How to Use Skype on the iPad and iPhone

How to Install and Use Skype on the iPad and iPhone

A father and son use an iPad to Skype with another user

 Morsa Images / Getty Images

Learning how to setup and use Skype on the iPad and iPhone to make free voice and video calls worldwide is quite simple. The steps below more or less work the same for the iPad and the iPhone as they both run the same operating system. But, there are some minor differences in the hardware.

What You Need to Run Skype on Your iPad and iPhone

Your iPad or iPhone needs to be prepared for the installation. To do this, you'll need to check two things: first your voice input and output. You can use the integrated microphone and speaker of your device or pair a Bluetooth headset to it. Next, you'll need to ensure good Internet connectivity through your iPad’s or iPhone’s Wi-Fi connection or 3G data plan.

1. Get a Skype Account

If you don’t already have a Skype account, register for one. Setting up an account is free, and if you have been using a Skype account on other machines and other platforms, it will work perfectly on your iPad and iPhone. A Skype account is independent on where you use it. If you are new to Skype, or want another brand new account for your device.

2. Browse and Download Skype on Apple's App Store

Tap on the App Store icon on your iPad or iPhone. While on the App Store site, search for Skype by tapping on Search and typing Skype. The first item on the list, showing Skype is what we are looking for. Tap on it.

3. Download and Install

Tap on the icon showing Free. It will change into green text showing Install App. Tap on it, you will be prompted for your iTunes credentials. Once you enter that, your app will download and install on your device.

4. Using Skype for the First Time

Tap on the Skype icon on your iPad or iPhone to open Skype. This is what you will do each time you want to launch Skype on your device. You will be asked for your Skype username and password. You can check the box where it suggests to log in automatically and remember your credentials every time you use Skype. Use the log in name and password you established from step one.

5. Making a Call

The Skype interface lets you navigate to your contacts, calls and other features. Tap on the Call button. You will be taken to a softphone (an interface that shows a virtual dial pad and phone buttons). Dial the number of the person you want to call and tap on the green call button. Your call will start. Note here that the country code is automatically captured, which you can change easily. Also, if you call numbers, it most probably means you are calling to landline or mobile phones, in which case the calls will not be free. You will need to purchase Skype credit for that. Free calls are only between Skype users, while they are using their Skype apps, independent of the platform in which the app is running. To call that way, search for your friends and enter them as your contacts.

6. Enter New Contacts

When you have Skype contacts in your contact list, you can simply tap on their names to call, video call or send messages to them. These contacts get automatically imported to your iPad or iPhone if you are using an existing Skype account on which they are found. You can always enter new contacts in your list, either by entering their names manually or searching for them and choose to insert them.

Skype is famous because it is a Voice over IP (VoIP) service. There are other VoIP services that you can use on your device for iPad and iPhone to make cheap and free calls as well.