Production

Use your iPhone with Project Fi from Google and save $$ per month: Two different methods and their consequences

Want to use your iPhone or non-Nexus Android with Project Fi and save money? Learn all about it in this article.

project_fi_with_iphone_odd_couple

As of publication date of this article, there are 3 Google Nexus Android phone models that work officially with Google’s revolutionary Project Fi telephone service. I happily use one of those Nexus phones. I love Project Fi and my average bill is only US$25 for use in the US or abroad. Next month in October, there will likely be 2 new Google phones to work with Project Fi, which are likely to be called Pixel and Pixel XL. However, I know many devoted iPhone users (and users of current non-Nexus Android phones) who want to know about using Project Fi, thanks to its amazingly low monthly fee + international data roaming cost that is identical to when you’re in the US. Learn the two different ways to accomplish it ahead in this article, and the few disadvantages associated with them, compared with using an officially supported Project Fi smartphone.

Link to my original Project Fi review article

Back in January 2016, I published Review: Project Fi, son of Google Voice.

Refresher of Project Fi’s pricing structure

Project Fi costs US$20 for unlimited voice calls (to numbers in the US, Puerto Rico and Canada) and unlimited SMS texts (to worldwide numbers on Planet Earth), plus US$10 per gigabyte of actual consumed data. Whatever your initial estimate may be, if you use less data, you end up paying less. If you use more data, you’ll end up paying more.

Before I moved to Project Fi, my monthly data usage via cellular data was under 500 megabytes average per month, so I estimated the minimum of 1 GB when I signed up for Project Fi. I do not deprive myself of data: I simply set most of my apps only to upload or download heavy audio and video files when on unmetered WiFi. So the first month, I was billed based upon the 1 GB estimate: US$20 + US$10 = US$30 plus tax. From there forward, my bill has been about US$25 per month, plus tax. With Project Fi, there is fortunately no extra charge if you use your phone to do tethering or create a WiFi hotspot.

Calls from the US to countries outside Canada and Puerto Rico are exactly the same as they have been with Google Voice: extremely low, and with direct dial, as long as you have properly listed all phone numbers in your contacts in international format: the + symbol followed by the country code, city code (or mobile phone code) and number. This is something that I have been recommending for decades. (Never use 011 or 01 as the international prefix, always use the + symbol. The + symbol is the international standard, and that’s why it works everywhere, with virtually any service.)

Project Fi when you’re traveling out of the United States

In 135 countries outside of the US, Project Fi users get data roaming at no extra charge. In other words, in those 135 countries, the data costs the same as in the US.

What about phone calls when traveling outside of the US?

When you are connected to any capable WiFi anywhere in the world, calls to the US, Canada and Puerto Rico are free. When you are not connected to WiFi but are in one of the 135 Project Fi countries, calls are US$0.20 (twenty cents) per minute to anywhere. If you are outside those 135 countries, you must either use WiFI (which will be free to call the US, Puerto Rico or Canada) or purchase a local nano SIM card, and pay whatever the local rates may be. Remember that all Nexus phones purchased from Google are born as carrier-unlocked, so they will accept virtually any nano SIM card from virtually any provider worldwide.

Since signing up with Project Fi, I have personally used the service in México, and some of my clients have used it in Argentina, China, Colombia, Spain, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and Venezuela.

Tech requirements for a phone to be officially supported by Project Fi

For a phone to qualify to be supported officially by Project Fi, first it needs to contain radios than can tune in to all of Project Fi partner’s frequencies in the United States, and seamlessly jump between them, even in mid call. In the United States, Project Fi currently uses the T-Mobile network (including the 700 MHz/LTE band 12), the Sprint network, the US Cellular network, and whatever WiFi you have your phone connected, as long as the Project Fi app determines that it is equal or better than the one available from the cellular signal. It is possible that Google may add new carriers in the US, or even establish its own wireless network, either to augment or replace the current ones. In fact, Google recently applied for testing certain bands in the US with the FCC (Federal Communications Commission).

Of course, it also needs a Project Fi app installed in order to manage these networks on-the-fly for seamless switching, even in mid call. As of now, Google has only created the app for the Android operating system. It would be silly for Google to create a Project Fi app for iOS until such time as Apple manufactures an iPhone that contains the required multi-band radio. It is possible that at least one of the iPhone 7 and/or iPhone 7 Plus already has the necessary radio. Apple hasn’t yet answered my question that I posed privately and in this recent article: iPhone 7 Plus multi-sensor smartphone, and the 5 questions I asked Apple PR. It is possible that Apple hasn’t yet responded because Apple may be under an NDA (non-disclosure agreement) with Google for a future announcement by both companies.

Requirements for a tablet to be officially supported by Project Fi

As I wrote in my original review of Project Fi, back in mid December 2015, Google announced another amazing add-on to Project Fi which may be unprecedented: free data-only SIM cards without any per-device monthly fee. This means that any Project Fi user can request the free data-only SIM card to be used with any compatible device (tablet or computer, including some Chromebooks). In my experience, other carriers add an additional per-device monthly fee, usually an extra US$10 per month. Project Fi does not charge extra for the privilege. Project Fi only charges for the extra data usage, if there is any. So if you own a tablet or laptop that accepts a nano SIM card, you can save your phone’s battery by not having to create a hotspot for that device. If you have a device that accepts a SIM card that’s not nano sized, you can use an inexpensive SIM card adapter.

Caution: Never, ever store an empty SIM card adapter inside of your device (without any SIM card inside the adapter). Many people have permanently ruined their SIM slot by doing that.

