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iPhone support added to Google Fi wireless internet access program

Google has expanded the range of smartphones that can use the low-cost carrier Google Fi, formerly known as Project Fi, with the service opening itself up for use on iPhones for the first time, albeit with support offered in "beta."

As part of the rebranding effort, Google Fi now includes support for a wide variety of smartphones from a number of manufacturers, rather than the limited range previously offered. As part of this, the iPhone is also formally supported by the Google-operated MVNO for the first time.

While previously it was possible to get an iPhone onto Google Fi by changing various data settings after installing the SIM, as well as the ability to use a data-only SIM in an iPad, Google's change now specifically allows newer iPhones to work straight away. Notably the device checker advises the iPhone 5S and newer models will work with the service, including the iPhone SE, but the iPhone 5C and older devices are incompatible.

Google warns Fi for iOS is in beta, meaning that not every feature of the service will be available from the outset. While it will work with iMessage straight away, some MMS settings need to be adjusted for it to work properly with non-iPhones.

Visual Voicemail will not work, however traditional voicemail will, as well as Google Fi's text message transcripts. Features including 4G LTE connectivity and no roaming fees in more than 170 countries are still offered, but international tethering is not yet supported on iOS.

There is also a new Google Fi iOS app, which is used to activate the service, check usage and bills, and to manage the account and other settings.

Google Fi costs $20 per month for unlimited talk and text, with each extra line priced at $15 apiece. Data is provided at $10 per gigabyte up until 6 gigabytes in a month, with any extra data usage on top provided at no cost due to the carrier's Bill Protection cap.