Check your inboxes: Project Fi invites are starting to roll out



If you signed up to be notified about Project Fi’s availability and wanted to sign up as soon as the service was ready, you’ll want to check your inbox — Google is starting to send out the first batch of invites.

If you aren’t aware, Project Fi is the company’s new wireless service built on the backs of Sprint and T-Mobile’s networks. It features a simplified and sensible data plan, a flat rate for talk and text, and cellular technology that’ll automatically and seamlessly make sure you’re on the best available network. You can find out more in our original post about the official launch right here.

project fi signup 2

So what’s it like to be whisked into this new program? Things are as Google announced for the most part — they ask you how much data you want (after reminding you that any unused data will be refunded to you) and ask you if you want to buy a Nexus 6 or use an existing one. You sign up with all your relevant details and once you receive your phone and / or SIM card you’ll be good to go.

project fi signup 1

There is one unfortunate caveat that we didn’t foresee, though — porting your Google Voice number over to Project Fi will essentially nuke your Google Voice account. There’s a long list of features that won’t be supported if you port your number:

  • Making and receiving calls using Google Talk, Google Voice apps, or Obihai devices
  • You won’t be able to use Google Voice for texting or visual voicemail
  • Text, voicemail and call history is no longer saved in Google Voice
  • If you’ve already turned on Google Voice text messages and voicemails in Hangouts, they’ll continue to be available only in Hangouts
  • These Google Voice settings aren’t available: spam filtering, call recording, call switch, conference calling on the fly,  caller ID (incoming), and outgoing caller ID (anonymous Caller ID).
  • As part of signing up for Project Fi, Google Voice apps and the website won’t be available.

That’s a pretty long list. What it does come with are the absolute basics you’d expect, which is an archive of your prior calls, texts, voicemails and voicemail greeting.

That said, you aren’t required to port your Google Voice number over to sign up for Project Fi so you’re just as free to choose a new phone number while continuing to use Google Voice as you always have. It’s important to remember that many of the aforementioned features are standard features of Project Fi so you’re not actually losing much functionality — you just won’t have the functionality within the Google Voice bubble.

We’re not sure why Google had to make so many sacrifices to make this happen — and you can be certain we’ll ask — but be sure to consider everything carefully before you make any sudden moves. Knowing all that, if you have an invite and have every intention of giving Project Fi a spin let us know in the comments below!

[via Reddit]

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. dont know how this is a good thing? with Cricket you get 20gb (TWENTY!) for $60 ($55 if ur on autopay), dont know who cant go wrong with that? or the 5gb at $50 ($45 with autopay).

    Up top, i see 8gb for $100, LMAO!!

    1. At the same time, being refunded for your data is a pretty sweet deal as well. I think it depends on how much you use per month, but if you’re an intensive user this might not work for you. If you have easy access to wifi all day and can get by on 2 gigs a month, 40 dollars is a pretty cheap phone plan.

    2. You don’t “get” 20 GB for $60, you “pay” $60 for the ability to use 20 GB without being charged overages. With Fi, you will pay $80 if you use 8 GB in a month. If you paid $80 but only end up using 1 GB, then you only pay $30. Will Cricket give you money back if you don’t use the whole 20 GB? If you happen to be a Cricket user that consistently uses at least 4 GB and never more than 20 GB, then Fi wouldn’t be a good deal for you. On the other hand, if you are paying $60 per month with Cricket but rarely actually use more than 4 GB of data, then you would be saving money over the 20 GB per month plan.

      The comparison becomes a lot more ridiculous with “unlimited” plans. At least it is actually possible to use 20 GB in a month, whereas it’s impossible to use “unlimited” data. I know that using 4 GB would be pretty difficult for me. I have WiFi at home, and only use 4G data for streaming audio and video when travelling. Even in a month where I spent half of my time in hotels (using 4G over the crappy hotel WiFi) watching Netflix, Hulu+ and HBO Go every evening for a couple hours, I barely broke 3 GB.

