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.
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 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 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:
Microsoft has changed Skype protocol and Skype cannot be accessed via IM+ any more. https://t.co/kWopRIwIPK
— IM+ (@implus) August 13, 2014
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.