Google’s cheap and easy to use cellphone service now works with a larger variety of devices, including its arch-rival Apple’s iPhones. Google Fi – formerly known as Project Fi – is a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO), meaning instead of using one of the “big four” carriers, it automatically chooses between several cellular networks, hopping around to find the best service available for the location you are in. Fi chooses between Sprint, T-Mobile, and US Cellular, and also favors Wi-Fi whenever possible, including for calls and texts.
CNBC reports that the main attraction towards Google Fi is the simple pricing scheme, which can result in cheaper prices compared to any of the large carriers. To use a Google Fi phone, it costs $20 for unlimited calling and texting, while its $10 per gigabyte of data. Even better? Users will get their money back for whatever data they didn’t utilize. In addition, data usage over 6 GB is free, although Google with fluctuate speeds after users hit 15 GB. It even offers no roaming fees in more than 170 locations.
Though Google Fi offers cheap service with several perks, it wasn’t very useful at first since it only worked with a very small number of phones, particularly from Motorola and Google’s own Pixel line.
That all changes come Wednesday as Google Fi will begin working with iPhones running iOS 11, Samsung, LG, Moto and OnePlus phones running Android 7.0 or higher. iPhone use is currently still in “beta,” meaning users should anticipate bugs, and will be restricted to certain features for now. In addition, iPhones won’t be capable of making calls and texts over WiFi.
Google launched its phone service over three years ago, and just recently changed its name from “Project Fi” to “Google Fi” in its Wednesday’s announcement. The change may be good thing, noting that it may be signaling a commitment to stay alive.