The holiday season is upon us and with it a time to see loved ones near and far. Travel isn’t always an option for everyone and that’s where video calls can be the answer. Programs like Skype are created to allow for the users to make a call with the camera function on a mobile device for free. Video calling or video chat is more formally known as Video telephony, using Voice over internet Protocol (VoIP) to transmit audio and video over the internet.

This month we will cover some of the basics of making a video call using a mobile device, a cell phone or tablet, and the program Skype. Tune in next month for information on making video calls from a computer.

Begin using Skype

  1. Download the app from the device’s app store.
  2. Tap the Skype icon to open the app.

Creating a Skype Account

  1. Tap the link at the bottom of the Skype sign-in screen, Create Account. (If you have a Microsoft account though Hotmail or Outlook those accounts can be used to sign into Skype.)
  2. To sign up for a Skype account, you must have a valid email address as well as:
    1. First and Last name
    2. Country/Region
    3. Language
  3. Create a Skype name and password
    1. The username has a similar function to an email and will be the name at which a person can be contacted.
    2. Passwords must be at least 8 characters long and contain one of the following: uppercase letters, lowercase letters, numbers or symbols.

The final step in using Skype to call family and friends is to make sure they have accounts as well. If they already have an account Skype can help you import your email, or phone contacts, to find who already has an account.  Once both parties have an account it’s time to start calling.

If you or a family member run into any hiccups while video calling during the holidays, have no fear there is help on the internet. Skype offers video guides as well as other helpful resources on their website

NOTE: Make sure at the top of the page next to help the correct device is selected when searching for help.

Additional help can be found at GCFLearnFree; a free online educational site focusing on technology, job training, reading and math skills. Go to for step by step tutorials.

Coming February the HKIC will be offering a class on video calls from mobile devices, Tuesday the 9th at 7 pm and Thursday the 25th at 11 am. Register for these classes two weeks in advance by calling the HKIC at (216)-932-3600 or visit






One comment on “See Family without the Travel using Skype

  1. […] month, Alyse talked about how to stay connected with friends and family using Skype on a mobile device. Skype is software that allows users to communicate by voice, video and instant messaging. But what […]

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