My kids crossed over to the other side! Android, that is! They have left the Palm Pres behind and they have picked up the new Motorola Atrix phone and today they wanted to try using the video chat feature and let me visit with my cutie pie granddaughter!
I have had my Archos tablet for about four months, but today is the first time I tried using the video chat feature. Well, I’m always up to seeing that little doll, so I was all excited about the idea. Of course, trying to find a time that worked with all of our schedules was another story! But today was the day! They had already tried Fring and Qik between the two of them, and I offered up that my tablet came with Fring, but that I hadn’t used it. They said they didn’t like it that well, but they were game to try.
I was shocked when I went to fire Fring up and it wasn’t showing up in my applications! Now I won’t swear I didn’t uninstall it, but I don’t think so! I suspect I lost it when I “rooted” my OS to install the Android Market (look under Archos 101 catagory for rooting instructions). But, no fear, it was easy enough to download and install it again. Hmmm… well not so easy when it gave me a warning that the video had been disabled on this device. I went into the settings and enabled it and ran the Fring test. It started a little backward count-down then suddenly my whole screen froze! Not good! I ended up killing it and trying again. I tried powering down my device and tried again. Then I decided to Google!
I was disappointed to see many of the Archos 101 forums discussing similar problems. Either Fring didn’t work, or the call quality was poor. They suggested other apps, and the one they favored seemed to be Yahoo Messenger. I looked around a bit more then decided to try QIK. The kids said they liked it better, anyway.
Hmmm….. Yikes! What is the deal today??!?!? I couldn’t find QIK in my Market. Doing a search kept pulling up Ustream (which looks very cool, but not what I was needing). What the Hey?? So I decided to look on the new Amazon Android App Market. I had looked at it on my phone, but hadn’t used it yet (I seem to do that a lot). Hmmmm… How do I get it on my tablet? Sheesh! I had already lost my “window” of opportunity to see my grandbaby this morning and I had a pile of work waiting on me! Isn’t that how it always seems to go?
Anyway, I ended up downloading the Amazon.com app and then I was able to download the Amazon Appstore. Craziness! Now, back to the video chat. Hmmm… can’t download QIK!!!?!! You have really got to be kidding me. I went to my phone, a Motorola Droid, and downloaded QIK, just like that! What is the deal???! Why can’t I download it to my Archos?? The phone doesn’t really do me any good, because it doesn’t have a front facing camera. Dang! This is starting to not be so fun!
At this point I was frustrated. I had things I had to get done, so I didn’t come back to this until late afternoon. I uninstalled Fring, reinstalled, enabled the video, powered down, back up and did the Fring test. The video quality sucked, but it appeared to be working. Ok, now we are cooking with oil! I called my daughter to see if she had time to give it a test run. Sure, she said.
Hmmm…. ok, <insert bad language here> this is insane. As soon as she calls me and I accept, it pops up grainy video, then dies. Ok, Fring has to go! Then we tried QIK on my phone to her phone. Of course, they couldn’t see me, but I could see my granddaughter. Cool, but not what we had hoped for. I suggested the Yahoo Messenger option I had seen on the forums and we talked about trying Skype. Then her husband mentioned trying Tango. I had read a little about it when I was researching the problem. Sure, why not.
VIOLA!! Magic! Tango did the trick. Easy to download and install. I used my mobile number for the setup, even though I was installing on my tablet. Not a problem! Good quality video and sound. The only problem I noticed is that my capacitive screen didn’t seem to want to change position, so I had to watch the video in portrait mode. We had a few glitches with the sound, but I suspect I did that when I was fooling around with the screen position. I notice Tango has a nice help and tips screen, which is always a plus! So, hopefully, I can let other Archos users know that Tango is the way to go for video chat! Now see, that wasn’t so bad!
Have a great night!