Project Fi Invites Start Rolling Out: Brings Some Questions About Google Voice

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Google’s new MVNO service Project Fi has started rolling out invites to those that requested them at the beginning of availability. Yesterday there were several reports that users switching to Project Fi and getting a new number would lose their current Google Voice number, and this caused an outcry among many loyal Google Voice users. After obtaining more details from Google today, it appears the situation is not as bad as some made it seem. While it is true that you will lose your current Google Voice number if you choose to sign up for Project Fi on your current Gmail account and with a new number, you can choose to just port over your Google Voice number and maintain the majority of the features. You can use your Fi number to make calls, send SMS, and access call forwarding and voicemail transcripts on any device with Google Hangouts. It appears the reason for the Google Voice confusion, is that Project Fi will be using the same infrastructure Google uses for Voice, which also means you keep the same useful features.

In fact, Project Fi is a more mature version of Google Voice, with a built-in option to make Google your mobile carrier. This is actually what a lot of Android fans have been asking for, so I’m not sure why everyone is complaining. Project Fi is a month to month service so you can try it out with no risk. Should you decide to leave Project Fi, you can still access all of your familiar Google Voice features in Hangouts. You can also bring your Google Voice call history and Voicemail to Project Fi, this option is given when you sign up. If you’re not completely sold on Project Fi, and don’t want to bring your Voice number over at all, just sign up with an alternate Gmail account and get a new number with Fi, problem solved.

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Jeff Springer

"I am currently a researcher and Adjunct Professor at Arizona State University and Grand Canyon University. I fell in love with Android with the Nexus One release and realized that it was superior to iOS in all the ways I care about. I still use a Mac (and an iPhone for the camera), but my Apple tech products pale in comparison to my number of Android devices (watches, tablets, and phones). When I’m not rooting/modding one of my many Android phones or doing math/programming, you can find me taking in Phoenix Suns/Arizona Diamondbacks games in downtown Phoenix, and drinking good beer!"