Google Fi latest news: everything you need to know
By GB Blog Official 2018-11-30 589 1
What is Google Fi?
Having started out as Project Fi launched in 2015, Google's new service is basically a form of a wireless carrier that let a selection of Google phones get coverage through a mix of Wi-Fi and cooperating carrier networks. The biggest draw to the new network was its flexibility and the principle of users only paying for what they use - compared to the cumbersome plans offered by popular carriers.
Now, Project Fi has been transformed into Google Fi and has removed its number one restriction - you can now use the new carrier on almost any phone, including the iPhone.
How does Google Fi work exactly?
Google Fi works in a similar way like any other carrier – except, it's a mix of three carriers (T-Mobile, Sprint and US Cellular) and Wi-Fi networks. Google Fi uses a special SIM and software to validate your phone on T-Mobile, Sprint and US Cellular and will then automatically switch between the networks based on which one offers a better coverage in a specific area.
More than that, Google Fi makes full use of the availability of Wi-Fi networks and switches to Wi-Fi whenever possible. Using a dedicated Wi-Fi assistant, your phone will be in constant search of available Wi-Fi networks (that can provide a solid connection) and, once connected, route your connection through a VPN (virtual private network) to ensure the connection's security. This has the potential of significantly cutting down on your mobile data usage. You will be able to use phone regularly, send message and even stay in the middle of the call as your phone switches between networks.
Additionally, you will be able to make use of other features like call forwarding from your Fi number to any number of your choice, voicemail, etc.
Does Google Fi support making international calls?
In fact, yes. Google Fi works in over 170 countries — and here's the best part — at no additional cost. You will be able to make calls at the reasonable flat rate of $0.20/min while abroad and even for free when Wi-Fi networks are available. The same goes for internationally used data — you will be charged at the same rate as at home ($10 per GB with the 6GB limit before Bill Protection comes into play).
What smartphones support Google Fi?
As we've mentioned at the beginning, originally, Google Fi was meant primarily for Google phones. And at the time of its launch, it was actually meant for only one phone — the Google Nexus 6. Then, the range expanded to include all Google devices. And now, as of 2018, Google Fi will work on any unlocked phone — but with some limitations.
You will still be getting the prime Fi experience on some of Google's latest phones like the Pixel 3, 3 XL, 2 and 2 XL. These phones come with an eSIM that's already programmed for Google Fi — so you won't even need a physical SIM card.
Then there are phones that can give you much of the same experience except for the eSIM: your phone will seamlessly switch between networks and make transitions to Wi-Fi when possible. These devices include LG V35, LG G7, Moto G6, Android One Moto X4 and some others.
Now, as we've mentioned earlier, Google Fi will be supported by any unlocked phones. With most of these phones, you will be able to use most of Google Fi's benefits (international roaming, billing deals, etc.) except for network switching and VPN for wireless networks. Surprisingly, the unlocked phones supporting Google Fi also include iPhones — and Google Fi even supports iMessage.
Summing things up, what are the key advantages of Google Wi-Fi?
Let's go over the main points that make Google Fi exciting.
Instead of getting involved in complicated long term financial plans, Google Fi gives you an option of a really simple billing plan and the clarity of the “pay for what you use” scenario.
Improved network coverage
With Google Fi, you are getting to use three carriers on a single SIM. So, if you have one of the Google Fi friendly phones, your device will automatically connect to the carrier with the best coverage of the area.
Safe Wi-Fi switching
The ability of a Google Fi phone to search out safe Wi-Fi networks and use a dedicated VPN is a great option to have on board when it comes to savings.
If you travel a lot, having an easy and affordable international data plan can be a real blessing. And with the coverage of 170 countries, you will be able to stay connected abroad without hassle.
Google Fi is not significantly cheaper than other networks but it does offer options to save. Depending on your data and calling habits, Google Fi may be a very compelling package for you.
How to apply for Google Fi?
Connecting to Google Fi is really easy. If you already have one of the Google phones with the pre-programmed SIM, all you will need to do is sign up for the service online. Alternatively, after you sign up online, you will need to wait for the company to send you a Google Fi SIM card.
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