1. Computing

How to Install Skype on Android

Download and Install the App on Your Phone or Tablet

By

Skype is one of the first apps you will want to install on your Android device, be it a smartphone or a tablet PC. It allows you to freely connect through chat, voice and video, for free to more than half a billion people worldwide. Many users have issues when trying to install Skype on their devices. If you have a branded and commonly used device, downloading and installing the app is quite straightforward. But Android is an open operating system and many hardware manufacturers have built smartphones and table PCs that run it. For owners of these generic machines, installing Skype may not be that easy; their machines are more often not recognized. So here are three ways you can proceed to install Skype on your Android device.

Method 1: Directly from Skype

Skype facilitates the work of many people by sending them a link through SMS. The link is actually www.skype.com/m. The page it leads to allows you to download and install instantaneously the app over your Wi-Fi or 3G connection. But prior to that, you need to give Skype your phone number. You can do so on that page.

Enter your mobile phone number. You can do so from anywhere in the world. Don’t forget to enter your country code before the phone number prefixed by a +. Once you submit, you get an SMS with the link. This service is free.

Method 2: Google Play

Google Play is the new name and new version of the Android Market. You can get the Skype app for Android from there. Here is the link for the Skype app on Google Play. It downloads and installs like a breeze, like any other Android app.

But for this, you need to have registered with Google Play, yourself and your device. If your device is not registered, which will commonly be because Google Play does not recognize it as a listed brand and model, there is so far no way for you to have the app downloaded directly to your device. Another reason for which one might not get to Google Play is being found in one of those countries where Google Play is not supported. Then you are left with only the third method.

Method 3: Download the .apk File

Android apps come as files with extension .apk. In order to install Skype on your Android device, you need to look for the .apk file and install it, as you would do with any other Android app.

Where to get the .apk file from? It is very easy. I made a search for it, and it returned a lot of interesting links. Download the file from any server, making sure it is the latest version. Files like this are quite small.

Now transfer the file to your Android device, either through Bluetooth, a cable or a memory card. Once on your device, use a third-party file manager app to install it, since you won’t be able to do that on the native Android file manager app. Among the popular apps on Google Play are Astro File Manager or Linda File Manager. In the file manager app, select the Skype apk file and select the install option. It will install like a breeze. Then configure and use it.

Requirements

Before trying to install Skype on your Android device, you need to know certain things. Firstly, Skype won’t install if you are running a version of Android that’s before 2.1. Also, your device needs to be running a processor of 600 MHz or faster. Be sure as well of your connectivity – Wi-Fi or 3G on your device, because if you can’t connect to the Internet with it, Skype will be useless. If you have what Skype takes, you should be up and running in minutes. Enjoy.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.