Skype for Android has all the best features of the free PC version. Here's how to use it.
Share unlimited files and photos
Install Skype for Android from Google Play and it will appear on your Share menu. Open any file, video, photo or music track, click the app's menu, choose 'Share via' and select Skype. You will be signed into Skype and your list of contacts will appear. Tick the box next to all the friends you want to share the file with and click 'Send file'. You can add an instant message as the file is sent and there is no limit on the size or number of files you can send.
You can also record and send voice messages during instant messaging (IM) conversations. Click 'Send file' from your Skype profile or from the IM menu, click Voice Recorder, record your message and press Send. You can preview the recording and delete it if you're not happy, before sending.
When you receive a file, you will get a notification. Click accept and the file is downloaded in the background.
Make Skype calls from your phonebook
You can make calls to your Skype contacts, direct from your phonebook, without opening the app. Click your friend's contact image, press the Skype logo from the list of connections and click Call. You will be signed in and it will start ringing. If you want to make a video call, click the camera icon instead. You can also instant-message people from your phonebook by clicking the IM icon.
If you haven't synced your Skype and phone contacts, they will be shown as separate entries in your phonebook, with the Skype logo next to them. To merge them, open a friend's profile, press the menu and choose 'Join contact'. Select Skype and save.
Make Skype calls from your home screen
If you have friends you call all the time, you can speed things up by calling them directly from your home screen. Start by making Skype the default call option for that contact; open their profile, press the menu button and choose 'Mark as default". Choose Skype and save the changes by pressing the tick in the top right-hand corner.
Next, create a shortcut for this contact by clicking the menu key from your home screen. Choose Add, Shortcuts, Contact and find the friend you want to add. A shortcut will appear on your homepage. When you tap your contact's shortcut, your phone will immediately sign you into Skype and make the call.
Change notification settings
You can personalise your notification options by opening the app and clicking Settings from the menu. All the boxes are ticked by default, but if you only want to be notified of a new IM or Skype call, you can untick the rest. You can turn off notifications completely by unticking the Notifications box under
You can also set Skype to go offline if it isn't used after a certain amount of time, ranging from immediately to never. Under 'Voice and video calls', you can change the video quality, which is set to High by default.
Add people to group chats
To add people to an IM conversation, click Add from the app's drop-down menu and choose the people you want to include. Your IM messages will be sent to all of them.
If you've been invited to join a chat you can leave at any time. If you set up the group chat, you can also remove other people from conversations and 'Set a topic'. Group video calling and group screen sharing are not available on mobile versions.
Switch cameras during video calls
When you make a video call, the Skype app uses the front-facing camera to film your face, so the person you're talking to can see you. However, if you want to share a view of what you can see, you can switch the camera to rear-facing by double-tapping on your photo. That way you don't have to turn the phone round and you can still see their reaction. You can also swap cameras by pressing the app's menu button and clicking 'Swap camera'.
If you misspell a word during an IM chat, and hit send before you realise, you can correct your mistake, rather than send another message. Press and hold the message that contains the word, click Edit, make your changes and press send again. The new message will replace the old one.