GD Quickie: Why Fax When You Can iPad?

Last week was my in-laws 40th wedding anniversary. We wanted to send them into Manhattan for a weekend filled with the symphony, good food and a great hotel with a view of Central Park. It all came together at the last minute and we ran into a bit of a problem trying to prepay everything that they would be doing. The hotel and both restaurants (one for dinner and one for brunch) required us to sign a number of papers and fax them back so that our credit card could be charged. The problem was, we were up in the country and don’t have a fax machine there. What to do?

iPhone and iPad to the rescue

Two of the businesses required photocopies of our credit card and driver’s license. We couldn’t do that but we were able to take pictures of both and e-mail them to the office. Why photocopy something and then scan it when you can simply take a picture with your iPhone and send it as an attachment?

Then there were the pages that were sent to us and required us to fill in information, affix a signature and then fax them back. That’s where the iPad application Sign My iPad came in quite handy.

I opened the pages in the application and used it to add the relevant information such as names and credit card information. I then handed the iPad to Elana. “What do you want me to do with this?” She asked. “Just sign in the box.” I replied. She looked at me strangely. “With what?” I got another look when I replied, “Your finger.”

She scribbled her name with her finger. It looked perfect. Truth be told we were both surprised by how well it worked. I added the signature to the PDF, saved it and then e-mail to all of the documents back to the hotel and restaurants.

It was fast, seamless, and it didn’t waste a bit of paper either. They accepted the documents and the in-laws had a great weekend.

It’s a whole new world and the iPad is leading the charge.

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About the Author

Dan Cohen
Having a father who was heavily involved in early laser and fiber-optical research, Dan grew up surrounded by technology and gadgets. Dan’s father brought home one of the very first video games when he was young and Dan remembers seeing a “pre-release” touchtone phone. (When he asked his father what the “#” and “*” buttons were his dad said, “Some day, far in the future, we’ll have some use for them.”) Technology seemed to be in Dan’s blood but at some point he took a different path and ended up in the clergy. His passion for technology and gadgets never left him. Dan is married to Raina Goldberg who is also an avid user of Apple products. They live in New Jersey with their golden doodle Nava.

4 Comments on "GD Quickie: Why Fax When You Can iPad?"

  1. I think–and I’m being serious about this–Dan deserves some kind acknowledgement as “Gear Diary person who has most expanded the iPad’s usability boundaries.” (Although Francis’ experimentations with his Nook Color are making a strong run!)

  2. GD Quickie- Why Fax When You Can iPad? | Gear Diary: I then handed the iPad to Elana. “What do you want me…

  3. Not to rain on your parade, but this is hardly new. I have been signing documents on my Tablet PC since around 2002. The app sounds nice and nifty but the Ipad did not make it possible.

    Now, if the IPAD supported an active digitizer, in its form factor, that would be something to crow about.

    Please resist the temptation to be like Apple and pretend that everything the IPAD or Iphone does is new. Remember the hullabaloo when the Iphone got MMS. Apple acted like they found the holy grail when it was a common feature on cheap phones for a decade.

  4. Thanks for your comment James. I reread my post and don’t see anything about my claiming the iPad was the first or the only device to make this possible. If you read the site you know that I was a heavy user of tablet pcs for years. The difference for me is that my tablet pcs were hot, heavy and tended to have short battery life. The iPad is with me pretty much all the time so this becomes a more practical use. Add in the need to have an active digitizer all the time to use a tablet pc and I’ll take this approach personally.

    In addition, being able to do this with a tablet pc was rather obvious to any of us who used the devices. It is less obvious with the iPad (largely due to Apple’s on-going ridiculous level of control over what can and cannot be done.) The point of this post was simply to show yet another way the iPad can be used in a “real world scenario” not that it is the only way to do this.

    With my tablet pcs I never experienced “creep” as the device found its way into more and more of my daily activities as the iPad has.

    Day after day I speak to people who have iPads but don’t have any idea what the tablet can do. Posts like this just highlight yet another way to do this.

    With regard to MMS… I don’t get the hullabaloo either… Especially since I NEVER use the feature. 🙂

    And please feel free to rain away… It keeps me honest and besides, I’m sick of the snow that is falling YET AGAIN.

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