say it's a bad idea.

That's relevant because it just happened. Released just this week, Google Duo is the self-professed "video calling app for everyone." It backs up that claim by its true cross-platform status, meaning it launched on iOS as well as Android.

By now, you're probably thinking to yourself, "Wait a minute ... Don't iPhones and iPads have a perfectly fine video calling app baked right in?" Right you are, and with FaceTime, there very well might not be any reason for you to consider downloading Google Duo to even give it a shot.

And yet this would be a pretty short article if we weren't about to make the argument for you to do exactly that. Here's why Google Duo might be worth a look even if you are iPhone until you die.

Couple Review

iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
By Angela LaFollette on April 28th, 2013
Our rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: APP FOR TWO
Couple makes it possible for two people to stay connected on a more personal level thanks to many of its integrated features.
Read The Full Review »

How To: Create Speed Dial Shortcuts in Favorites and on the Home Screen

Posted by Carter Dotson on April 22nd, 2013

Why should we ever have to look up the number for our favorite contacts ever again? We shouldn't ever have to, and thanks to the Favorites list and to some clever trickery with home screen shortcuts, it's possible to never have to memorize a phone number ever again!

The way to access Favorites is through the Phone app on iPhone, or FaceTime app on iPad or iPod touch.even if trying to FaceTime them. So open up the Phone app or FaceTime app and go to the Favorites tab.

Tap the + icon in the upper right corner. Your contact list should now be displayed. Tap on a contact to access their page. Now tap on the phone number or email address you want to add to Favorites.

Phone numbers will add a shortcut to call the person; email addresses will go to FaceTime. Note that each phone number and email address will appear separately in the list, along with the description for the phone or email address, so you can easily call the different numbers for a person. You can rearrange and delete by tapping Edit in the upper-left corner.

Note that this brings easy access to people for phone calls and FaceTime, it may make access too easy! Tapping on the person's name will start a phone or FaceTime phone call, so if you tap the button accidentally, be prepared to hit the "End Call" button immediately! It isn't possible to add a person to the list as an SMS/iMessage contact, but tapping the blue arrow to the right of their name (carefully, lest it start a call!) will call up their full contact card, where you can send them a message or email from that page.

Now, an even quicker way to call people or to send them a message is through home screen shortcuts. See, it's possible through URL shortcuts to call up different built-in apps: tel://1-800-692-7753 when pasted in to Safari would call up Apple's support hotline, and there's shortcuts for sms:// and facetime:// as well.

The easy way to set up a home screen shortcut for yourself is to do it through an App Store app - there are several, but OneTap does the job, with the ability to create shortcuts for calls, messages, FaceTime, and even Twitter. It can even set up custom user icons.

The shortcut, once on your home screen, briefly opens up Safari before completing the action you want.

Now, there are ways to do this yourself, but they're more complicated and they require the iPhone Configuration Utility, or other methods with HTML pages and URL redirection that just aren't worth your time.

Hopefully this guide helps you on your way to getting to contact the people you want to contact faster!

Tango Offers A Free Alternative To Facetime

Posted by Blake Grundman on April 5th, 2011
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

Living in an Apple centric world, it is hard to imagine that anyone would want to use anything for video chat other than the standard Facetime app.  However, sometimes we forget that there is a large world outside of the cushy comforts that the iOS provides. Our good friends over at Android Rundown can attest to this firsthand.  Now I am not saying that they are any better off than we are in iOS land, but it would stand to reason that from time to time you may actually want to video chat with someone on an device that uses the Android platform.

This is why the creation of the the Tango Video Calls application is so incredible, because not only do you get to chat for free, but you can also exchange pleasantries with your buddies on Android as well!  Due to the constantly evolving ecosystem of the parallel platforms, the software is constantly being upgraded. This most recent release includes the following:

  • We now support multi-tasking. Check your email, browse the web, or send a text message while in a Tango call!

  • Improved look and feel on several Tango call screens and icons

  • Both audio and video is established more reliably when a call starts

  • Your Tango Contacts are sorted based on preferences you set in your device’s address book

It is good to know that not only is this app frequently getting updated for functionality, but there are also new and welcome features being added all the time.  Even better yet is the fact that there is a free alternative available to Facetime.  This is not to say that Apple's software suite isn't stellar as it is, but personally, I am all for having options.

We have heard through the grapevine that Tango only takes thirty seconds to configure and then you are online, free and clear.  So what is your excuse for waiting?


Tango Makes Cross-Platform Video Chat a Reality

Posted by Blake Grundman on October 7th, 2010
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

When Apple announced their FaceTime initiative with the launch of the iPhone 4, it seemed like a foregone conclusion that you would see the tech implemented in ways that Apple didn't originally intend.  Though it was implied that Apple planned on opening up their FaceTime standards to the tech world, I think that it would be safe to assume that they were not about to sanction an in-house developed cross platform communication application.  Fortunately for us, Tango's got our backs with their new Tango Video Calls software.

