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Make the Most Out of Skyping on Your Android Device

Whether you use Skype for job interviews or catching up with family and friends, make sure you’re getting the most use out of the app.

Skype is a popular app to use for making free national and international video calls and phone calls. You can video chat with a single person or multiple people, and instantly message others through the app. There’s even the option to call those not on Skype by simply calling their phone number. This option is similar to your phone plan. You can pay as you go (about 2 cents/minute) or else purchase a monthly national or international plan, which ranges from $2.99 to $13.99. A major feature to use with that phone plan (or without!) is Skype Translator, which allows you to chat with someone who speaks another language, whether through video chatting, phone calls, or messaging.

Unlike some other popular apps, you can sign out of Skype. However, it is still easy to “stay connected” even when you’re not connected. Whenever you’re not logged into the app or can’t answer an incoming call, you can have your calls forwarded to another phone.

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More often than not, you’ll achieve better call and video quality by using Skype on an LTE data connection as opposed to Wi-Fi — specially if many other devices are currently using your Wi-Fi. Keep in mind that a video call will use much more data than a phone call, so you may want to restrict your video calls to a certain time limit or else exclusively to Wi-Fi if video quality isn’t a big issue for you. You can also restrict the amount of data Skype uses by altering the app settings on your Android device. Simply click the app’s “data usage” option and activate “restrict app background data.”

If you’re more bothered by the connection speed than the video quality, a reduced video quality should help your video call to run smoother. You can reduce the video quality under settings. Reducing the video quality will also help to reduce your data consumption. There are also a few ways to reduce Skype’s battery usage, such as turning off your camera while in the middle of a video call, or else adjusting your phone’s screen brightness.

Another great feature of Skype is the ability to quickly send files to anyone. Send documents, pictures, contact information, or videos of any size through the messaging app. Another fun feature is the ability to quickly record and send video messages. Or, take advantage of all of the emoticons Skype has to offer. There are even secret emoticons you can use, which you can access by typing a specific word or phrase, without spaces, inside of parentheses. Some examples include (pool party) or (plane). A full list of visible and hidden emoticons are available on Skype’s Help webpage.