Skype for the iPad and iPhone

How to Install and Use Skype on the iPad and iPhone

Senior woman and young man looking at image of father and baby son on digital tablet
suedhang/Cultura/Getty Images

In this short tutorial, we will see how to install and use Skype on the iPad and iPhone to make free voice and video calls worldwide. The steps are more or less the same for the iPad and the iPhone as they both run the same operating system, although there are some minor differences in the hardware.

What You Need

Your iPad or iPhone needs to be prepared for the installation. You 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. Secondly, you need to ensure good Internet connectivity through your iPad’s or iPhone’s Wi-Fi connection or 3G data plan. For more details on preparing your iPad for Skype and VoIP, read this.

1. Get a Skype Account

If you don’t already have a Skype account, register for one. It is free. 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, just register there: You don’t necessarily need to do so on your iPad or iPhone, but on any computer.

2. Browse to Skype on the App Store

Tap on the App Store icon on your iPad or iPhone. While on the App Store site, make a search for Skype by tapping on ‘Search’ and typing ‘skype’. The first item on the list, showing ‘Skype Software S.a.r.l’ 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.

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 in 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 use your Skype credit for that, if you have any. Free calls are only between Skype users, while they are using their Skype apps, independent on the platform in which the app is running. To call that way, search for your buddies 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. Calling your Skype does not require numbers, you just use their Skype names. If you have come that far, you can enjoy the use of Skype and its many features. Skype is famous because it is a Voice over IP (VoIP) service. There are plenty of other VoIP services that you can use on your device to make cheap and free calls. Here is a list for the iPad and one for the iPhone.