Integrating a new system that is nearly as simple as FaceTime, this is the first program of its kind, even expanding video chat onto devices like the 3GS, which do not support FaceTime.  Here are some of the features they are promising:

  • Free video calling to your friends and family around the world, wherever you are

  • Call between iPhone and other smartphones on 3G and Wi-Fi

  • Populates Tango Contacts automatically from existing phone contact list

  • Invite friends and others by e-mail or text

  • Switch cameras and swap screens to show what is around you

  • Move between video to audio and back to video

  • Simple and easy to use

  • Create an account in less than five seconds - New profile not required

Interestingly enough, they neglected to note the ability for devices on the proprietary iOS platform to now video conference with those on Android based devices.  Yes, your eyes are not deceiving you, that is CROSS-PLATFORM communication!  Honestly, I am amazed that Apple hasn't put the kibosh on this app for that reason alone, but as of late things seem to be more lax in the App Store review department (not that we are complaining).  Plus, if you are using Tango, that means you no longer have to deal with the pesky Wi-Fi limitations of FaceTime.

Really, when you do everything that Apple's signature app doesn't why wouldn't you be successful.  It certainly won't hurt matters much when you realize that it will cost you nothing to download this little marvel.  So what are you waiting for?  The future of communication is just a download away.


Apple & Google, Enemies or Allies? How FaceTime Plays In

Posted by Tony Kicks on August 31st, 2010

Apple strikes with a roundhouse kick the gut! But wait, Google fights right back with an eye gouge and a slap to the face! Apple is stunned but isn't going to give up that easily. What a fight, what a battle; who is going to win, folks? This is the picture much of the media has painted for us, isn't it? That Google and Apple have locked horns and are doomed to a winless war for all eternity. That's not really the case though. Truth is, the war is fought mainly with the media and loyal fans who follow the gossip like it's a WWE match. Yes, the two companies compete with each other on a couple of levels, but at the same time they work incredibly well and profitably together. Based on some recent news, I believe the two have secretly teamed up again in an effort to bring FaceTime to the mainstream for good.

Ok, here's what we know:

1) Apple is hosting an event on Wednesday and at the very least they're probably going to announce a new iPod touch with a front facing camera.

2) iOS 4.1 beta has been out for several weeks and contains an option to make FaceTime calls via e-mail address.

3) Apple from the start has said it plans to make FaceTime an open industry standard, potentially allowing communication with other devices.

4) Google just announced last week the ability to use their Gchat feature for video chats. Gchat, if you're not familiar with it, runs directly through Gmail and uses other user's Gmail address to authorize chats.

When you combine the first three together along with the timing of Google's announcement, it seems just too convent to be just a coincidence. I certainly could be wrong but to me the picture is pretty clear, Apple and Google are going to walk us right into the future and by this time next year, iPhone users and Andriod users will be FaceTiming each other everywhere. Finally the world will be at peace and harmony.

Chatisfacation - Think Random FaceTime, But Spicy

Posted by Chris Hall on August 4th, 2010
iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad

Some people have the insatiable urge to pick up and video chat with a complete stranger. If you are one of these people, the loss of iChatr in the App Store was certainly a big blow to your ego. Fortunately, Dirty Birds Interactive has created a new app that will put random people on your screen, but this time it may be ok with Apple.

Chatisfication works like a large chat room, pairing you up with different people that have the same "need" for a FaceTime conversation. Unfortunately, due to the artwork for the app, I think the needs will become more and more conspicuous as the app gets popular (if it ever gets popular in the first place, the artwork is particularly bad).

"No matter what you are looking for, Chatisfaction has it. If you are looking for a chat with someone in your local area, someone with similar interests, or just testing out your new video enabled iPhone, Chatisfaction provides the gateway for you."

Now go. Have fun talking to strangers... just don't be too surprised if someone shows you something you don't want to see.

[Source: Recombu]

Fring Now Works Behind The Scenes And In Front of the Camera

Posted by Chris Hall on July 9th, 2010
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

Fring, for those not aware, is a free communications hub on the iPhone. In it, you can make and receive free phone calls, send free IM's, and chat with other social networking groups such as Twitter, AIM, Skype, and Google Talk. Obviously the tech is neat on its own, having everything in one spot, but the "free" part is the kicker.

The latest version of Fring, (couldn't they just make it 4.0?) adds a few essential touches to make it the communications app for iPhone 4. Now, with the addition of the front facing camera, you can video chat with your buddies for free, as long as they use Fring or Skype, and are on WiFi or 3G. Also, with iOS4 and its multitasking capability, you can leave Fring running in the background so people can actually call you for free, even when you're not in the app. Instead of using it as a gimmick app, or even just a cheaper way to make calls, you can now completely do away with your extra ATT minutes and just use Fring. Too bad we can't just drop the call plan altogether...

Last but not least... well maybe it is least... is the new ability to merge all of your social network streams into one. Instead of having to search all over the place, you can check your Twitter, Facebook, call updates, and IM's in the same spot.

Go now, download the update or pick up Fring for free. Your phone bill will thank you.