Not to burst your bubble, you can use Skype on Chromebook, but only partially.
Don’t worry, you can still do (most) of what you already do on Skype right on your Chromebook, so don’t fret.
Chromebooks can now use Skype via Microsoft’s Skype for Web. It’s not an official feature or web app, as it’s still in development. So that’s probably why you’ve never heard of it. It’s not officially announced yet and has only been accessible on Chromebooks recently. However, if you want to use Skype on your Chromebook, this is one way to do it. It’s not the only way, but it’s the easiest way without having to install Crouton on your Chromebook, which would require you to enable developer mode and erase your Chromebook.
How to install Skype on Chromebook
To install Skype for Web on your Chromebook, simply head on over to their website, sign into your Skype account, or create one if you don’t have one, and you’ll get logged in via the Skype for Web app. You’ll see a voice call button next to your contacts. Click this and boom, you’ll be in a call with your contact just like you’re running native Skype on your desktop.
Chrome will prompt you with a permissions warning for the microphone with Skype. Agree and you’ll be connected via Skype.
As for video calls, they don’t seem to working on Chrome.
Text-messaging and audio calls are the most functional features for Skype on Chrome.
How to video call with Skype on Chromebook
For many, video calls via Skype would be nice to have on Chromebook. After all, video chatting over Skype on your Chromebook using the built-in webcam would offer an experience that’s to be expected as it seems so basic, and Skype users are already used to it from Windows devices.
You could also install the Skype for Android app to get video calling on Chromebook via Skype, however, you’ll find that Android app support, which is currently in beta and is also limited to a few Chromebooks will require a level of knowledge to install, as developer builds are required. Support will also be limited. You’ll mainly be searching Google for any guides.
You can achieve video calls using Skype on your Chromebook doing one of two methods:
- The first is to wait. Skype for Web will have video calls available for Chromebooks when it’s developed.
- You can install the Skype for Android app via Google’s ARC Welder app. This app basically utilize Google’s previous Android-on-Chrome tech platform and works on any Chromebook on the market. It doesn’t work as well as the Android app support app, but ARC Welder doesn’t require installing developer builds of Chrome OS, so it’s simpler and easier to get going.
Thoughts on Skype for Web on Chrome
Skype for Web is like a slimmed-down version of Skype. It doesn’t’ have nearly all the features that regular standalone Skype has, so you won’t be able to do everything you’re used to. However, most people use Skype for either audio or video calls, or at least based on my experience, so the Skype for Web app for Chromebooks has you covered.
For everything else, you can use other apps on the Chrome web store, such as Dropbox for file transfers, or a chat app for chatting with full support. Or whatever else you do on Skype. There’s another app that can cover it.
Microsoft will continue to improve Skype for Web and the service will be officially announced. For now, if you must use Skype on your Chromebook, or you’re just looking for a Google Hangouts alternative, then Skype for Web is your best bet. Go for it.