Google's long-term plans for its MVNO carrier, Project Fi, remain uncertain. But for the time being, the carrier is continuing to roll out new software features. No, Fi isn't getting RCS support — but it is starting to test an always-on VPN service and improved network switching.
Wi-Fi Assistant, a VPN that would automatically kick in on public Wi-Fi networks, was first introduced as a Project Fi exclusive feature. In 2016, it started rolling out to all Google phones, regardless if the user was a Fi subscriber or not. An upgraded form of this feature is now rolling out to Fi subscribers, called 'Enhanced network.' Here's how Google describes it:
We’re extending the Project Fi VPN to all your connections, so you’ll now have more security and privacy wherever you use data. [...] Our enhanced network automatically detects when your Wi-Fi connection becomes unusable and then fills in those connection gaps with cellular data.
If you’ve ever left your house and walked toward your car, you might have noticed your connection slows or even stops altogether as your phone clings to a weakened Wi-Fi connection. With our enhanced network, you’ll have a seamless connection on the go, and waiting to be reconnected becomes a thing of the past. In our testing, we’ve reduced the time without a working connection by up to 40 percent.
The feature can be turned on by opening the Project Fi app, tapping on 'Fi Network Tools,' and switching 'Enhance network' on. It only works on Android 9 Pie, which means its limited to Pixel devices right now — all other Fi-compatible phones are still on Oreo.
The new Project Fi v10 release has just landed, and you can install it right now by grabbing the download from APK Mirror. You will need Google Connectivity Services v3.0 for the network switching feature to work.
As discovered on Reddit, that Wi-Fi Assistant VPN also has another interesting feature: IPv6 support, even over Wi-Fi. For most people this won't have much of an impact, but it's good for the future.
- Google Blog