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Skyping? Help!

(29 Posts)
retrolady2 Sat 25-Mar-17 18:13:10

Hi Everyone, For ages my DS and DIL and DGS have been suggesting I get Skype, so I can see DGS 'live' more often than I'm able to see him for real. I've got as far as downloading it, set up a password and ... well, that's it. I'm now stuck. What do I do now? I've seen a bit where I should be able to 'add contacts'. I've tried their name, but unsuccessfully. Should they have a number or what?

I'm am somewhat technologically challenged, as you may have guessed ... so any help will need to be heavily differentiated, but will be much appreciated.

I haven't wanted to bother DS or DIL as they tend to lose patient with their 'old' mum.

Thanks for any thoughts.

retrolady2 Tue 28-Mar-17 14:18:57

Thanks AlexG. Yes, I am reasonably YouTube savvy, so I'll give that a try.

AlexG Mon 27-Mar-17 16:10:47

Do you know how to find things on YouTube? If not, find a teenager and ask them! On YouTube there are quite a few 'How to use Skype' lessons and they are very useful.

retrolady2 Mon 27-Mar-17 11:25:15

Just checked out Facetime and it outwitted me, which is not difficult.

However, pauses for effect, I have managed to get myself two contacts on Skype. One being the DS and the other a technologically challenged understanding sister in law, who will be gentle with me. Still got to make that first call though - watch this space!

An Apple is something you eat, isn't it? (Joking, even I know it's some other type of system which I don't understand, along with Smartphones, iPads etc.... only just progressed beyond a biro and a bit of paper in Retrotowers!!)

Coolgran65 Mon 27-Mar-17 01:12:00

I'm not understanding about the only Apple products because as previously mentioned I'm using Facetime on my Windows desktop pc and definitely there has been no download of an iPad emulator, I hadn't even heard of that. I just click for private chat and then click the video icon along the little blue bar at the top of the box. No problem.

meandashy Sun 26-Mar-17 21:25:30

Hi. Skype is simple once you get going. You can video call on Facebook messenger too. Facetime is only if you both have iphone/ipad.
You can video call on WhatsApp but it's sounds like your phone is basically call/text and not a smart phone so you won't have apps etc.
Maybe get a cheap smart phone to update yourself? I bought an alcatel for my aunt £20 and it does the job!
Happy skypeing 😊

annodomini Sun 26-Mar-17 17:44:44

My laptop is a Samsung Chromebook and I don't think it can run either Skype or Facetime. Does anyone else have one of these? My Kindle Fire, however, can run Skype, so I may have a go with it.

Craicon Sun 26-Mar-17 16:15:22

My understanding is that to use FaceTime on a windows PC, you have to download an iPad emulator first. If you're not a techie, then surely it's better to stick with Skype or just buy an iPad?
I persuaded my older sister (70's) to swap her laptop for an iPad a couple of years ago and she's flying it now.

Coolgran65 Sun 26-Mar-17 15:11:30

Craicon and silverlining48 regarding only using Facetime on an Apple product.

I use it on my desktop pc which is not an Apple product.

cornergran Sun 26-Mar-17 14:54:17

Oh retro. I feel your pain. Our lot use Facetime, I just panic when I see a facetime call, it takes me ages to work out how to answer it and I just hate seeing myself in a little box on the screen, goodness knows what they think seeing me on their larger screen. Our kind daughter in law is going to give me lessons, she has much more patience with me than our sons. Could that be the way to go for you? It is lovely to see the children, so worth persevering. One day I will be confident with it, just not yet!

NannaM Sun 26-Mar-17 14:52:19

Retrolady2, you can only Face Time if you and the other party have Apple products, ie iPhone, iPad or Mac computer.
Face Time is great technology, but Skype works well too.
You've done the hard work, setting up your Skype account. Get your son to send you a contact request, accept it, and arrange a convenient time for both of you for a practice call. At that time, make sure your computer is up and running, and your internet connection is working. Ask your son to phone you at the same time as he Skype calls, so he can talk you through if you have any problems. Enjoy this new technology!

Yorkshiregel Sun 26-Mar-17 14:41:02

If you are a bit worried about putting faces to identify you on skype, try a place. Could be a favourite place they would recognise or even a picture of your house would do as long as there is no address on the picture.

Yorkshiregel Sun 26-Mar-17 14:37:36

We used skype when my son was in Australia ....and it was free! The trouble though was that sometimes it would break up and you couldn't understand why. Other days it was a perfect picture and sound. I think it all depends on what you spend on it. It did make a big difference to us to be able to see and share things and see our little GS.

Tessa101 Sun 26-Mar-17 13:59:24

FaceTime so much easier to connect, I watched my GDs play on the beach in oz the other day while I was wrapped up on my sofa. I find Skype harder to navigate.You can always google for advise how to use it.

