Google Fi adds visual voicemail to iOS app by Allan Tépper

After adding official help to the “unofficial hack” I revealed in 2016, Google Fi simply added visual voicemail to its iOS app model 1.5. This makes my favorite cellular telephony and knowledge service even higher for many who use it on an iPhone with my Technique 1, which Google later made official and facilitated with an iOS app. Details ahead, plus why I nonetheless want Technique 2 over the now officialized Technique 1, and a hyperlink to save US$20.

Some prior relevant articles

Notice: Earlier than December 2018, Google Fi was referred to as Undertaking Fi.

Google Fi abstract

Google Fi is an MVNO (Cellular Digital Community Operator). That signifies that Google Fi doesn’t presently personal its own network, but purchases the service wholesale and sells it less expensive. To my information, Google Fi continues to be the one MVNO in the US which provides knowledge outdoors of the US at the similar worth as inside the US.

  • When used with a Made For Fi telephone in america (like sure Nexus, Pixel or MOTO models), the service makes use of the mixed T-Cellular, Dash, US Cellular networks plus your local WiFi (when the gadget determines that there’s enough quality for WiFi calling) for terribly giant protection on this country, plus Google’s companions in 200+ different nations.
  • When using an unlocked, suitable system (telephone or pill), Google Fi at current solely makes use of the T-Cellular network inside the US (which is a lot better than many consider, especially when the gadget helps LTE band 12, as I coated in prior articles), plus Google’s roaming companions in 200+ different nations.

The primary telephone quantity on a Google Fi plan costs US$20 + consumed knowledge + tax. There’s automated knowledge billing ceiling at 6 GB, so you will by no means be billed more than US$60 for knowledge even when you go over 6 GB. You gained’t be throttled until you surpass 15 GB in a month. Then you could have the option both to tolerate the throttling until the following cycle or pay more, once. Further telephone numbers on the identical account formally value US$15 per line, plus the whole consumed knowledge. (There’s a “semi-official” method to have the extra strains be “free + data”, utilizing my technique 2, no less than on the extra phones. Two of my pals have already been utilizing that successfully for a lot of months.)

Technique 1 and its execs/cons

Technique 1 is now the official method, and has turn into facilitated by the free Google Fi app for iOS. Consequently, most people who use an iPhone with Google Fi who don’t read my articles or in any other case uncover my Technique 2 will probably use Technique 1. They will be pleased concerning the new visual voicemail constructed into the Google Fi app. Nevertheless, they’ll at present endure from Technique 2’s principal limitation.

The principal limitation of Technique A is the shortage of WiFi calling. Listed here are the primary benefits of WiFi calling for my part:

  1. Higher reception indoors.
  2. Better battery life.
  3. Much less radiation.
  4. When you’re out of the US and are making WiFi calls (either with a Made for Fi system, a pill with Hangouts, or an iPhone with Technique 2), calls back to the US (or to Canada or Puerto Rico) are free (as an alternative of US$zero.20 per minute).In the next part, I’ll cowl the advantages of Technique 2, along with its barely more complicated setup and utilization.

Technique 2 and its execs/cons

In contrast to Technique 1, my Technique 2 of Google Fi is totally suitable with WiFi calling. As I’ve coated in prior articles, Technique 2 makes use of a free data-only SIM card from Google Fi, along with the free Hangouts app for iOS for telephone calls on the iPhone, not the Google Fi app. You want iOS 10 or later and Hangouts model or later. If you would like to use Technique 2 in your iPhone, it is best to request and use a free data-only SIM card that Google Fi will mail to you after your Fi account is already lively. Google thinks you are going to use the data-only SIM in a tablet. After installing the data-only SIM and activating it (instructions include the data-only SIM card), set the APN correctly in the unlocked iPhone. (As of publication time of this article, the right APN setting is h2g2 all decrease case.) After you order one free knowledge SIM card and it has been shipped, you’ll be able to order another free data-only SIM for an additional gadget.

Incoming calls with Technique 2:

  1. Obtain the free Hangouts app for iOS and configure it with the identical Gmail account you employ with Google Fi.
  2. Go to the Hangouts app Settings and select Reply on lock display. (In case your iPhone is configured in Castilian, that setting has been translated as: Responder con la pantalla bloqueada.)
  3. Additionally in Settings, go to Telephone Quantity and set to ring on incoming calls and embrace Messages.

These settings will make incoming calls on your Google number ring —even on the lock display— and make voicemail appear in the Hangouts app too.

Outbound calls with Technique 2:

You have to either dial them from Hangouts app’s personal dialer (more efficient) or set the specified telephone quantity in the iPhone’s Contacts app to default to name by way of Hangouts. To my information, this alteration in the iPhone’s Contacts app have to be made contact-by-contact, one by-one. After initiating the decision from Contacts, when you’ve got multiple Gmail account configured in the Hangouts app, choose the one associated with the Google account that matches the outgoing telephone number you want to the referred to as social gathering to see in Caller ID. The decision will start to ring.

When you make many telephone calls from your contacts (not by getting into numbers on the keypad), it’s more environment friendly to permit the Hangouts app to import and entry your contacts and dial from the Hangouts’ personal dialer. That avoids modifying every contact manually within the iPhone Contacts app. If that’s what you determine to do, it is sensible to exchange the usual green Dialer on the iPhone’s dock with the Hangout’s icon as an alternative. That’s far more intuitive, and that’s what I did with my iPhone SE (the Miata of iPhones), which is one which I primarily use as a 2-track audio recorder, together with with RØDE SC6/L interface (coated in a number of articles), since my foremost telephone is a Google Pixel XL.

To make a telephone call to a quantity you see on an internet web page in the Safari browser, long press the telephone quantity for a few second and launch. Within the popup window, choose Hangouts. (In case you have multiple Gmail account configured in the Hangouts app, choose the one associated with the Google account that matches the outgoing telephone quantity you want to the referred to as social gathering to see in Caller ID. It is going to start ringing.)

Technique 2 on your spouse/youngsters (free + knowledge)

So as to get your partner or child’s telephone line free + knowledge consumption, your partner’s or youngster’s public telephone quantity have to be with Google Voice, not with Google Fi. Google Voice ( is free with a new telephone quantity (or US$20 once to port your present quantity to Google Voice), including free unlimited outgoing calls to the US, Canada and Puerto Rico.

In case your partner/youngster has an iPhone

Use the free Hangouts app for iOS for telephone calls on the iPhone, not the Google Fi app or the Google Voice app. Be certain to configure the Hangouts app together with her/his gmail account associated together with her/his Google Voice account. All different directions are as indicated earlier in this article.

In case your partner/youngster has an Android

Use the free Hangouts app for Android, plus the helper app referred to as Hangouts Dialer. Be certain to configure the Hangouts app together with her/his gmail account associated together with her/his Google Voice account.

Google Voice’s disadvantage (for some)

In contrast to the paid Google Fi (which I’ve been fortunately utilizing because it was first launched in 2016 as Undertaking Fi), the free Google Voice is extra limited with texting outdoors of the USA. The paid Challenge Fi consists of unlimited free incoming and outgoing texts to and from any worldwide telephone quantity. Although Google Voice helps receiving textual content messages from anyplace on the planet, it only permits sending textual content messages to telephone numbers within the US and Canada. (This excludes Puerto Rico for texting, despite the fact that calling Puerto Rico is free.) That is a lot much less of a problem than it used to be, since almost everybody I do know outdoors of the US now use WhatsApp, Hangouts or Signal as an alternative of ordinary SMS texting.

Save US$20 on Google Fi

Save on Google Fi with this link.

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