Google's cellular service gets rebranded, offers support for iPhones

Saul Franklin
November 30, 2018

And, while the focus is on U.S. customers using Android handsets it also works on iPhones and can be purchased outside the US.

It's great to see Google Fi finally expanding to so many more devices, but the heap of limitations does sour the deal quite a bit.

Now, the service will be officially supported on just about any mainstream Android phone or iPhone from the last couple years.

If you're a new customer, you have to port in your current personal phone number during sign up which must be now active. And because the program is still in beta, Google says users are required to go through a "few extra steps" to get the service working via the Google Fi iOS app.

Project Fi is hugely popular among those who can take advantage of it, but that number was limited until now not only by location but also the fact that they need to be using one of a limited number of devices in order to take advantage of it.

Google changed the name of its MVNO service from Project Fi to Google Fi and added a new bring-your-own-device option that will allow the service to work on most Android phones and iPhones.

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The service besides ensuring smooth transitioning among multiple networks also securely connects the users to the available public Wi-Fi networks.

For its MVNO, Google touts that users can pay $20 for a line of texting and talking, and then can pay $10 for every 1 GB of data they use, up to a max of $60 per month. After that, additional data is free, although the company may throttle speeds if you use more than 15GB. Google doesn't operate its own cell tower infrastructure for Fi, but instead rents it from other operators, including T-Mobile and Verizon. Phones that haven't been optimized for Fi won't auto-switch to Google's Wi-Fi, the same way they won't auto-switch through the three carriers.

If you're considering switching to Fi, just be forewarned that service can be patchy - but far from unusable - and not all devices supported by Fi offer carrier switching.

If you are living in India (or in South Asia, Africa, Europe or Australia), you need not to worry about Google Fi and it's perplexing working scheme as the service as of now is available only in the United States.

Fi "intelligently" shifts smartphone service between Sprint, T-Mobile, US Cellular, and Wi-Fi hotspots to provide optimal signals, according to Google.

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