Skype is the quintessential video and voice chatting app–and you can use it on both Android and iOS. While the Android version of Skype does support video calling, it’s not available on all devices.
Still, Skype is an excellent tool for making free or cheap phone calls–not only can you call from one Skype account to another for free, but you can make domestic and international calls at extremely low rates using your device’s data plan or Wi-Fi connection.
Step 1: Install Skype
Supported Android devices include: Samsung’s Nexus S, Galaxy S, Droid Charge, Tab 7; HTC’s Desire, Incredible S, Evo 4G, ThunderBolt, Flyer; Sony Ericsson’s Xperia PLAY; LG’s Revolution and Optimus Black; and Motorola’s Droid 3, Atrix, Xoom, and Photon. For a full list of supported devices, go to Skype for Android’s Android Market page (click the “More” button in the Overview section to reveal the list). Skype requires Android 2.1 or higher.
Supported iOS devices include: iPhone (3G, 3GS, and 4), iPod Touch (3rdand 4th generations), and iPad (1 and 2). Skype requires iOS 4.0 or later. If you have an iPod Touch 3rd generation or an iPhone 3G, you will be able to receive only video.
If you have an Android device, you may see two versions of Skype–one called “Skype for Android,” and one called “Skype Mobile for Verizon.”* If you have a Verizon Android device, you may download the Skype Mobile for Verizon app (otherwise, download the Skype for Android app). Skype Mobile for Verizon does not allow you to place domestic calls, but you can still place international calls over a 3G or Wi-Fi connection. Skype for Android, on the other hand, lets you place domestic and international calls over a 3G or Wi-Fi connection.
*For this article, I used Skype for Android, not the Verizon version. When I tested Skype for Android on a Droid X running Android 2.1, there was no video chat option.
Step 2: Set up Skype
Android: Once Skype for Android is installed, tap on the app to open it. You will be prompted to sign into your Skype account (or, if you don’t have a Skype account, to sign up for one), using your Skype username and password.
You will then be prompted to sync your Skype contacts with your phonebook contacts. You can choose to sync all contacts, add phonebook contacts to your Skype list, or sync no contacts. If you add phonebook contacts to your Skype list, you’ll be able to easily call your phonebook contacts directly from the Skype app.