Google has had its own MVNO wireless service option for quite awhile now, but its selection of devices has been pretty limited.
While the service does support additional handsets other than Google’s own Pixel smartphones, the list hasn’t been extensive. But that’s changing today. Google has officially announced that not only is the company changing the name of the MVNO from “Project Fi” to “Google Fi” (to reflect the broader availability of the service), it is also adding support for new Android devices from the likes of OnePlus and Samsung (including more devices from LG and Motorola), but it is also adding support for Apple’s iPhone lineup.
For those not in the know, Google Fi will switch between T-Mobile, Sprint, and Wi-Fi networks, depending on which is offering up the best possible service. However, while switching between those networks is designed to be quick and painless, it sounds like some devices are just going to work better on Google Fi than others:
“Some plan features will depend on the Android or iOS device you use. So if you’re looking for the full Google Fi experience, including Fi’s unique technology to seamlessly switch between multiple cellular networks, you can use a phone designed for Fi—like the Pixel 3, Moto G6, and any other phone available on the Google Fi website. These phones include special hardware and software to move effortlessly between Google Fi’s networks and provide you with even more security and reliability through Fi’s new enhanced network feature.”
As for the iPhone, Google says the setup process has a few additional steps when compared to Android handsets, but doesn’t go into any detail in the announcement. 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. A link to download and install that app is available below. Keep in mind that Google says iPhone support is still in beta, so the experience may have some rough edges.
Here’s a brief rundown of what you should expect from an iPhone working with Google Fi:
In addition to that, Google has confirmed that for an iPhone to work, it needs to be an iPhone 5S, 6, SE, or newer. The iPhone 5c, 5, or older don’t appear to work on Google Fi.
Google is hosting a limited promotion to mark the announcement. The most noteworthy is tied to gift cards. Today only, if you sign up for new Google Fi service and buy a new phone, you will get gift cards that total up to the full cost of the phone. So if you pick up a Pixel 3 XL with 128GB of storage? That will net you $999 worth of gift cards, which you can mix-and-match for services like Hotels.com, Airbnb, or flights from Delta or Southwest Airlines.
Or, if you bring your own device, you’ll get a $200 Google Fi service credit that should cover your bill for quite some time.
Google Fi is available now, and finally for the iPhone. Think you’ll make the switch?
- Google Fi — Free
[via Google Blog]