Project Fi is now Google Fi and officially supports more Android phones

Project Fi is now Google Fi and officially supports more Android phones

While the service does support additional handsets other than Google's own Pixel smartphones, the list hasn't been extensive.

In brief: Google's fairer and more straightforward alternative to traditional cell services, Project Fi, may be about to get much more accessible. That changes today, with Fi now open to "the majority" of phones-including iPhone.

That's certainly a vague statement, making it even more unclear what Google actually has in store for those wanting to give Project-Fi a test-drive - but we can expect to know more once the search-giant makes its official announcement in the coming days. Since its inception, Fi has only been compatible with specific phones, all of which ran Android. Crucially, the service is now (mostly) compatible with iPhones, and to celebrate the change, Google is rebranding the service to just Google Fi. Thus, customers essentially can pay $80 for unlimited data service (users' connection speeds are slowed if they consume more than 15 GB in a month, though Google notes that less than 1% of its users typically consume more than 15 GB in a month). Aside from the nifty pricing scheme, that includes access to Google's two million free (and secured) Wi-Fi hotspots around the world, to get you off of metered mobile data as frequently as possible. That's noteworthy considering Google has a mixed track record in the services it supports: The company has discontinued offerings like Google Wave, Buzz and Reader, and though it still supports its Google Voice service, it hasn't put much emphasis on the service in years. But you'll also be getting coverage that is inferior to what a true Fi device gets.

Since this marks the first time Fi is available on an iPhone, there's also a new iOS app. iPhones will need iOS 11 or higher, and Android devices will need Android 7.0 or higher and bands 2 and 4. First, it combines cellular and WiFi so that you may be making calls or receiving text messages over WiFi, but the service will seamlessly transition to cellular when you leave a hotspot. Those phones can automatically switch between T-Mobile, Sprint, and US Cellular networks depending on which has the best signal, whereas The Verge reports that other phones appear to be sticking with T-Mobile only. The service, now dubbed Google Fi, will be available for certain Samsung and OnePlus phones, as well as iPhones - though the latter will be in beta for the time being.

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