While the original patents pre-date the California Gold Rush (1849), the humble fax machine is still relevant today and getting a 21st century update with a new eFax app for Android. The new app targets businesses with mobile capabilities that help manage and move important documents anytime, anywhere, "keeping productivity on the fast track".
The company also announced eVoice, a "radically better phone number" with the availability of its latest mobile application for Apple devices. Now, iOS users can make and receive VoIP phone calls over multiple networks including WiFi connection, 3G/4G. This includes offering iPad users phone capabilities, even with no wireless carrier chip.
Survey Shows Importance of Mobile Fax for Small Business
The availability of the new eFax mobile app coincides with a recent subscriber survey of individuals and small business professionals conducted by j2 Global Communications, Inc. "on the changing nature of fax." The survey reported that 70% of respondents believe mobile faxing will be an "important" or "very important" part of their business processes over the next five years. Further, almost 66% (two-thirds) of survey respondents "...have been in a situation where sending or receiving a mobile fax would have benefited their business".
A recent report from Research and Markets, a Dublin based marketing data reseller, confirmed the fax "is alive and well," stating that the overall fax service industry will grow from almost US$ 1 billion (US$ 935 million) in 2009 to US$ 1.7 billion by 2014. The report said
The Internet fax services industry will experience growth rates for the individual Internet fax services market of 11.1% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) and for enterprise Internet fax services of 15.5% CAGR growth rate for the forecast period."
Mobile Faxing Features
- Create and send faxes -- this includes using the smartphone camera as the fax scanner to take pictures of documents, enhanced by the software. Multiple pages are also supported.
- View and search faxes -- a quick view and search mode checks all received faxes. Faxes are converted to searchable documents using OCR (optical character recognition) technology, allowing them to be acted upon anywhere, anytime.
- Support for mobile cover sheets and contact lists -- the Android-based app allows users to create customized fax cover sheets with access to their contact list.
- Tag and archive faxes -- search tags may be added to individual faxes to archive for later retrieval.
- Forwarding capabilities -- fax messages may be forwarded from the inbox as emails or faxes.
eVoice Transforms iOS Devices
On the eVoice App for iOS, the company said the Mobile App "...transforms an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch into a multi-purpose business phone system with powerful features," including:
- Phone calling via a WiFi or 3G/4G network using VoIP
- Automated attendant with 24/7 access to answer and route inbound calls professionally
- Multiple extensions for employees, including intercom functionality
- Voice mail transcription service, with audio files sent to email or text
- Call screening and other advanced call handling features
One unique advantage the company highlighted, is the ability to keep a separate business line, maintaining the privacy of personal numbers. The technology can also be used to overcome the problem of dropped calls in environments notorious for poor connectivity. eVoice can make phone calls in locations that support a Wi-Fi signal but no wireless carrier access, such as a subway, train, basement office or a rural home office.
New Intercom Feature Saves Money and Minutes
The new eVoice Mobile App’s also supports a new Intercom feature offering "...a simple way for eVoice customers to instantly communicate with their most important contacts," the company said. "By assigning extensions to employees, business contacts, or even family members -- eVoice users can communicate with these contacts without using any of their eVoice or mobile carrier minutes."
- Helps lower cell phone minute usage through VoIP calling over a data connection using WiFi or a 3G/4G network
- Supports caller ID and the extensions dialed on your incoming calls
- Intercom Feature enhances access to important contacts
- Expanded calling options to choose the way calls are placed or received using the VoIP “on” “off” feature
The company is offering a 6-month free trial of the eVoice Mobile App.