Did you know that, in addition to allowing cell phone camera owners to snap some fantastic pictures, these cameras also enable you to fax files? There are services that offer to convert snapshots taken by a cell phone camera into faxes and send them to more than 200 countries. Take our quiz to see whether you are up to date on faxing from a cell phone.
According to RCR Wireless News, 79 percent of all cell phones sold in the United States in 2007 had a built-in digital camera.
According to Computer World, there are an estimated 1 billion camera phones in use around the world. The picture quality of these phones is constantly improving.
Many cell phone manufacturers have now released phones with cameras that have 5 megapixels of resolution. There are rumors that some manufacturers are aiming for doubling that to 10 megapixels.
Cellular fax service works in a similar way as Internet faxing. You take a picture of the item and software in the phone or a remote server converts the picture to a PDF file that is e-mailed to a fax service.
Fax software converts and optimizes a picture into a readable PDF file that you can do more with than simply faxing. It also simplifies an image to make a file smaller and faster to transmit.
The most commonly accepted phones for fax service are 3G phones made by Sony Ericsson and Nokia. Most iphones will also qualify; a minimum requirement in any case is minimum resolution of at least 2 megapixels.
According to the cell phone fax company ScanR, about 300 different cell phones models on the market meet their minimum requirements. That number is increasing rapidly as new phones are released.
You will be required to subscribe to a data service with your wireless provider if you do not already have it. You have to have data service to be able to e-mail your files to the fax service.
Check that your data service from your service provider does not have a size restriction on data file size. You will also want to check if the data service pricing structure does not make faxing cost prohibitive.
Files that have been processed and compressed by software resident on a phone are significantly smaller, so they will be sent over your network faster. Processed files are cheaper to transmit if you pay for data transfer by megabyte.
The two most popular cell phone to fax service providers are Comombo and ScanR. The other choices listed here are all Internet fax providers.
With Comombo you must install their free software before you can use their service. With ScanR software installation is optional as you can also use their service without installing any software.
You can locate your cell phone on the site and see what fax clarity it is rated for on a scale of 100. If your phone is not listed, you can download, print and photograph a test template and send it for a rating on a scale of 100.
Your image file will be compressed to a PDF file that is 20 to 80 KB a page in size. What a nice extra is that you can simply email the PDF file where you want at no charge without having to fax.
With both services, you can fax documents, white board contents, business cards, etc. You can also email the PDF file created to yourself or in the case of the ScanR no software option they will email it to you if you desire.