Free voice and video calling app
Skype is a free calling app that enables video and voice chat as well as instant messaging. It’s very easy to use and has an intuitive interface. Most users are familiar with video calling and messaging apps, but Skype runs on a powerful server that helps maintain a stable connection. You can use it for free via WiFi, or sign up for a calling plan where you can contact other mobile numbers.
Always stay in touch
Skype was one of the very first pieces of software that allowed video calling in addition to phone calls. The same coding formula has since been improved and applied to modern apps. The compact design makes it convenient and appealing. Anyone with a few computer skills can familiarize themselves with Skype in no time. You can also sign up with your Google or Facebook account, which is always a plus. Since it’s now owned by Microsoft, you’ll also be able to tie your Skype login name to your Microsoft account, making it easier to access on any device.
The general structure of Skype is very much similar to any other mainstream messaging apps like Whatsapp or Viber. Even Facebook’s Messenger has the same layout in terms of emojis, reactions, and notifications. Skype offers many of the same features with a touch of its own. For example, you can invite anyone to join your call. Add credits to your account to text and call other mobile numbers. The list goes on.
Text and call
There are a lot of features on Skype most users aren’t aware of due to them being more of a bonus than a necessity. One of them is that you can host a conference call and invite anyone using the Meet Now button. The people you invite don’t need to have Skype. Simply send them the link to your conversation, and they can talk to you on their browser. This is a pretty awesome feature as it doesn’t require installation but at the same time entices people to try the app. If you need to have a meeting on the go, you can do it from your Android or iOS device using the app.
All texts and calls are free as long as all connected parties are on Skype. If you wish to make calls to a landline or mobile phone, you can do that by adding credits to your account. The rate per minute is generally high for this kind of service, but Skype does offer a lot of bundles and monthly plans. You can also send text messages using the same method.
The layout is easy to navigate. The left-hand side shows you all of your recent conversations and active friends. The color palette of the program is easy on the eyes and draws a clear separation between sections.
Users are given the option of both Light and Dark Mode. You can also change the “theme color”, which changes the accent color applied to buttons and selected items.
The options menu itself has a lot in it. You can adjust emoji sizes in messages, test your mic, speakers, and camera, and adjust settings for making and receiving calls. You can even add Skype credits here for making phone calls.
Most interface features, including reactions, emojis, and stickers, can be found on popular platforms such as Messenger and Whatsapp. However, these features come in a more creative form on Skype. You’ll like the lively emojis that never stop expressing themselves. The collection of reactions is also much larger than any other apps. One thing you may find lacking is the definition of these artworks.
Skype allows voice and video messages. These features are somewhat similar to the Google Duo, except you don’t have augmented reality images. You can also share files directly to your friends via the chatbox.
One of the reasons Skype has not been gaining more popularity is due to its poor performance. While you still receive timely notifications, the app itself is super slow. The loading time for your conversations and transitioning between calls do not meet the standard set by leading software. Calling quality is fine, but there are few volume controls when screen-sharing.
Skype offers conference calling and group chats. It also contains a screen-share feature, which is useful for companies with multiple offices, where in-person presentation isn’t an option. Considering the slow performance even for one-on-one conversations, group calling is not preferred. The weird thing is that it has nothing to do with your computer RAM or bandwidth, the app is genuinely sluggish. Compared to Zoom, which specializes in video chat, Slype is falling behind. When paired against the likes of Discord, whose sole design is gathering users, it’s almost embarrassing.
Is Skype dead?
While the application remains in active development, it is falling out of favor with groups that used it primarily as a venue for gaming chat. Discord, specifically, offers most of the same features that Skype does, but adds in customizable servers with server-based emojis.
Skype is still installed on Windows by default, and it certainly still has utility for dialing mobile numbers as long as you have a subscription. That’s a feature that Discord and similar apps do not contain. Although Skype is unique in bringing all of its core features together under one application, there are a few apps that all perform Skype’s functions better than Skype does.
A decent toolbox
Every app has its flaws, and Skype has to continue putting in more effort to make up for its sluggish performance. While the interface is neat and appealing, some work on the graphics is much needed. Despite the slowness, Skype provides high-quality audio on both voice and video calls. The connection is also very stable; it has far fewer drop rates compared to other calling apps like TextNow.
If you like it simple and solid, give Skype a try. There isn't much to die for, but those who just want a simple conversation will enjoy using this app. If you’ve already tried Zoom or Duo, or are an Instagram influencer, then this may be a downgrade.