If you've been holding off on Project Fi/Google Fi, will the new look and bring-your-own-phone support intrigue you to give it a shot?
The timing of Google's new investment into its MVNO is also interesting considering a number of other major brands are entering the US wireless industry through MVNOs.
Project Fi's biggest problem has always been the limited device support, but, along with the rebrand, Google says Fi "now works with the majority of Android devices and iPhones".
The catch, up until now, was that the service was officially only compatible with a small number of Android devices. Any unused data is rolled over at the end of the month and Google lets you pause you service whenever you want so you're never locked into any contract. To get the full Fi experience, you'll still need a Fi-specific phone (which can be purchased directly through Fi). The service still starts at $20/month for unlimited calls and texts and $15/month for each additional person you add to an account. These phones (Pixel 3, 3XL, 2, 2XL, LG G7, LG V35, Moto G6, and Moto X4), can seamlessly switch between Wi-Fi, T-Mobile, US Cellular, and Sprint towers to achieve well-rounded coverage.
With today's announcement, however, none of the aforementioned issues should crop up anymore. Since Project Fi needs unique software in order to work, it has only been available on a handful of Android phones.
Still, users with Samsung, OnePlus, and Apple devices get the other standard benefits of Fi membership, including the $60 bill protection cap on data, and the same rate of $10/1GB in over 170 countries and territories overseas. But you'll also be getting coverage that is inferior to what a true Fi device gets. 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.
It's also important to note that numerous devices that now support Fi still won't get the "full Google Fi experience".
Now, the company is making using Fi with third-party phones a lot easier: On Thursday, it released an iOS app that can be used to monitor data usage, billing and more.