Craicon Sun 26-Mar-17 13:05:49

Coolgran65 I agree that FaceTime is the better option compared to Skype but it's only available on Apple products. Basically, all Apple related software and hardware is easier to use and more robust than the android/windows counterparts. Unfortunately, it's more expensive to buy so many people choose an android based product.

FaceTime is an Apple App and it's got nothing to do with Facebook.
Also, both users need to be using Apple products so if the person you want to contact has an android tablet, you'll still have to use Skype instead.

retrolady2 Sun 26-Mar-17 12:43:38

Ooh, I shall check out that Facetime thing. Sounds excellent. Thanks everyone. DS not answering my email or phone at the moment. I think they may be out with DGS enjoying a sunny Mother's Day.

Lupatria Sun 26-Mar-17 12:28:54

if you don't want to add a photo to your skype profile then perhaps another picture or icon - something that your family and friends recognise - will be enough to identify you.
i'm on skype and have used it many times not only for face to face chatting [my brother lives in the usa and it's one way to keep in touch] but i'm also on viber [another skype-like program] and facebook messenger.
all of these can be used for either text messages [i regularly send an instant message to my grandaughter to tell her that tea is ready when she's in the bedroom with her headphones on] or a face to face chat.
i've got skype and viber on my desktop computer, my laptop, my tablet and my mobile [smartphone] and the other day i wondered if i could put it on my kindle - the answer is yes!
go for it retrolady - you won't regret it.

ExaltedWombat Sun 26-Mar-17 12:15:36

Tell DS you're now on Skype, and tell him your Skype user name. He can then send you a contact request.

Note to all - don't be coy when requested to add a self-picture to your Skype identity. It's invaluable to someone who needs to confirm they're contacting the RIGHT Jane Smith.

allule Sun 26-Mar-17 11:47:27

Retro lady....on the topic of phones, I have just about decided to swap my smartphone for a basic phone like I got for my husband.
I was tempted by a smartphone as the family use them all the time, but find many snags:
The battery lasts no time, and has always run out when I want to use it...
I can't see the screen in the sun or read it without my glasses...
I forget I have to swipe the screen before I can do anything...
I hold it by the sides and accidentally turn the volume down to zero...
Etc etc.

I'm just deciding whether to get a Doro or wait for the trendy/retro new Nokia.

Back on the topic, I think practising with a gransnet gran is a great idea.
Stun your family by telling them you have looked at the various options and find facetime best....or whatever

pennyh47 Sun 26-Mar-17 11:07:39

Much prefer FaceTime on my iPhone. Bad connections with Skype

vickya Sun 26-Mar-17 09:47:42

Hi Retrolady. My 23 month old granddaughter can skype me! She seizes her grandfather's tablet and hits the icon with my picture on it. Unfortunately she often continues to hit icons and we lost contact..
Would you like to practise skype with me? If you tell me your name there I can skype you and you can then try and skype me. If you've now sorted it with son that's fine.

silverlining48 Sun 26-Mar-17 09:42:41

We find skype distorts voices and there is a delay which can be frustrating. Facetime on the ipad is more straightforward and no distortion or delay. You can only use facetime if the recipients have an ipad too.

Coolgran65 Sat 25-Mar-17 23:23:42

Facetime seems to connect easier than Skype.

Coolgran65 Sat 25-Mar-17 23:22:55

As well as Skype, you could consider Facetime - as you are already on Facebook and are familiar with how it works.

He is already a contact, so go to the contacts that appear in a column on the right side of the page. Click on his name. A box will open at the bottom, the one where you'd have a Facebook private conversation. At the top of this box on there will be a video icon. Click on this and it should alert your son that you'd like to Facetime Chat. Of course he needs to be logged onto his Facebook.

Your son can Facetime you. He just does what is described above. It will alert you that your son is trying to contact you and come up on your screen, you just click 'Accept'. Web Cam needs to be switched on.

You could even google 'Facetime Video Chat' and I'd think that you'd get easy to follow instructions (just in case I've left out something smile

rubysong Sat 25-Mar-17 23:09:51

Hi, get him to call you first, at a pre arranged time then you can get used to how Skype works. You may find, as we do, that there isn't always brilliant reception and sometimes it takes more than one attempt to make contact. Persevere, it is worth it.

retrolady2 Sat 25-Mar-17 19:35:43

Thanks both of you. I've sent DS an email, having tried his email address in the Search for Contacts bit. No reply yet, so watch this space ...
We already use Facebook for messages, updates, photos etc. In any case, I am so technologically challenged that my phone is one of those sweet old things which just makes calls and texts. There's a reason I'm called Retrolady!!