Project Fi is an ambitious effort to give customers an experience devoid of the problems endemic to cellular carriers in the United States. It's low-cost, easy to manage with a simple app, and it even breaks new ground with intrinsic support for multi-network connectivity. However, in some ways, Fi wasn't really finished at launch. It spent many months as an invite-only service and lacked a few things many people would consider integral to their cellular service. One of the top requests from current and potential customers is the addition of group plans. It's an important feature for both families and businesses, especially as the number of lines grows.
Raise your hand if this comes as unexpected news to you. Crickets. Alright, we know Google isn't really revealing the most secret of secrets with its newest "Cellular support comes to Android Wear" announcement, but it is clarifying a few things we didn't know about how LTE would work on our smartwatches.
In his post, Peter Ludwig, Product Manager for Android Wear, explains that cellular connectivity on Wear will allow you to leave your phone behind and use your smartwatch on the go. However, it doesn't seem like you'll be able to completely forego the phone, à la Samsung Gear S2, because both phone and watch will need to be turned on and connected to a network for Wear to do its thing.
Ready for Google's vision of a modern cell phone service provider? So are we. Google Fi isn't quite prepared to open its doors, but right now it's accepting sign-ups for invitations at this site. The service isn't quite ready to launch, but according to the site and the video, lucky invitees will be allowed in sometime in the next week. Google will allow batches of customers in each week, but you should get a "yes" or "no" answer within 30 days.
We know pretty much what to expect from Google Fi thanks to a couple of high-profile leaks. Check it out here, after you're done getting your invitation in - there are likely to be hundreds of thousands of applicants, so do it quickly.
Large companies have a hard time keeping secrets, especially when multiple partners and countless employees become involved. Bits and pieces are bound to leak out, both intentionally and accidentally, and sometimes a wealth of information can be discovered about unannounced plans. It appears that an app designed for Google's much anticipated MVNO has turned up in an unofficial Nexus 6 firmware image. If legitimate, the app not only confirms the service, but it may reveal some details about service plans, billing, and even a previously unheard-of name, "Project Fi."
Disclaimer: No matter the confidence level, there's always a chance product updates, features, and some or all details will be changed or cancelled altogether.
Ever wanted to know what exactly it takes to roll out a whole new cellular network? Sprint, being one of the first companies in the US to do it (well, Clearwire is doing all the leg work), today launched a new video series which will explore just what exactly it takes to provide a large metropolitan area with 4G coverage.
The first video, "Wiring up 4G in NYC: Rooftops," is out now, embedded below. In the video, Iyad Tarazi, vice president of Network and Development, shows what a 4G cell tower really looks like. I must, say, I was very much surprised by its miniature size, especially compared to the 3G cell tower right next to it.
If you happen to be an HTC Hero owner on Cellular South, today is your lucky day – an update to Android 2.1 is now available for you to download. Unfortunately, it’s not the easy an over-the-air update - you’ll have to download it yourself and wipe all your data (factory reset) – but, in my opinion, it still beats running Cupcake. The update includes the following features:
Picture and video messaging capabilities [Pics feature required]
Android Market™ with access to latest 2.1 apps
Turn-by-Turn Google Navigation
Preloaded Facebook™ app with enhanced Facebook sync
Preloaded YouTube™ app
Enhanced Bluetooth support
Improved Phone Search
Improved alarm/bedside clock
Multiple Gmail account support
Improved Battery Meter
Enhanced ActiveSync support for Microsoft Exchange
Additional Gestures: Pinch home screen to see thumbnails of all 7 hero screens, dial contact by drawing letters of contact name