While email has certainly destroyed the fax machine, most of us still need to send one, maybe two faxes a year to weird, outdated institutions. Thankfully, you can do it with nothing but your smartphone. Here's how.
Perhaps because of the rarity of need, smartphone fax apps are a treasure trove of scams, convoluted billing systems, and hidden monthly subscription fees. While you can use an app on your smartphone to send faxes, the app still needs to dial into a telephone network to do so.
Because of that, you'll probably need to pay at least a little bit of money to send a fax, depending on the number of pages you need to send. We didn't have any luck finding a reliable app that offered more than a handful of faxes for free. Still, these apps can do a lot to make sending that fax easier.
Send a Fax from Android
You have a ton of different options for fax apps on Android, and nearly all of them seem like scams. If you just need to send a couple pages, we like Fax Burner, which allows you to send five pages for free (and receive 25, if that's your thing). Just open up the app, sign up for an account, then select the pages you want to fax from either your phone's storage. Fax Burner doesn't have a built-in scanner, but it does have a photo mode if you want to just snap a picture of a document and hope for the best. Otherwise, you'll need digital copies of anything you need to fax before you use the app. If you need to fax more than five pages, the price jumps to an annual subscription of $US80 ($111), so it's really only useful if you need it all the time or just once.
If you need more than five pages and an $US80 ($111) subscription is too much, FaxFile seems to be your best choice. It uses a credit system for sending faxes. It's 10 credits per page, and credit packages are available as in-app purchases for $US2.49 ($3) per 50 credits (five pages), $US10 ($14) for 250 (25 pages) credits, and up. You can send PDF, DOC, PNG, or JPG files.
Send a Fax from iOS
Depending on what you need to do, we have two different recommendations for faxing on iOS. Like with Android, if you just need to send one fax, one time, we like Fax Burner (Free). FaxBurner lets you send up to five pages for free and receive up to 25 pages per month for free.
For a more rounded approach, we like Tiny Fax (Free). Tiny Fax uses a credit system, where you need to purchase credits and use those to send faxes (for 10 credits per page). You can buy 50 credits (five pages) for $US2.99 ($4) or 250 (25 pages) for $US9.99 ($14). Tiny Fax packs in a built-in scanner for scanning in your documents, and a cover letter builder to make a professional looking cover letter in just a couple taps. It also connects with Dropbox, Box, and Google Drive so you can easily grab documents from there.
Once you get the pages you want to fax in order, simply tap the giant start button, pick your pages, enter the fax number, then tap the "Add Cover" page to add a cover letter. Tiny Fax will tell you how many credits you need to send your fax, which you can purchase right in the app. Tap the send button and you're all done.