As much as I think the fax technology should finally give up the ghost, it will probably last longer than I do. The fax is as ingrained into the world of business as the company meeting, middle-management, and khaki. But just because your company (and other companies) make use of ancient technology doesn't mean you can't work with that technology using your modern devices.
Thanks to a free app called FaxFile, you can now send either PDF or doc/docx files to any fax number in the US or Canada (and some international numbers). With FaxFile, you can fax to contact numbers or enter a fax phone number. There isn't a monthly subscription cost, but each fax will cost you fax credits (which are bought through an in-app purchase within the Google Play Store). Fifty credits is $2.49, and each fax to US and Canada costs 10 credits. That's pretty easy math and well worth the cost, considering how easy faxing becomes while on-the-go.
Let's install FaxFile and put it to use.
As you might expect, installing FaxFile is quite easy. Just follow these simple steps:
- Open the Google Play Store on the device
- Search for FaxFile
- Locate and tap the entry by Actual Software Inc.
- Tap Install
- Read through the permissions listing
- If you're okay with the permissions, tap Accept
- Allow the installation to complete
Once it's installed, tap the launcher on the home screen (or from within the app drawer) and read through the intro.
FileFax works like so:
- From the main window (Figure A), add at least one document
- Tap Recipient Fax to manually enter the Fax number or tap the pick contact button and select the recipient from your contacts
- Tap the continue button
FaxFile running on A Verizon-branded HTC M8.
At this point, you may receive a message that the chosen contact is not labeled as a fax number. You are given two choices: 1) Return to setup or 2) Send the fax. If you tap Send the fax, you'll then be prompted to add your name and your Fax/Phone number (Figure B).
Including your name with the fax.
To complete the fax process, you must now buy credits. In the next window (Figure C), tap Buy Credits and walk through the purchase. After this step, the Send button will be made available and you can tap it to send your fax.
Time to purchase credits for sending faxes.
You can also buy credits by tapping the overflow menu button and selecting Buy Credits. From that same menu, you can access your Billing History, view the Status Screen, and look at International Rates.
If you happen to need a cover page, you can add one one by following these steps:
- From the main window, tap the overflow menu button
- Tap Add Cover Page
- If prompted, tap Install for FaxCover (this is also free)
- Walk through the process of installing FaxCover (if necessary)
- Enter the desired information for the cover page (Figure D)
- Tap Continue
- Proof the cover page
- If the page is good, tap Save
Entering information for a cover page.
After the cover page is saved, it will show up in the file listing for the fax as a .pdf document.
If you're looking for one of the easiest means of faxing word documents, PDFs, and images on the go, then look no further than FaxFile. For those who still cling to ancient faxing technology, this handy app can really simplify your modern on-the-go life.
What do you think? Should the fax finally be retired? Has modern technology made the fax irrelevant? Sound off in the discussion thread below.
Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website jackwallen.com.