Google is finally getting serious about Project Fi. The experimental network got launched back in 2015 and only worked with a few select handsets. All that’s changed now. The company is now officially calling the enterprise Google Fi and throwing open its doors to more Android handsets and iPhones.
This is exciting news for anyone who’s wanted to try out Google Fi on their Android or iOS device. The service is currently restricted to the US, but offers free international roaming worldwide. It’s basically an MVNO (mobile virtual network operator), using T-Mobile, US Cellular, and Sprint’s coverage for its own purposes.
Google Fi’s USP is the fact that users can hop between different carrier networks depending on how strong its signal is in an area. However, only “designed for Fi” smartphones can do this such as the Pixel lineup, LG V35 ThinQ, and Moto X4. The others have no choice but to use T-Mobile’s bandwidth.
Google Fi on iPhones
iPhones will probably have to deal with this restriction. Plus, Google says its iOS service is currently in beta. Some features such as 4G LTE speeds, iMessage, unlimited calls and texts, and zero roaming fees in 170 markets are present.
On the flip side, some settings will have to be changed to get non-iPhone messages to work and voicemails won’t appear in the iOS voicemail app. Folks will get them as texts instead and will have to call to check them. Google Fi further provides for an in-built VPN service to keep things private, but that isn’t accessible to iPhones.
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It might be a better idea to wait for Fi to get out of its iOS beta before jumping on board. As for price, it’s the same for everyone. $20/month for a new phone line, $10 for each GB of data used up until 6GB, and free high-speed data post that limit. Speeds slow down once a person crosses the 15GB mark.
You can download Google Fi for iOS via the App Store and Android via the Play Store. You can check your device’s compatibility here.