How can I use Skype on my Chromebook?

The soon to arrive HTML5 implementation will make the use of Skype for Chromebook OS possible, natively, and also fully featured. However, for the time being the application doesn’t support the OS. But, there’s no reason to despair, there are alternatives, which make it possible to chat with your Skype connections via these apps. So, until Skype becomes natively usable, somewhere at the end of the year or early next year, you may want to consider these apps.

Outlook.com (Provided by Windows Live)

This is one of the best solutions for those that want a rich medium onto which larger groups of connections/contacts can all be reached for video and audio chats, for emailing as well as other immediate messaging connections. Your Skype user base is also included and thus you will be able to accept video calls, start video calls as well as chat via the IM interface that is still provided. The interface is similar to the one that Skype uses, and so you won’t have any issues learning it. Of course, you will need to have a Skype account or create one, (which is possible from any Chrome OS browser and then import your list of contacts) and then proceed to import the list into your Outlook.com application.

imo messenger

imo messenger is one of the lighter weight applications, gathering and allowing interconnectivity between Facebook, Google Talk, Skype and more. The client is small scale, quite capable and also very well rounded, being preferred by a younger generation. All the regular Skype activities are supported, calls, incoming and outgoing, to Skype users as well as other phone numbers, given that you have a premium account.

IM+

IM is a website only application gathering and allowing the use of your Skype, AIM, MSN, Yahoo messengers while also allowing connectivity with popular social media networks. This makes this application one of the most versatile, enabling you to keep in touch with your entire list of online contacts by only having to log in into one single online account. The only problem is that the application can run laggy, especially for video calls made in higher definition, and there are often synchronization issues that can occur. But, if you’re a lightweight Skype user, you won’t have issues with it, especially if you use Skype more for its immediate messaging options.

UPDATE: IM+ no longer supports Skype because of a change in its protocol. Thanks Paislee for pointing this out! Read the official announcement from IM+ here:

Overall, the above mentioned software suites and sites manage a decent job at offering you Skype functionality on an OS that doesn’t allow it natively. With the soon arriving HTML 5 update, however, this will no longer be the case and you will be able to install the proprietary application without having to use third party software.

However, as you might have noted, there are some inherent advantages to using other Skype software suites or websites. On one hand, a great advantage that all of the above apps/services provide is interconnectedness within the most common network of immediate messenger applications and social networking websites. This can be very welcoming, especially if you are always looking for a speedier and more focused manner of bringing together contacts from an entire host of different portions.

So, while heavy Skype users will find it to be a blessing to use the actual Skype client, many others will also consider that the alternatives are not that bad either, and add extra support and extra value.

So let us know if you had experience with any of the above applications, or whether you’re using any others. We would like to know what other alternatives you’ve tried, or whether the ones we mentioned were to your liking.

13 thoughts on “How can I use Skype on my Chromebook?

    1. Corey

      Because no one uses it. Everyone uses FaceTime and Skype. And Facebook. I have been having a hell of a time, in vain, trying to convince my family and close friends to make a Google+ account and use Hangouts so I can be completely satisfied with the Chromebook. But no. No one I actually know in real life wants anything to do with Google+ or Hangouts. Sad but true.

      Reply
      1. Steve Bokleman

        It has been a challenge to get my family to use HangOuts…. but slowly they have come over as Skype has become a real dog as of late. I understand and agree with you, but the author should have at least mentioned it as an alternative.

        Reply
    1. Corey Scheideman

      Last I heard it’s never going to happen. Google as always will push Hangouts. The only hope of a “native” Chrome OS Skype is at the mercy of Microsoft to create an HTML5 web app version. It seems possible, but will they actually do it? Probably not. That would be far too convenient, and they LOVE to flaunt that Microsoft Windows can run such programs as Office and Skype but Chromebooks, being “not even a real laptop (according to Microsoft)” can’t. *shrug*

      Reply
    1. Corey Scheideman

      This is true, however, the point I think is, you can’t make voice/video calls using Skype on Chrome OS.

      I do know that if you have an Intel Chromebook and install some form of Ubuntu (via Crouton is easiest), then you can just install the Skype for Linux package and have full Skype up and running. SOL if you have Samsung Series 3 like me or other ARM Chromebook.

      Reply
  1. Rory Cobb

    Tried IM+, imo, and Outlook. all have the same result, instant messages, but no video calling?
    It is not that it doesn’t work, there is just no icon for it.
    Do I need to download something else first, like a big flag? (and before anyone starts, it took ten years to get my parents onto skype, it’s going to be a while before I can get them onto G+

    Reply
    1. Corey Scheideman

      @Rory Cobb:

      As I said in my comment above:

      There is literally NO way at all whatsoever to Skype Voice/Video Call someone on an ARM Chromebook like my Samsung Chromebook Series 3. I have tried DESPERATELY. Your only chance of Skype voice/video calling is to have an Intel Chromebook and install Ubuntu using crouton (hundreds of videos on YouTube how to do that) and once you have that installed, install Skype on the Ubuntu side. (Loads of tutorials online and on YouTube how to do that too.)

      Reply
    1. Andrew Baker Post author

      @Paislee: Thanks Paislee! I’ve updated the post.
      @Corey: Yes Microsoft made changes so that IM+ can’t support Skype anymore.

      Reply

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