Ok Google, You Jacked Up My Skype

The last few times I’ve tried to use Skype from my phone, I’ve had a problem where the person I’m calling says I sound like a chipmunk and they can’t understand anything I say. The first time it happened, I didn’t really think anything of it. I just figured there was something messed up with Skype and/or my phone that would work itself out after some time. But then it happened again a few weeks later, so I figured I should do some troubleshooting.

I tried uninstalling and reinstalling Skype, but no dice–the problem persisted. Then I did what I probably should’ve done first: googled “android skype chipmunk.” The first hit was an AT&T forum with a bunch of people describing my situation. Essentially, “I have a Galaxy S4 and peeps can’t understand me because I’m chipmunk’d.”

The accepted answer on the thread said this:

Think I figured it out – I had enabled ‘OK Google’ from any screen – turning it back off solved the issue.

Gah, for real? I headed over to the Google app and disabled the option to listen for “Ok Google” from any screen. Sure enough, problem solved. This is a disappointing resolution because I really like saying “Ok Google” to initiate and execute voice searches from anywhere, but apparently I have to choose between having that and having to manually turn it off when I use Skype.

After scouring forums for a while longer, I did find a Hangouts thread where some Google folks acknowledged that they were looking into the issue but no word on finding a cause or timeline for a fix. Other posters on the forum cited problems with LG phones. This coupled with the fact that it’s an issue with video chatting in Skype and Hangouts indicate that this is not a Samsung or Skype problem.

So, okay Google… Fix this!


A Gripe About Skype

I haven’t really ever been interested in Skype. I can’t explain why, because that’s usually the kind of thing that I’m into, but I just wasn’t. With out-of-town parents and a baby on the way, things have changed, though. Skype seems like the perfect solution for helping grandma and grandpa maintain a visible presence long distance.

So my dad was visiting, and he brought his laptop and wanted me help him get it set up. “No problem,” I thought to myself, “Tons of people use Skype, and it’s gotta be super easy.”

I headed over to Skype.com, clicked their “join” link, and was presented with some options: create a new Skype account or join with Facebook or a Microsoft Account. Well, Microsoft recently acquired Skype, so I figured I’d use my trusty Live ID. I signed in and signed up. I had my dad do the same with his Hotmail account. (Hotmail? C’mon, Dad.) We did a test call and everything worked great.


I wanted to install Skype on my phone. I popped open the Play Store, downloaded, and installed the app. I opened it and was presented with a login prompt that wanted my Skype Name and password.

Skype Name? I signed up with my Microsoft Account, so it’s probably my email address, right? Nope.

It probably created a Skype Name for me when I signed up. I thought that, surely, I could log in to Skype.com to find it. Yep, there it was: “live:prescott.adam.” That’s my Skype Name. Let me log… in… with… that–didn’t work. “Unrecognized Skype Name,” it says.

But wait! They have a Skype Name recovery tool; I’ll give that a shot. Clicked the link, entered my email address, got an email. Super. Let me just click… the… link… and–didn’t work. “Unrecognized token.” But there’s a prompt, and the email had a token. I copied/pasted the token: same result.

Blurg. I figured I’d check the forums to see if others had run into this. I found nothing. “I guess I’ll email support.” But, guess what? I couldn’t submit my question, presumably because of my “invalid” Skype Name. I finally decided to email contactus@skype.com, and I got a response. They gave me directions on how to change the password on my Microsoft Account. “Thanks, guys.”

That was this morning. I still don’t know what to do about this, and I’m really annoyed by it. If the right path is to sign up with Skype and then merge accounts, then don’t give me an option to join with another account. As of now, I feel like I have a handicapped account because of how I signed up. That just seems wrong.

Has anybody else run into this? Does anybody have a solution?

11/21/2012 Update:

An updated version of the app was released yesterday, and it now provides an option for logging on using a Microsoft account. I’m happy for the solution, but I’m disappointed that support couldn’t have told me that this was a known issue to be resolved in a soon-to-be-released update.

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