Google Fi network adds support for iPhones (and most Android phones)

Pauline Obrien
November 30, 2018

As expected, Google has to make some concessions with Project Fi's features and the devices the network supports, along with the features that come along with it.

Google has loosened its stranglehold on Project Fi, expanding its USA cellphone network service beyond its own handsets to competitor smartphones made by Samsung and Apple.

Unlimited calls and texts on Project Fi cost just $20 per month, and mobile data costs just $10 per gigabyte (GB). New or existing customers buying their phones from Google Fi can get the value of their phone of choice through any mixture of gift cards for Airbnb, Hotels.com, Delta and Southwest Airlines.

The service throttles the data speed after 15GB is used.

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Still, phones that are optimized for Google Fi, including Google's Pixel phones and a few handsets from LG and Motorola, will work better.

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. Instead, if you want to sign up for Google Fi, those extra steps will be detailed within the iOS app as you go through the process of setting up service.

Google Fi, now exclusive to select markets, aims to simplify mobile data usage with smart technologies like automatic network switching and compatible Wi-Fi networks. When Wi-Fi is unavailable does it fall back to cellular connectivity for voice and data, utilizing multiple networks from different cellular carriers.

When using a Wi-Fi network, Google Fi routes the connection through a VPN making the connection more secure.

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The draw of Project, er, Google Fi includes features like worldwide data in 170 countries at no extra cost, spam protection, data-only SIM cards for extra devices, and that sweet ability to switch between multiple cell carriers so-in theory-you're always getting the speediest network at a given time. Google spoiled this a bit by sending out "Google Fi" flyers (complete with the new logo) with some Pixel 3 purchases earlier this month, but now it's official.

It's worth noting that "Designed for Fi" phones have a longer feature list than "Compatible with Fi" units.

As we reported yesterday, Google Fi will now support a larger group of Android smartphones along with most newer iPhones. This deal is only available for today only (November 28), so you'll need to act fast.

Your Android phone needs to be on Nougat or later, while iPhones need to be on iOS 11 or later.

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