The digital giants of the world are always at war, albeit discreetly, and there is always some ongoing battle. Unavailability of Skype on Chromebook is one of the eventualities of the battle for supremacy. As we all know, Skype has been one of the most used video and voice calling and chatting apps of all times. Microsoft overtook Skype and thus put it in the line of fire. Google has supported Skype app on its Android smartphones, but Chromebook isn’t compatible yet. One apparent reason is that Google wants to put Hangout and Duo, its native apps, before others.
What could you do?
Google must have realized by now that people’s decision to buy Chromebook has relied on the availability of Skype. The absence of the official Skype app on Google OS has deterred many a buyers. Therefore, they must do something about it and not too late.
Previously, if you had to use Skype on the Chromebook, you must install a second OS on the machine, usually Linux OS. But, making a switch from Chromebook to Linux just for one app seemed pretty impractical. Thankfully, there are some workarounds that allow you to use Skype on the Chromebook. Here is a quick look
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Web Based Skype
Microsoft has launched the web based version of Skype. You can access it by entering the following URL in the address bar of your browser: web.skype.com
For Chrome browser, you will need to install and enable the Skype extension.
Unfortunately, web based Skype comes with limited features. If you need to make the voice calls you will need to install an additional browser plugin. Video calling feature is yet not available.
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Skype for Android
Yes! Skype for Android app is another option for you. You can download the Skype app on Chromebook and use it freely.
But, there is challenge. Skype app for Chromebook is still in the beta phase and thus not available on all the Chromebook devices. In fact, currently it is available only on very few devices.
Skype For Chrome using ARC Welder App
Not all the processors are capable of handling two operating systems on the same machine. Especially if you have ARM based processor, getting a Linux OS as a parallel OS on the Chromebook machine could be pretty challenging.
Thankfully, you don’t need to install the secondary OS anymore. You can now install Skype on Chromebook OS using ARC Welder App. This is how it works.
- Find the processor type: Start Chromebook OS and open Google Chrome browser. Now click the Menu dropdown at the top right corner of the browser and go to Settings. On the left sidebar click ‘About’. You can now see whether the process is 32 bit or 64 bit. Depending upon the type you will need to choose the ARC file.
- Download the file: You are going to need two files for this purpose: 1) ARChon file corresponding to your processor type and 2) Skype APK file. You can find both these files easily by searching on Google. Download the files in the zip format.
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The downloaded files can be accessed in the ‘Files’ app of Chromebook OS.
- Open the Zip file for ARC Welder. You will see another file with a long name. Now copy this file with the long name in the Downloads folder
- Do the same with Skype. You will see the Skype.zip file. Copy this file in the Downloads folder.
- The installation process of the non-native apps is a little different.
- First of all, you will have to enable the App Developer Mode. You can do that by clicking on the Menu. Then go to More Tools and Extensions. Check the box beside ‘Developer Mode’. You can see that on the top right corner.
- Now you will need to click on the option called ‘Load unpacked extension.’ You will be required to unpack both the files that you copied to the Downloads folder. Unpack the ARChon file first.
- Once the files have been unpacked you will see some warnings marked in red in the list of the extensions. Ignore these red coloured warnings.
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