Getting Started with Skype on the Amazon Fire Phone

By Dan Gookin

Using Skype on your Fire phone requires a bit of work on your behalf, although it’s nothing tedious, like anything you did in the eighth grade. Most importantly, you need to obtain the Skype app. Then you need to connect with Skype users. That’s because Skype is useful only when you have friends and associates who also use Skype.

Obtaining the Skype app

Your Fire phone most likely didn’t ship with the Skype app preinstalled. That’s not a problem. You can easily obtain a free copy of Skype from the Appstore. Open the Appstore app and browse for Skype. Install the app.

Signing up for Skype

To use Skype, you need a Skype account. This is yet another online account, although you can use your Microsoft Live account to sign in to Skype. Check out the Skype sign-in screen, as well as your options.

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Choose a sign-in method. Or tap the Create Account button to set up a new Skype account. You can also set up an account by accessing Skype on a computer.

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

  • If you want to video-chat with multiple people in Skype, it costs extra.

  • Don’t worry about getting a Skype Number, which is available for a fee. That’s used mostly for incoming calls and, well, that’s why you have a phone.

Using Skype

When you start the Skype app for the first time, work through the initial setup screens. You can even take the tour. Be sure to have Skype scour the phone’s address book for contacts you can Skype. This process may take a while, but if you’re just starting out, it’s a great help.

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The Recent tab lists your recent Skype activity, including chats, calls, contact requests, and other updates. The Favorites tab shows your favorite or frequent contacts. The People tab lists all of your Skype contacts.

Adding Skype contacts

Odds are probably good that many of your friends and associates already use Skype. You need to connect with them via Skype before you can communicate.

To add Skype contacts, follow these steps:

  1. Tap the Menu icon.

    It’s found in the lower-right corner of the Skype app’s main screen.

  2. Choose Add People.

  3. Type the person’s name, email, or phone number.

    As you type, matches appear in a list. If a match represents the person you want, choose it.

  4. Tap the Search icon on the keyboard.

    A contact request form appears.

  5. Type a brief message.

    For example, “Please O please add me to your Skype contacts list!” Type something unassuming like that.

  6. Tap the Add to Contacts button.

  7. Wait.

The contact has to approve your request. After that happens, you can communicate with them on Skype.

Signing out of Skype

The Skype app stays active on your phone, even when you switch away from it to do something else. New messages come in, video-chat requests, and so on. That’s good. When you want to sign out of Skype, follow these steps:

  1. Tap the Menu icon.

    It’s in the lower-right corner of the main Skype app screen.

  2. Choose Sign Out.

    That’s it.

When you sign out of Skype, you can no longer receive chat requests. You need to sign in again.

It’s possible to have Skype installed on multiple devices, such as a tablet or computer, in addition to your Fire phone. If so, any Skype requests appear on all devices where you’re actively signed in to Skype. You need to choose only one device to participate in Skype activities.