Thanks to an update to Skype for Web, it’s now possible to make Skype-based audio calls using a Chromebook. Previously, you could only engage in IM-style text chat on that platform.
As you might imagine, set up is simple enough. You just need to sign-in to Skype for Web, which provides a reasonable facsimile of the desktop Skype experience.
(I happened to test this functionality in a regular web browser window, but Chrome OS allows you to pin web apps and open them in windows, just as you can with Chrome for Windows. This provides a more “native” experience, as shown in the image at the top of this article.)
After checking in with Brad—who was naturally amused by my request—I launched an audio call just as I would on Windows. (The Video Call button remains grayed out.) Because this was the first time I’ve tried this, I had to OK Skype’s usage of the Chromebook microphone.
And … it worked. Brad told me there was a bit of an echo at first, but then that went away and the call proceeded normally.
OK, so there’s not much to say here, of course. And with Skype for Android coming to Chromebook soon along with all those other Android apps, this capability will soon be outstripped by a much more full-featured Skype experience. Still, this is a pretty big step for getting Skype everywhere. Even if it means making a Chromebook a bit easier to use.