Digital signature: How do I sign documents with a smartphone?

Digital signature: How do I sign documents with a smartphone?

electronic signature
How do I sign documents with a smartphone?

Signing documents digitally is often more practical than waiting for the paper copy. What you need to know about Handy-Signatur.

With smartphones getting more and more powerful every year, more and more people are working with them. This signature includes one document or another. This works in different ways, Apple devices can do it from the factory, and Android phones need the help of the app. This is how a digital signature ends up under contracts, apps, and companies.

Legal differences

Not all documents stand up to the law with a digital signature. In the case of letters of termination of rental and employment relationships as well as guarantees, only what is called a “qualified digital signature” (QES) supersedes the “written signature” on the original document. The documents signed by QES have been legally binding in all EU member states since 2016, when the EU adopted the eIDAS Regulation.

To be able to create QES, users must confirm their identity. There are actual online procedures and options for this, such as introducing yourself at the Deutsche Post. To protect it from subsequent changes, it is stored on a smart card or server. The EU provides a validating overview of trustworthy companies – only these companies should be contacted by people who need QES.

Signature function is standard only on Apple devices

In order to sign an application or a mobile phone purchase contract, a manual signature that swings directly on the smartphone screen is sufficient. To do this, the document must be saved as a PDF file on the mobile phone, for example by downloading an email attachment.

Apple users have a special convenience, iOS devices with factory signature function. To do this, click the pen icon in the upper right corner of the PDF, then select an already saved signature or create a new one. Everything is very easy to use and can be shared and managed across all Apple devices thanks to the cloud solution.

Various alternatives on all platforms

On the other hand, anyone who owns an Android cell phone has to decide on one or more apps. The most obvious solution for many users is Adobe Acrobat Reader. The most widely used PDF viewer has an integrated recording function. To do this, go to the document you want to sign, and then click on the pencil icon in the lower right corner. Stylized ballpoint pen leads to signature options. Moreover, his signature can be photocopied or imported if it is a file on the cell phone.

The Adobe solution also works on iOS devices; Several other solutions are also available for both operating systems. The most downloaded are “PDF Extra – Scan, Edit & Sign” (Android / iOS), “Adobe Fill & Sign” (Android / iOS), “DocuSign” (Android / iOS) and “Signeasy” (Android / iOS). These apps are very similar and do what they are supposed to. Since they are all free on top of that, it is worth taking a closer look at the users to find their personal favorites.

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