Basics of Skype for Android Phones - dummies

By Dan Gookin

The popular Skype app is used the world over as a free way to make Internet phone calls and to video-chat. Plus, if you’re willing to pony up some money, you can make inexpensive calls to phones around the world. So although the Hangouts app on your Android might be enough for most, far more people are using Skype.

Skype may end up being a better choice for text, video, and voice chat on your Android phone.

The typical Android phone doesn’t come with the Skype app preinstalled. To get Skype, visit the Google Play Store and obtain the Skype app. In case you find multiple apps, get the one that’s from the Skype company itself.

To use Skype, you need a Skype account. You can sign up while using the app, or you can visit Skype’s web page from a computer and complete the process by using a nice, full-sized keyboard and widescreen monitor.

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.

  • 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.

  • It’s doesn’t cost extra to conduct a gang video chat in the Hangouts app.

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