      I’m sure there are people that use massive amounts of cellular data each month. But, how? Is this for people tethering, and using 4G instead of wired broadband? If so, how do you stand it? As much as I hate Comcast, their crappy service is so much faster and lower latency than the best cellular data! Are there people other than truckers who can justify this?? I’m not saying it doesn’t happen, but I am curious about how!

  2. I LL likely get one invite,given I m a trucker .i wish google also had a deal with Canadian company,I don’t know?videotron,or telus.i cross border all the time.(qc to fl)and its a hassle communication wise.

  3. How is this better than Republic WiFi @ $25/month 3G or $40/month 4G?

    1. One thing that might be better is that you get both T-Mobile and Sprint with this. RW is just Sprint

    2. I looked at both for the wife’s phone, contract ended with Verizon.
      Pulled the trigger for RW last night – and then Fi invites go out. I didn’t get one, and decided for RW anyway.
      Phone costs are much different: Moto X 2ndGen $350 vs N6 $650
      Plans are far apart: 25 or 40 for Unlimited/5Gb unthrotlled vs $40 2GB
      Sprint and Tmobile are same quality here and same coverage (2nd class to VZW and ATT but decent coverage area), so doesn’t have an advantage until this concept shows a true advantage.
      both use WiFi offloading, so I would expect they can drop some costs, or google isn’t planning some profit on this (phone isn’t subsidized, “basics” on RW is $10 vs Fi $20, paid data vs wifi offload breakage plan).

      Do hope it shakes up the industry. I’ve got 1.5yr on vzw costing around $50 for 1.5Gb share of 5Gb pool. Both of these are better options if service can compete with VZW coverage.

  4. Narrow minds, narrow vision. This isn’t suppose to be dirt cheap but it is suppose to make the big carrier think that there are alternatives and options for people. In the long it will help out everyone. Just watch and learn just like Google Fiber. All of sudden ATT and Comcast figured out how to offer Gigabit network, when before Google Fiber was launched the fastest speed was 150 Mbps.

  5. Thinking of using it for the home phone. Buying a Nexus 6 is a big hit though. Still deciding.

  6. It’s unclear what you actually lose by porting Voice though. First you give a list of basically all the features that make GV special that you’ll lose, but then you say that “many of the aforementioned features are standard features of Project Fi so you’re not actually losing much functionality”. Which features are these? Group filtering?

    Edit: I see “forwarding” is included, but I wonder if it is the same as GV or simplified.

    Also, there are several apps for easy access to GV settings, since Google has all but abandoned the app. I don’t think that would be possible with Fi, another thing to lose.

  7. I feel like what the article says doesn’t quite line up with what that screenshot says… It looks like you either have to port your number to fi or get a new number assigned *at which point you lose your existing GV number*
    Am I seeing this wrong?

  8. This is what I would like clarified: if I have already opted in to the GV-to-Hangouts track for sending and receiving texts with my GV number, what is it that I stand to lose? I see this above:
    – Texting and voicemail in Hangouts is still supported
    – Making and receiving calls through Google Talk isn’t supported, but this functionality moved to Hangouts with the opt-in already
    – GV apps and website will not be available, but they were pretty much useless after the opt-in (though I still find it easier to see missed calls on the GV web site, though that is the only feature left available after the opt-in)
    – Incoming and outgoing caller ID not available. I guess this means that I can’t just pick up any given phone and use GV, and I’m tied to my N6… but I only use the N6 anyway (I only have one phone).
    – I don’t have a home phone, but if I did, could I still forward the incoming calls to it?

  9. Would be nice if they sent the darn invites out already. as it is I’m
    “financing ” the nexus 6 so I’ll be stuck waiting for it. I’ve held off
    on getting another contract because of this they have strung us along
    too long. I’m buying a 1+1 and Tmobile which is better deal anyway.

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