The modern smartphone – a mobile office in the palm of your hand. It can be a used to send emails, scan documents, research information, communicate and a less known feature – to be used as a fax machine. We bet you didn’t know you can send faxes through your phone, did you? Turns out you can fax from your cell phone as easily as you’d send a regular email.
All you have to do here is unlock your phone, use your camera to take a picture of a document you want to send and then use a mobile fax application to send it to an actual fax machine, or an online fax client for that matter. Some fax services today aren’t used by the traditional old machines, but indeed in an online email client such as Gmail. You can learn more about that in our dedicated article on Gmail Fax.
Sending faxes from wireless devices has never been easier actually. Whether it is a smartphone, a tablet, or a computer, all you need is an online fax service. We will be concentrating on the smartphone aspect of this article.
Now, there are lots and lots of online fax providers out there, but to get you straight to the point, we’ve done a review on three of the best ones out there:
You can check the detailed comparison between them along with tons of additional great info here.
All of these three got trial periods, so if it’s just a one-time thing, you can sign up, send your fax and then cancel the plan. We bet you that you’d fall in love with how easy everything is, though. Literally, it is the exact same process as if you’re sending an email from your phone.
When it comes down to sending faxes from your phone (or any other wireless device) it boils down to three ways of doing it:
- Over your cellular network, when you’re away
- Over your home/work’s wifi network
- Through a Fax machine that wirelessly connects to your device (over the wifi or via Bluetooth)
In the first two scenarios, you will have to sign up for an online fax provider (or use a free one-time one). It goes without saying that the third method doesn’t require any kind of registration anywhere. Let’s take a look at these methods individually.
Fax Over Your Cellular Internet
If you’re on the road, the chances are that if you need to fax someone, it’d be over your cellular internet. The way to go here is through an online fax provider. They work for any device with internet on it.
These fax services basically act as a virtual fax machine which you can take anywhere with you. Think of it as if there is a physical fax machine somewhere connected to your phone through the internet. Whenever you receive an email (fax) it goes through it first and it gets converted into a pdf email attachment and then goes to your phone. The opposite happens when you send an email through your cellular internet – it goes to that fax machine where it gets converted into a regular fax formatted document and from there it goes to your recipient.
Once you register with an online fax provider, there is really no limit on the devices you can use, so besides your smartphone, you can bring a laptop or a tablet – they will still be able to send faxes through the provider.
Fax Over A Wifi Network
This is the exact same process as through your cellular internet. If you got the Gmail app on your phone, you can follow the steps on our Gmail Fax article which are the same on mobile devices as they are on the desktop mail client. The only difference, in this case, is that you might alternatively choose to connect with a fax in the office (connected to the same wifi). In fact, let’s get into that.
Some multi-purpose machines (printers, scanners, copy and fax all in one) have wireless connectivity. If they are connected to the same wireless network as your mobile phone, you will be able to send faxes through that phone.
Using Fax Machines Which Have Bluetooth/Wireless
Most modern faxes can connect via Bluetooth to all your mobile devices. Once they do that, they have native apps that allow you to send/receive faxes on your device. Some fax machines, however, go the extra mile and have a cellular network of their own, which allows them to send and receive over their cellular network. They are known as GSM or CDMA faxes.
These are great when you don’t have your smartphone around you but got a great cell service. The latter is really needed, as bad reception can prevent the faxes from being accurately transmitted/read.
Fax Apps For Your Smartphone
Let’s go through some smartphone applications that will make your life on the road easier. These work on Android, iOS, and Windows since their latest updates, but software incompatibilities and issues aren’t rare in the world of mobile fax apps.
CamScanner – Truly Amazing
This application basically lets you scan documents. After that, you can edit them and finally – share them. Once you’re done with the actual scanning, just select “fax” from the “Actions” menu, type in the destination country and fax number of your recipient and that’s all you need to do.
The app even enhances the quality of the pictures you take. Its as if you’re carrying a mobile scanner in your pocket which is ready to be used at any time.
The tricky part here is that you will need to buy credits in order to fax documents. It comes with free 200mb storage, though. In order to unlock more features and/or get more space, you will need to pay a monthly subscription fee.
This app revolves around the same concept as the previous one. It allows you to store, sync, share, and fax documents from any spot you’re at. You will be able to store the faxes you received and access them from any other web-enabled device (as in any other cloud storage app).
The app allows you to fax all types of formats such as:
- Pdf files
- Excel spreadsheets
- Photos and many more
All you have to do is find the file you want to send, upload it to the FA app and choose the “fax” option from there. Just as if you’re sending a document from a physical faxing machine, you will need to enter the recipient’s information. The app even sends over a traditional cover sheet.
There are all sorts of plans in the App from which you can choose, all coming at a monthly fee with the first (cheapest) plan having 20GB cloud storage.
Pro Tip: Start with the trial plan. It will give you 1GB of free cloud storage and 10 free outbound faxes.
Breezy – Your On-The-Go Friend
Things cannot get simpler than this app, honestly. You just select a document and press “Share”. Then choose “Breezy” from the list that pops up and that is it. You will be able to preview the whole thing and/or just press “send as fax”. Lastly, enter your recipient’s fax number and select whether you’d want to include a cover sheet in the fax.
Same as the first app, you will have to get credits to send documents as faxes. There are all sorts of packages, where for a certain price you get a number of outgoing faxes available.
All in all, these faxing applications are an amazing solution for any small-business owner or freelancer. With these installed on your mobile phone, you won’t have to worry whether you will be in the office when a fax needs to be sent/received. It is just that great!
Whether you are on the road, or simply in the office with your mobile phone in your hand, you’d want to be able to view your incoming faxes and maybe even send some while you are at it. The times when your computer is out of reach are the times when sending a fax from your cell phone might come into play. With today’s applications, you can send and receive faxes directly from your smartphone. Furthermore, some of them even let you scan physical documents and fax them straight to a fax number as pdf files. What we witness is the perfect symbiosis between new and old, proven technology. And that is available to you in the form of time-saving innovations.