How to use Skype on Android
Skype has several versions suitable for every environment. It works on computers under Windows, iOS and Linux, it works directly in the browser so that the user won't even need to bother about the OS installed on the machine. And, of course, it will work on a mobile smartphone or tablet, doesn't matter if it is based on Android or iOS, there are separate versions for them both.
As we remember, it was all about free calls initially. Skype made it possible to have voice conversations between its users for free — they needed only the mobile application located on the Android or iOS smartphone and the Internet connection. They could also call using these apps as fully functional telephones. This service is charged highly, but it is still cheaper than the prices stated by cell phone providers, especially for international calls.
The quality of the connection was the sticking point at the beginning. However, modern smartphones and tablets are really powerful. As for the Internet connection, free Wi-Fi coverage is present in many public places. Besides, mobile Internet has become really advanced nowadays.
Both the mobile devices and the Internet channels get better and more available every day. This guarantees high quality of connection and really good sound and video.
Having Skype on a phone or on a tablet, if you prefer bigger devices and screens, is just natural. No wonder that this mobile application is included into the predefined apps set of many Android smartphones.
If you did not have a chance to try Skype on phone so far, but would like to, we'll gladly help. Here is the manual on how to use Skype on Android devices. We'll talk about Android here, as this OS takes the major share of the world smartphone market.
Installing the mobile app for Android and logging into Skype account
If this application is already present on your Android smartphone or a tablet, just tap on it to launch. If not, the mobile app is available at Google Play for free. Download it, install on your mobile device and open. It will ask you to login or create a new account.
In case you already use the application on computer, just enter your login and password into the mobile app. This way you will activate it and get to all your contacts and instant messages history.
For those who never had Skype on a desktop or laptop but used some of Microsoft products (Outlook, Xbox Live, Hotmail or OneDrive etc), the Microsoft account created to register in any of its items will be the Skype login, too. This service also belongs to Microsoft, so you won't need to pass the registration process, unless you want a new account.
There is an instruction on setting up a Skype account from scratch for every device, by the way.
In general, mobile version for Android won't cause any difficulties, its interface and functions are similar to the desktop version (there are slight differences, though).
User guide on work with Skype app on Android phones and tablets
After you login, it will offer you to configure initial settings: choose the color theme and allow to access to your contacts and camera. Accept them if you plan to use this Skype version on your Android phone for video calls and usual calls. Of course, you can deny that; it will ask you again to allow access when you decide to make a call.
Searching for contacts and adding them in mobile Skype on Android
You are in your account where you can work. Start from adding contacts. There are several ways to do this with Skype on Android smartphone or tablet, and we offer a kind of tutorial here.
Go to the Contacts section and check for the data retrieved from the lists already present on the device. If you let the application to synchronize contacts during the initial setting up process, you should see the names already. To check this, tap Contacts at the bottom-right corner, then tap the All button.
If you did not synchronize contacts in the beginning, you can activate this option separately in the menu — tap the profile picture, scroll down to Settings, then choose Contacts.
If the contact is retrieved from the phone book of the smartphone with no additional information, tap on it, and there will be an option to call directly or to invite this contact to Skype.
By choosing it, you can get a direct link to join to Skype and will be able to share it with selected contact via any service suitable (other instant messenger installed on your Android device, email, Google services, etc.) or just copy it to clipboard.
You can find a person by their name, email address or phone number.
When you find the person you need, tap on the name, choose View profile. The Add contact option is the first one offered.
Invite people who are not in your list with a direct link. To do this, go to Contacts and click the icon at the bottom-right corner. It will offer you to make a link for other people to join you in Skype.
Text chats in Skype mobile app on Android devices
After you've found your contacts, you can start to communicate with them. The first option can be a text chat where you can exchange instant messages.
Choose the user you want to chat with and tap on it. Enter the text into the empty field at the bottom of the app's window.
As you've probably noticed, there are two small icons which accompany the text field. The smiley icon next to it is for adding emoticons to the message. And the + sign preceding the field is for sending attachments with a text message.
By the way, you can also set group chats to talk and discuss something in company. This is a very helpful option for both work and leisure.
In the Chats section, click the icon in the bottom-right corner and then choose New Group Chat.
Give this group a definite name and proceed to the next step to add people to it. Then click Done.
However, this service is not an instant messenger only. First and foremost, it is an application for calls and video chats.
Here is how to use Skype on Android for voice and video communication.
Making voice and video calls in Skype mobile app
If you want to have a voice call or a video call, go ahead with this mobile Android application.
For that, choose the contact you want to call from the list and tap one of the icons in the top-right corner.
Another way is from the Calls section. Tap on the name and choose one of the options that will be offered to you.
What if you need to call several people at once? There is an option to make a group call. It is available in mobile app for Android, too, you can launch it from the smartphone or tablet.
You can launch it from both Chats and Calls. In Chats, click the icon at the bottom-right corner, as you did to create a group chat. The option to make a group call will be offered as well. In Calls, tap the phone+ icon.
It will produce you the list to select a group of people. When you choose them, tap Call to launch the communication process.
Please note that some Android devices do not support video calls, though they provide voice communication. Those are the smartphones and tablets with ARMv6 processors. If you are not sure which processor your Android phone/tablet has, check the user's manual or refer to the developer's support service.
Calling mobile and landline numbers with the help of Skype Android app
There are cases when you need to call a usual phone number. It is possible with this service, too, and it will be cheaper than using the cell phone communication or making an international call from the home telephone. The main thing is that it is paid, unlike calling between different Skype accounts which is free of charge.
Select a contact from the list and tap it. There will be an option to call a mobile phone number if the user provided it together with other details. You will also see how much it will cost according to the current rates for that country.
However, if you don't have any credits on your balance, Skype won't be able to connect you with that mobile phone number. It can't call even the emergency ones.
You have to top up your balance first.
In the Android application, the best way is to do this from the Settings menu: tap your profile picture and then Add funds. Note that you can choose to put some amount on your account or to buy a subscription. Skype now offers a kind of free trial for several subscriptions so you could test the service properly before buying.
With a subscription, you get a certain prepaid service pack of minutes and areas where you can call to. It is convenient for those who make many calls during the definite period.
As for the credits, they just remain on your balance, and your account is charged every time you make a call on the mobile or landline phone number. This solution will work best for those ones who might need this option sometimes but not regularly.
Choose the option suitable for you and click Continue.
After you pay for the Skype-to-phone calls, you will be able to contact people from your lists or dial their numbers directly in the application. Just tap the dial pad icon in Calls.
Pay attention to the small cogwheel icon at the top-right corner. It leads to additional settings available for calls. We've dedicated a separate help article to making Skype-to-phone calls, it describes these settings in detail and explains why you might need to adjust them. Refer to that article for additional information about calling mobile and landline numbers.
Hope this instruction helped to understand how to use Skype on Android. However, it is not finished yet.
Additional settings available in Android mobile application
The mobile application also allows additional options to manage your account, contacts and the way you communicate. Again, tap on your profile picture in the Android app and scroll down to Settings.
Here you can edit your personal details which will be shown to other users. Just go to Account & Profile tab and scroll down to the Manage section with the Your profile section.
In fact, it will redirect you to the account page which you will access directly from within the Android mobile app window, however, no additional clicks or opening new program windows will be required. You can do all the things without leaving your mobile application.
In Contacts section of the menu you can also specify the privacy settings, define if you want to be found during search or appear in suggestions.
Also, configure the way you would treat the calls and incoming messages, change the color themes etc. It is up to you to make the way you use Skype on your Android smartphone or tablet as comfortable as you wish.