In 2015, Google launched Project Fi as a cellular service. Over several years, various new features have been added to it along with support for more phones. Early last year it was revealed by Stephen Hall (managing Editor of 9to5Google) that Project Fi will no longer be simply a ‘project’. Similar to his suggestion, this MVNO has finally been dropped as ‘project’ by Google and has been named as Google Fi today. The company is greatly expanding its support for iPhones and compatibility for Android devices.
Tidbit: Project Fi will soon no longer be a “Project”.
— Stephen Hall (@hallstephenj) March 24, 2017
The rebranding of Project Fi as Google Fi was the first major change today and has arrived with a more contemporary logo that includes four Google colors and dots but in different shades. According to 9to5Google, the dropping of ‘beta-sounding’ name ‘project’ is a reflection of the company’s long-term commitment to the service. It shows that Google is committed to continue working for its existing customers and nothing will change with the announcement made today.
Apart from the name alteration, the most significant change that has come with Google Fi today is the expansion of device compatibility. Various famous android phones from OnePlus, LG, Samsung and Moto can now sign-up for Fi and Google has noted that majority of Android devices are now supported. Before this, only a few Pixel and Nexus devices could have been used for activating the cellular service.
However, there also remains a caveat with this support expansion of phones that are designated to be compatible with Fi. A majority of devices will not be able to take advantage from network switching technology of Google Fi which helps ensure access to the best signals for subscribers in their present location. As an MNVO, Google utilizes US Cellular, Sprint and T-mobile networks. Those iPhones or Android devices that are not meant for Fi will simply use the T-mobile network and the international partners in foreign countries.
iPhones will also be included in the tier of ‘Compatible with Fi’ as MVNO launches beta support for Google Fi app and iOS today. It will allow users to see their data usage, manage accounts and other payment information with the process only requiring a few extra steps to be set up.
However, in order to experience the best Google Fi and LTE services, it is essential that ‘Designed for Fi’ phones are used which feature special software and hardware responsible for switching between T-mobile, US Cellular and Sprint for best reception.