Skype is a cross-platform voice-over-IP service owned by Microsoft. Initially designed for use on computers, Skype has since expanded onto mobile phones. It is available for several different operating systems, including iOS, Android, Symbian, Windows Mobile and BlackBerry. How you log into Skype and make calls can vary somewhat depending on a number of factors, including your operating system, the make and model of your phone and your mobile service provider. Nevertheless, the basics of making a call are similar on most operating systems, provided you’re using the most recent version of Skype on your mobile device.
Things You'll Need
- Cellular or Wi-Fi access
Download the Skype application from your respective app store or from the Skype website. If you don’t already have a Skype account, you’ll need to create one. They are free.
Load the Skype app. Depending on the mobile operating system you’re using, you may need to swipe through your home screens or app folder to find the app. The logo looks like a big letter S on most phones.
Click “Contacts” on the main tab in the Skype app and select the contact you want to call. This action brings up a list of available contacts. If the person has Skype, his or her Skype name appears below a Skype logo. If he or she doesn’t have a Skype account, you’ll see icons paired with his or her landline and mobile numbers instead.
Tap the icon that accompanies your contact’s Skype account or phone number, depending on which type of call you’d like to make.
Select “Skype Call” to place a call to your selected contact. If you’re making a Skype-to-Skype call, the call commences, provided you have Wi-Fi or 3G service. However, certain types of calls on certain operating systems require you to use Skype Credits. Placing a call to a landline from an Android phone is one such example.
How you buy Skype Credits and how much they cost can depend on your phone and location. Visit the Skype website or contact your network provider for additional information.
Tips & Warnings
- If you’re making a call using a Wi-Fi connection, a stronger signal means a clearer call. To get a stronger signal, position yourself closer to the wireless router. Close as many unnecessary applications on your phone as you can, in case they are also trying to access the Internet, which slows down your connection.
- You can also make low-cost text messages using Skype. Again, restrictions vary from phone to phone and provider to provider. Text messages are paid for using Skype Credits rather than your provider’s regular text-messaging cost structure.
- Skype offers several additional add-ons for mobile phones. If you use Skype on your computer, the Call Forwarding feature lets you redirect missed incoming Skype calls to your mobile number. Compatible mobile phones with video cameras let you make video calls to other Skype users. Adding a Skype To Go number lets you make affordable international calls, potentially saving you a bundle on long distance charges. Voicemail is available as well. Some add-ons are paid for using Skype Credits, while others let you opt to pay monthly instead.
- If you’re using your phone’s data service to make Skype calls, be aware that you will be using up your monthly data plan transfer allowance, just as if you were browsing the Internet. The same warning applies to your monthly cellular minutes if you’re making a Skype call over your cellular connection.
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