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How to Use Skype on the Nexus 7 Tablet

When it comes time to turn your Nexus 7 tablet into a phone, you need something called Skype. It’s one of the most popular Internet communications programs, allowing you to text-, voice-, or video-chat with others on the Internet, as well as use the Internet to make real phone calls.

How to get the Skype app for the Nexus 7

Your Nexus 7 doesn’t come with the Skype app preinstalled. To get Skype, saunter on over to the Google Play Store and download the Skype app. In case you find multiple apps, get the one that’s from the Skype company itself.

When you start the Skype app for the first time, work through the start-up screens. You can even take the tour. Be sure to have Skype scour the Nexus 7’s address book for contacts you can Skype.

  • Skype is free to use. Text chat is free. Voice and video chat with one other Skype user is also free. But if you want to call a real phone or video-chat with a group, you need to boost your account with Skype Credit.

  • Don’t worry about getting a Skype Number, which costs extra. Only if you expect to receive calls by using Skype is it necessary.

How to chat with another Skype user

Text chat with Skype works similarly to texting on a cell phone. The only difference is that the other person must be a Skype user.

  1. At the main Skype screen, touch the Contacts button.

  2. Choose a contact.

  3. Type your text in the text box.

    The box is found at the bottom of the screen. It says Type Instant Message Here.

  4. Touch the Return key on the onscreen keyboard to send the message.

At the far right end of the text box, you find the Smiley button. You can use this button to insert a cute graphic into your text.

  • The Skype Chat notification, shown in the margin, appears whenever someone wants to chat with you. It’s handy to see, especially when you may have switched away from the Skype app to do something else on the Nexus 7. Choose that notification to get into the conversation.

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  • You can add more people to the conversation if you like: Touch the Add (plus) button and choose the command Add (People). Select the contacts you want to join with your chat session and then touch the Add Selected button. It’s a gang chat!

  • To stop chatting, touch the Back navigation button. The conversation is kept in the Skype app even after the other person has disconnected.

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  • For the chat to work, the other user must be online and available.

How to video call on Skype

Placing a video call with Skype on your Nexus 7 is easy: Start up a text chat. After the conversation starts, touch the Video Call icon from the top of the screen. The call rings through to the contact, and if your contact wants to video-chat, he picks up in no time, and you’re talking and looking at each other.

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How to send a text message (SMS) with Skype

It’s nifty that you can use Skype to send a text message. The process is simple: Choose a contact who has a smartphone number listed as part of his contact information. Touch the SMS text box, found at the bottom of the contact’s information screen. You can then type a text message to him just as though you were using a real phone and not a tablet.

Lamentably, text messaging on Skype comes with a few downsides.

The first drawback is that the person to whom you’re sending the message probably won’t recognize the incoming phone number, so make sure to identify yourself in the message.

The second drawback is that the person may not be able to text you back. He can try, but you have no guarantee of receiving the reply.

The third drawback is that text messaging costs you Skype Credit.

How to place a Skype phone call

Ah. The big enchilada: Skype can be used to turn the Nexus 7 into a cell phone. It’s an amazing feat. And it works quite well. Heed these steps:

  1. Ensure that you have Skype Credit.

    You can’t make a “real” phone call unless you have Skype Credit on your account. You add Skype Credit by touching the Profile button on the main Skype screen and choosing Skype Credit.

  2. Choose a contact to call.

    Your Skype contact must have a phone number listed in their information. Otherwise you’ll have to dial the number directly.

  3. Touch the Phone handset icon on the upper-right corner of the screen.

  4. Talk.

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  5. To end the call, touch the red End Call button.

To dial a number not associated with a contact, touch the Dialpad icon at the top of the main Skype screen, as shown in the margin. Punch in the number to dial, starting with 1 (for the United States), the area code, and then the number. Touch the green Dial button to place the call.

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Lamentably, you can’t receive a phone call by using Skype on your Nexus 7 from a cell phone or landline unless you pay for a Skype online number. In that case, you can use Skype to both send and receive regular phone calls.

  • You should get a good headset if you plan to use Skype often to place phone calls.

  • In addition to having to pay the per-minute cost, you may be charged a connection fee for making the call.

  • You can check the Skype website for a current list of call rates for both domestic and international calls.

  • Unless you’ve paid Skype to have a specific phone number, the phone number shown on the recipient’s Caller ID screen is something unexpected — often, merely the text Unknown.

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