tango

Tango messenger app: Why you shouldn't use it

The Tango messenger app is probably the worst app for privacy I have ever come across. If you have any concern for your privacy at all, you should not use it. Below I will list just a few of the things that concern me as far as privacy and the Tango app.

  • Tango saves all your contacts to their server

    When you install the app on your phone, it seems to try to sync with all the contacts in your phone. Although there is a setting to stop this called "Save Address Book to Tango" under "App Settings", this setting is on by default and by the time you have installed the app and want to turn this off, it is too late and your contacts have already been saved to their servers.

  • It sometimes allows people to see your phone number

    This one really surprised me and it has happened about 3 times to me. I have opened the app and instead of a contacts name being displayed, tango displayed their phone number. These contacts were only tango contacts who I had never met and who had never given me their phone number. I even checked that is was actually the person's phone number by sending them a regular text and surprisingly, it was their actual phone number. This problem seems to me like it has something to do with the person changing their name in the apps character encoding

  • You can't remove contacts

    For some reason, in the Tango app, contacts are added just by chatting to someone, for most people this probably isn't the behaviour that is expected so if you install the app and go about chatting to many people, your contacts

  • ...

No storage space on your phone? Are you using Tango?

Today while I was trying to move some music on to my phone I noticed there was not much free space left (8 Gig Nexus 4). I initially thought that it must be because I had too many photos or videos on the phone, so I went into the 'settings->storage' section of the phone to check things out.

I was surprised to see that I had over 450MB of pictures and video and thought I should probably cull a few, but I was even more surprised to see that apps were taking up nearly 2.5GB. WTF, I haven't got that many apps installed, how can this be.

Clicking on 'Apps (app data & media content)' took me to a list of all my installed apps ordered by the amount of storage space they were using. WTF, Tango is taking up 1.05GB, how can this be. Clicking on tango in the list takes me to an App info page where it reports that the app itself is using 62.46MB and 0.99GB of data.

I think that Tango must be caching everything it can and never actually clearing the cache. As I have a Nexus 4 with only 8 GB of space, this is a real concern.

Along with the fact that you can see friends of friends on Tango , I am considering removing Tango from my phone altogether.

Seeing friends of friends on Tango

Not long ago I installed the Tango app on my Nexus 4. I mainly did this as friends were using the app and told me I could use it for video chatting, and it seems to work reasonably well for this.

But then I found something that concerned me a little, it seems you can see your friends friends and there is no way to disable this.

To see a particular friends friends, all you have to do it block all the other friends (which may be difficult as Tango lists all contacts, not just Tango friends) then go to "friends" -> "People you may know" and you will see a list of that friends friends.

While I have nothing to hide and don't really care if other people see who I am friends with, the fact that this can not be turned off seems like something that would concern some people.

EDIT - 12 Nov 2014
It seems Tango has been updated and this no longer applies or you can now disable it.