I'm glad that you managed to use it to speak to your friend "live". Like Dark Inertia, I use Skype on an almost daily basis, for both inland and international calls, as well as messaging. (It has saved me a LOT of money on calls to my family abroad!) Nowadays, I often opt to use Skype rather than my landline, because the sound quality is so much better. I mostly use it on computers, but occasionally also on my phone. A few ideas...
- When the message says "pending" it usually means that it arrived after the other party had logged out. She should see a notification about it next time she logs into Skype.
I'm not clear about the notification on your hotmail account. Are you using the hotmail address for the rest of the phone? If you close the Skype application on a computer, Skype will log you out, even if you don't actually sign out. I'm fairly sure that it's the same on the phone. So if you use a different email address for other apps, could it be that you see the notifications for those on the main screen or whatever, but you don't see the Skype notifications there unless you're signed into your hotmail account?
- If you use Skype in more than one place (eg on two computers, or your computer and your phone) the past messages do not usually show up on the machine you were not using for the conversation until both you and the other party are logged in again simultaneously. And/or you open Machine #s 1 and 2 simultaneously.
- You may need to change your settings, if you want your past conversations to show up all the time.
- With Skype you can send both free messages and ordinary text messages (ie those you would normally send with a cellphone). Initially, the difference between the two can be confusing.
The free messages are like the old AOL instant messages, or chat messages on Facebook. You can only send them to other Skype accounts. So if you and your friend both have Skype accounts, you can sign into your account on either your phone or your computer and send as many messages as you want. You'll have to pay your phone company for any payable data usage, but Skype won't charge you anything.
If you want to use Skype to send a normal text message to a phone number, rather than to a Skype account, you have to pay per message and thus need to register a credit card with them.
I have found the Skype help forum really useful in sorting out the few problems I have encountered.
When I got my first smartphone this year, I started using a texting application called "Whatsapp". That enabled me to exchange free text messages with my relatives abroad. It seemed to work fine, but because of my sausage fingers I text very little, so I haven't really used Whatsapp enough to know whether it's worth recommending. I have a relative in the UK who happily uses it all the time for free inland messaging, though.
PS Thank you, Sad in AZ and Thebighurt for the Tango recommendation and advice!