A few weeks after Google has formally launched its experimental wireless service, Google has started sending invites to select Google users. Someone proudly announced and showed off screenshot images of the registration process and naturally, other Redditors quickly commented, asked, and shared similar experiences.
Based on the images shown, Google first wants to know which Google account you will be using with Project Fi and your ZIP code. If you already have a Google Voice number, you can bring it to Project Fi. A new and different number can still be used but many aspects of Google Voice will be carried over to Project Fi including voicemail transcriptions, call forwarding, and cheaper international calling rates.
Google noted that some Google Voice features will not be available on Project Fi like calls using Google Voice apps, Google Talk, or Obihai devices. Google Voice voicemail and SMS are not allowed and history won’t be saved on Google Voice. If you use Google Voice text messages and voicemails in Hangouts, they’ll still be accessible in Hangouts.
The idea of Project Fi can be exciting but there are people on Reddit who said that its being less integrated with Google Voice is kind of a deal breaker especially since a lot of people are using Google Voice and Hangouts for everything and everyday.
There is still a clear divide between Hangouts and Google Voice users and looks like things might get complicated with the arrival of Project Fi. Others noted that Google seems to want you to let go of Google Voice so it’s not including a number of features on the Project Fi. But why wouldn’t Google just integrate everything if it wants to give people a more advanced mobile experience?
One Redditor (Natanael_L) commented that systems are probably too hard to integrate cleanly. There could be some truth to it and he noted that “one was built on custom VoIP infrastructure” while the “other one on something closer to traditional phone networks”.
Another one commented that Project Fi could still be using Google Voice, at least, on the backend because when you port your number to Fi, that is in effect getting a Google Voice number. The service is available first on the Nexus 6 so owners of the said phone can enjoy Project Fi without any hassle. Those interested can avail of the phone for $699 for the 64GB version and a $100 monthly fee for Fi basics + 8GB data.
There are still so much to discover about this new Project Fi but there are not many people sharing their experiences yet. Lots of speculations are going around but we’d like to know how Google will manage this project. It’s still experimental so anything can happen. Google could end this the way it ended the Glass experiment but we’re being positive right now. It’s too early too tell but let’s see how this one will progress.