Sadly, we still live in a world where people insist on sending and receiving faxes. So when you are forced to use this dying technology it’s best to use a web-based fax system. (If you have a traditional fax machine that uses a telephone line, take it out back and smash it with a baseball bat).
Recently, MyFax announced something interesting: attorneys can now receive and store all their incoming faxes on their iPhone or BlackBerry by way of an Internet faxing app. The iPhone app, for example, allows you to:
enter the recipient’s name and fax number, or look it up in your Contact Book. take a picture of a page using your iPhone’s camera. Optimized for sending photos of text – includes a slider control to adjust the darkness threshold of the photo for maximum text clarity (best results with iPhone 3GS or iPhone 4). You can also choose photos from the Photo Album. Send up to 8 pages in a single fax, plus the cover page. view the status of your sent faxes (Pending, Successful, or Failed), including those sent by email or from the MyFax online website. Faxes sent from the iPhone are highlighted with a colored icon.
The Blackberry app, which works in a similar fashion, can be acquired at this link. An iPad app is in the works, but it’s hard to say how helpful that will be until the iPad gets a camera. The main benefit of an app like this to be that one can take pictures of a document with a few pages and then fax straight from a smartphone.
Of course, anyone can basically do the same thing with an iPhone scanning apps such as ScannerPro ($6.99 at time of this post). ScannerPro allows you to take pictures of several pages and combine them into one PDF that you can then email. Since all of the web-based fax services allow you to initiate a fax by emailing it to a special address (e.g. firstname.lastname@example.org) you can already do this trick with any smartphone that has a camera and allows you to send emails with attachments.
So if you have a web-based faxing service get ScannerPro for your smartphone and don’t be a slave to one of those Soviet era fax machines. You deserve a better life than that, don’t you?