Do you need to upgrade to Google Fi on the iPhone?

Earlier this week, Google announced that its "Project Fi" cellular service provider division had moved from the beta "project" to the complete Google Fi product. The name has changed, but what is really interesting and exciting is that as part of this change, Google Fi now officially supports the iPhone.

In the days of Project Fi, two days ago, users could take their SIM card and put it in an iPhone. You had to change some settings, but it would work. It's now Google Fi, however …

You again need to change some settings to make it work.

Technically, support for Google Fi on iPhone is currently in beta. IPhone users have limited functionality and in some cases – you guessed it – you may need to change some settings to take advantage of all the features. Nevertheless, the unique pricing system of Google Fi is very interesting and you may not want to dismiss the idea of ​​simply passing because of hiccups. So let's talk about what it would mean to upgrade to Google Fi as an iPhone user, check boxes to money that you could save.

First things first. You need to have a new iPhone (ish) to use Google Fi, because the service is only compatible with models prior to the iPhone 5S or SE and run iOS 11 or later. later version. Your phone can not be locked by your carrier either: If you bought your phone from your current carrier (instead of buying it directly from Apple), you may have to ask your phone to unlock it.

Assuming your iPhone is compatible, iPhone owners using Fi have access to a restricted beta version of the service that does not include some of their best selling points. Fi, as an MVNO provider using the infrastructure of other service providers, allows some users to link multiple carrier networks, including Sprint, T-Mobile and US Cellular , to get the best service. The iPhones on Fi however get a cellular service and data via the T-Mobile network. IPhone users will also not have access to the Virtual Private Network (Fi VPN), which offers additional security. To be honest, these features currently only work with "Fi-designed" phones, but they are also among the most important advantages over a large operator.

Some technical issues also hinder some of the essential features of the phone. When using Fi, iPhones can not call or use the phone's visual voicemail application. Instead, you can call your voicemail to listen to your voicemails and send you transcripts via SMS. Although iMessage is working properly, iPhone users will need to take additional steps to enable SMS and MMS text messaging. Finally, the phone can not be used as a point of access to data outside the United States. None of these features necessarily represent huge losses – it's an excuse just as good as telling people not to leave you message – but it's a long list of drawbacks. that you can avoid elsewhere.

Still, there is still a good reason to want to use Google Fi even if you have an iPhone: the pricing structure. Google Fi charges USD 20 per month for phone service and sending SMS, plus USD 10 per GB of data, up to USD 60. In other words, it's $ 80 for unlimited calls, SMS, and data, but you can get a discount if you use a little data. If you like traveling, you get an extra advantage: the phone operates in 179 countries and no roaming charges.

The service becomes even more profitable if you are part of a family plan. Each additional user or device costs USD 15 per month and increases the maximum price of the data, but of a lower amount for each user. That's $ 155 for 10 GB or more between two users, $ 170 for 12 GB of data or more for three, $ 205 for 14 GB or more for four, and so on. Do not forget that you can always spend less if you are thrifty about your use of the data. On the other hand, although Google offers promotions to subsidize the cost of new phones, these prices relate only to the service, no phone included.

Gather everything and it seems like Google Fi is a nice new option, but it can only interest a specific type of iPhone user. If you are a big consumer of data and / or have a family plan, and you do not mind going through a few steps, it may be worth pursuing. For all the others … Well, I guess you will have to check the numbers, look at the problems and determine what you think. Or check the Google Fi app for more information.

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