[Discussion] Are the latest Google Fi updates enough to make you switch?
Anyone who has been following Google long enough knows how they like to experiment with various services. From Google Health to Knol, Google Wave and Google Reader (R.I.P), we’ve watched as the company has hyped up new ideas upon launch but later on decided to put them down Old Yeller style. Google+ was the latest announcement of a service that will be shutting down in the future, but many thought their MVNO experiment would have died long before. Instead, the service has grown, it offers a unique set of features and just received a rebrand from Project Fi to Google Fi.
When we first heard about the rebrand it was nothing more than a leaked pamphlet so many believed it was merely a fake. However, at the end of last week, the brand change was made official and we also learned some information regarding new changes as well. For instance, the Project Fi service started off as an exclusive to Google’s own smartphones as one of its flagship features (carrier switching) was only supported by them. As the service grew we saw the Project Fi service expand to other devices (which also included this feature) but that won’t be the case for this latest announcement.
However, the official announcement did say they were bringing on support for a plethora of additional devices. Google Fi is also working on Apple devices including the iPhone 5S, 6, SE, and newer. As far as support for Android devices goes, it will need to be running Android 7.0 or higher and include support for LTE Band 2 and 4. Even if those requirements are met, features like carrier switching will not work on all supported devices. There are also multiple promotions going on for new customers depending on when you purchased your supported device
This special feature is only for devices that have been designed for Google Fi. There are also some other caveats as well. For instance, if the phone is not designed for this service, transitions between WiFi and cellular will not be as smooth. Not only that, but the spam blocking feature will not be included. VoLTE using Google Fi will only work on devices certified for T-Mobile VoLTE and features such as WiFi calling, WiFi texting, and visual voicemail will depend on your phone.
With that said, this new announcement seems to only be exciting those who like the idea of how their service plan works. Google Fi will charge you an initial $30 for its service with $20 of that going to unlimited calls and text messages. The other $10 is to pre-pay for 1GB of cellular data, but that $10 will be refunded on your final payment bill if you didn’t use any data. This is where Google Fi is different from the competition, they will refund you the money for mobile data that you didn’t use that month.
So are all these latest changes (and limitations) enough to make you want to switch from your current mobile carrier? Let us know in the comments below.
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