Skype is one of the most widely used messaging applications of the world. In fact, Skype happens to be one of the oldest too. There was a time when Skype word was less used as noun and more as verb. For instance, when someone had to make a video call using Skype, they would say, “let’s skype.” The name had become synonymous to video calling. As the time passed, many new apps emerged and started eating on the user base of this application. Today, there are a number of messaging apps that allow you to make video calls including Google Hangouts, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, FaceTime, and more. However, this does not mean that Skype is not valuable any longer. In fact, it still has a huge user base. Skype also allows you to make calls to landline and mobile phones, which is the feature unavailable in other messaging applications. Skype has now been acquired by Microsoft.
Windows and OSX are the two most popular operating systems across the world. Skype is supported by both these operating systems. Google has also launched its OS called Chrome and it runs on the Chromebook computers. Although Chromebook is not as popular as the Windows or Mac computers, it has still acquired substantial customer base. Unfortunately, Chromebook does not support Skype at this time. But the good news is that there are some workarounds. Let’s take a look at them one by one.
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Install a Second Operating System
Google will need to ensure that it makes Skype available on the Chromebooks soon. Lots of business people use Skype regularly for communication. If Google wants to acquire business customers, it will need to allow Skype support.
Thankfully, Chromebook allows you to install a second OS in addition to Chrome OS. You can install Linux OS on your computer and use Skype on it. Linux offers more stability with Chrome OS as compared to Windows.
But, whenever you wish to use Skype, you will need to jump from Chromebook to Linux. Installing additional OS will also take up more space on the hard drive. This could be pretty inconvenient especially when you have to use just one app on Linux.
So, what are your choices? Let’s take at some of the workarounds to get Skype on Chromebook.
#Use Web Based Skype
The good news is that Skype now has a web based version which can be accessed at web.skype.com. Since this web based version can be used on the Chrome web browser, you will be able to use it on your Chromebook. You will simply need to install the Skype extension on your browser.
While all of this looks good, there are some challenges. Web based version of Skype does not offer full functionalities. For instance, you cannot make video calls through web Skype. If you need to make voice calls, you will require an additional plugin. But, Skype web version works well without any hitch.
#Skype Android App
Skype has come up with an Android app that can be installed on your Chromebook computer. It is easy to download and install this version and use on your Chrome OS. However, again there is a challenge.
The Chromebook version of Skype is currently in the beta phase and hence may not be available for all the Chromebook computers. There are only very few Chromebook devices that support this app. This would be great way If you are looking for Skype for Chromebook.
#Skype for Chromebook using ‘ARC Welder App’
ARC Welder App
You can use the ARC Welder app to install Skype on Chromebook devices. Here is what you need to do:
- Identify the processor type: Run the Chrome browser on your Chromebook computer. Click on the hamburger menu on the top right of the browser and click on Settings. Click ‘About’ on the left sidebar of the Settings page. You will be able to see whether the OS is 32 bit or it is 64 bit. You will need to choose the file accordingly.
- Download the ARC file: You will need the Skype APK file and ARChon file for your processor type. The files are available in the Zip format.
Installation Process for Skype for Chromebook
You will be able to find the downloaded file in the Files app of your Chrome OS. Follow these steps:
- Open the ARC Welder Zip file. Now you will see a file with a very long name. You will need to copy this file to the Downloads folder of your OS
- Copy the skype.zip file also to the downloads folder
- Since it is a non-native app, you will need to use the workaround to install it
- Turn on the App Developer Mode at Menu > More Tools and Extensions > Developer Mode
- Click on Load Unpacked Extension. Make sure that you unpack both the files that were copied to the Downloads folder. But, ARChon file must be unpacked first.
- Once you have unpacked the file a warning message will pop-up; ignore the warning.
Skype for Chromebook will be installed and you can access it from Apps Tray.