Loving this New Google Fi feature

I’ve been a happy Google Fi (previously Project Fi) customer for about three and a half years, and even though I don’t travel extensively, have enjoyed the many benefits of subscribing to the Google MVNO (mobile virtual network provider).

I count the following as benefits of Google Fi over other MVNO’s or even primary mobile network providers.

  • pay as you go for data to save $$$
  • international data without the hoops
  • free data only sim cards (most providers charge $20 per month per device, while Fi provides up to five cards with no charge other than for the data you use)
  • free vpn
  • free hotspot with no data caps other than the throttling after monthly service caps
  • automatic connection to many wifi hotspots to save data charges
  • automatic switching among three major providers, TMobile, Sprint and U.S. Cellular (this should be qualified to drop Sprint after the recent merger with TMobile)
  • family controls
  • no long term contracts, just month to month, and you can pause service at anytime
  • you can also go unlimited if you need the extra data, and with that comes Google One with 100gb of cloud storage, and free calls to 50 countries

While all these features have kept me on Fi longer than any of my previous providers, the newest feature is icing on the cake and I expect will keep me around for a while longer.

NEW! Google Fi Messages, Calls and Voicemail Sync

If Google Fi is your mobile network provider, you can now sync calls, messages and voicemail between all of your screens provided you use one of the supported browsers (Chrome, Firefox, Chromium-based Edge or Safari).

Screenshot of Google Fi Messages Sync Running on Chromebook
Google Fi Sync on Chromebook with Messages, Calls and Voicemail

This has been fantastic for when my phone is turned off or out of reach for some reason, as it works without your phone.

Now, no matter whether I’m on my Pixelbook Go doing some heavy lifting, or simply browsing in my recliner with my Lenovo Duet tablet, I can take calls without touching my phone. I can also check voicemail, and even text right from my other devices, so convenient.

With the larger keyboard on those devices, lengthy text conversations can be handled so much more quickly than on my Pixel 5’s virtual keyboard. And those two factor codes we all send to our phones? You guessed it, no more reaching for the phone for the code, just copy and paste from the popup notification on your connected device.

Be warned, there is a price to pay for all this convenience, you knew it was coming didn’t you? Here are the two downsides to how this syncing currently works.

  1. You will need to use Google Messages as your SMS client.
  2. And the showstopper for some is that you need to turn off the new RCS Chat feature. So if you care about read receipts, rich text messaging sending large photos, video and audio, rather than pure SMS, this might not be for you. Google Messages with Fi Sync does however support smaller images, emoji, stickers and gifs.

For how I work these are sensible tradeoffs for the “Apple-like” syncing of messages, and added benefit of calling and voicemail access directly from my Chrome devices.

If you’re interested in more information on Google Fi, the link here will provide both you and I with a $20 referral credit off your first bill should you decide to sign up and maintain your account for 30 days.

And if you have any questions I can answer for you, let me know in a comment, I’d be glad to help if I can. Thanks for reading, J