Nowadays, you can send and receive faxes with Android devices (phones and tablets) thanks to the help of online fax services, which let you fax by using only your Internet connection.
This is the only way to do it, since there is no other way you can connect your Android device to a traditional fax line or to a fax machine. Nevertheless, this is a good thing, given that faxing over the Web is much faster and convenient than doing it through a machine. Forget about using tons of paper, now you can simply read faxes on your screen.
Using Online Fax Services with Android
Online fax services made their appearance some years ago, as an effort to speed up faxing without losing security and its compatibility with legacy fax machines.
These services work through a digital fax line, capable of receiving and converting fax transmissions in fractions of a second. With them, we can enjoy the flexibility of faxing using different devices, like for instance, our phones and tablets.
Once you’ve signed up with a service, your email account will be associated to a virtual number, allowing you to fax using just your email. Since you can access your email from your phone, you can use your preferred email Android app to check for new faxes.
Other companies have decided to go a step further, developing apps that make faxing from Android a breeze. These apps are becoming increasingly popular, due to the fact that they turn your smartphone into a virtual fax machine, capable of not only receiving faxes but composing and sending them as well.
There are two types of online fax services that use Android apps: Those that require a monthly subscription, and those where you pay per page sent.
I would recommend those that work with a monthly fee if you plan on faxing regularly. It will cost you much less than paying per fax, and on top of that most of them let you star with a 30 day free trial account.
Paying per fax costs more if you rely on faxing, but it is not a problem if you only want to send the occasional fax.
To fax from an Android device, you will need the following things:
- An Android smartphone or tablet. With some apps you may be required to download the latest update.
- A free or paid subscription to an online fax service.
- An Internet connection.
How to Send a Fax
Once you have signed up with your preferred online fax provider, there are two ways your can fax from your device:
1. Using an app
The exact way to send a fax will vary depending on the app you are using. Having said that, they also share a lot of similarities. You will typically have to do the following:
- Open the app on your smartphone or tablet.
- Sign in using your credentials.
- Tap on “Send a Fax”.
After that, you’ll need to fill out a short form where you will enter the number and name of the recipient.
- Attach the document you want to fax.
You’ll need the document you want to fax stored on your phone. Some services like eFax and RingCentral also allow you to include documents from a cloud-storage service account like Drop, Dropbox and Google Drive. Depending on the app, you will also be able to to send a fax using your phone’s camera as a scanner. The app will take a picture of a document, and will optimize it so it can be easily read on another device or fax machine. Make sure you follow your provider’s instructions to ensure your document is 100% readable.
- Press Send.
2. Using Your Email
This is an easy way to send a fax with an online service in case you have problems with an app. As you may know, you can also send fax from Gmail, Outlook or another email you have. Just follow these steps:
- Open your email app.
- Click on the button to compose a new email message.
- On the TO field, enter the recipient’s number and then add @yourfaxservice.com. The exact web domain to use will be sent to your email when you sign up with a service.
- Attach the document you want to send as fax.
- Write any additional message you have by typing it into the Message field.
- Press Send.
With any of the two above methods, once your fax has been sent you’ll receive a confirmation message in your email with all the details of the transmission.
Receiving faxes is even easier than sending them. Once you have your online fax account, you’ll obtain a virtual fax number, which will let you receive faxes in any Android device you have.
1. Using your email
Reading incoming faxes is as easy as checking for new messages on your email inbox. Any fax that is sent to your digital fax number will be automatically converted and forwarded to your email address.
Faxes will arrive as PDF attachments, readable on any computer or Android mobile device, by using the built in reader or downloading your preferred PDF reading app from Google Play.
It’s better to have an email account exclusively dedicated to faxing, this way you can receive notifications of new messages on your phone, by setting them up on your email app.
2. Using an app
If you want to receive faxes in an even simpler way, you can just use your service’s app. You will usually have to follow these steps (again, details vary from app to app).
- Open your mobile fax app.
- Sign in using your username and password.
- Tap on “Inbox” or “Receive Faxes”. You will be taken to a section where you can find all the faxes you have received. From there, you can read them or download them.
Most cell phone fax apps for Android have the option to activate notifications. You can even change the sound of fax notifications to identify new faxes easily on the go.