A tablet or computer using the data-only Project Fi SIM card will currently only work with the T-Mobile network, not the Sprint network or the US Cellular network, so you can use the data-only SIM card with an unlocked T-Mobile compatible device as long as there is a good T-Mobile signal in the US (or with any partner network in the 135 countries). If you are somewhere in the US and are in a location with no good T-Mobile signal but a good Sprint or US Cellular one, you can still tether or create a hotspot from your official Project Fi smartphone to power your tablet, laptop or other device. That won’t cost you more money, since the data consumption cost is the same. It will only affect your battery life in the phone if you create a WiFI hotspot. By the way, the T-Mobile network is much better than what many iPhone users think it is. I’ll explain that in the next section.

The T-Mobile network is much better than many iPhone users think it is, and it’s Apple’s fault

With its incomplete design of all iPhone models prior to the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, T-Mobile got a bum rap (i.e. dishonor resulting from false accusations or trumped-up charges). Years before the introduction of the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, T-Mobile added its 700 MHz/LTE band 12 network to improve reception inside buildings and in rural areas in the US. However, Apple only added support for 700 MHz/LTE band 12 to the iPhone radios starting with the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus. That’s why many of my friends suffered from dropped calls with the T-Mobile network when I didn’t (since several phones back, I have been using Android models which do support the 700 MHz/LTE band 12 and worked great with the T-Mobile network). Those iPhone friends falsely blamed T-Mobile for having poor coverage, which wasn’t the case. Those friends had an incomplete radio in their iPhone. At the time, I could not explain why I had great performance with the T-Mobile network and they didn’t. Hindsight is 20/20.

I wrote the word network in italics, since I was not a direct customer of T-Mobile, but I was —and still am— using one of the many MVNOs (Mobile Virtual Network Operators) that use that network. Today the MVNO I use is Google’s Project Fi (which uses the T-Mobile network and several others combined). Before that, it was Solavei (R.I.P.) and before that it was Simple Mobile. While I was using the last two, I had already ported my public published mobile number to Google Voice, so I had no risk of losing the number if a questionable company went out of business. When Google Voice had is “son”, Project Fi, I ported my public published number again, from father to son.

Workaround 1 to make your iPhone or non-Nexus/Google phone work with Project Fi, and its consequences

Whether you choose Workaround 1 or Workaround 2, you must first activate your Project Fi service on one of the approved phones (i.e. one you already have, or borrow from a friend). As of publication time of this article, those are:

  • Nexus 6 (2014 model, to be updated to the latest Android 7.0 any day now)
  • Nexus 5x (2015 model, many have already been updated to the latest Android 7.0)
  • Nexus 6p (2015 model, many have already been updated to the latest Android 7.0)

Next month (in September 2016), we should see these two new Google phones announced, which should also be officially compatible with Project Fi:

  • Pixel
  • Pixel XL

So as of publication time of this article, whether you use Workaround 1 or Workaround 2, you’ll need to do your initial activation of Project Fi by (temporarily) putting your Project Fi SIM card into one of the above listed phones. Once your Project Fi account has been activated, you will be able to insert it into another un-approved unlocked phone (iPhone or not), as long as it’s compatible with the T-Mobile network.

What will be missing from your Project Fi experience if you put that very same Project Fi voice/data SIM card into another unlocked phone, be it iPhone or Android phone?

  1. It will only connect to the T-Mobile network, not the Sprint or the US Cellular network. Whether or not you have perfect T-Mobile reception depends upon your location, and whether your un-approved unlocked phone supports the 700 MHz/LTE band 12, as indicated in detail earlier in this article.
  2. You will not get WiFi calling the seamless way that Project Fi offers with an approved phone model. (You can still get WiFi calling by using the free Hangouts app connected to the same Gmail account you use for Project Fi, but you’ll have to remember when to use the Hangouts app rather than the standard dialer to make calls. With an Android, you’ll have to download the additional Hangouts Dialer “helper” app to make outgoing phone calls with the Hangouts app. That’s not necessary with an iPhone. In fact, there is no Hangouts Dialer app for iOS, since the Hangouts app for iOS already includes the dialer function. In an iOS device (iPad/iPhone), follow the instructions in this official Google page to assure that incoming calls will ring from Hangouts, and in this case of Workaround 1, only when connected to WiFi.)

Fortunately, you will still get all of the other Project Fi calling advantages, as well as the savings both in and out of the US.

Please note that point 1 above is something that would be identical if you were using T-Mobile as your only official provider. So if you currently use T-Mobile and switch to Project Fi with an un-approved unlocked smartphone as indicated in this section, your reception will remain the same. Your monthly bill will likely shrink to under half the T-Mobile price, but you will loose certain T-Mobile perks, like zero-rated online services (like YouTube at 480p and many streaming music services that don’t affect your data quota cap before throttling occurs) and WiFi at no extra cost in many domestic flights in the US. But with a bill that’s less than half of T-Mobile’s price, you’ll have plenty of money leftover for those things, if and when you need them.

Workaround 2 to make your iPhone or non-Nexus/Google phone (or tablet as a phone) work with Project Fi, and its consequences

If you read the prior section called Requirements for a tablet to be officially supported by Project Fi (or are aware through other means), you already know about the free data SIM card that Project Fi offers, and that Project Fi doesn’t charge you extra for the privilege of using a tablet, only for the total data consumption. You may have known that you can insert and use that free data SIM card in any of the compatible tablets (or even in any unlocked smartphone that is compatible with the T-Mobile network) and use that tablet as a phone to make and receive phone calls using your Project Fi number. However, doing this with Workaround 2 means that you are using pure data from Project Fi, and that all of your calls will be made and received with the free Hangouts app from Google.

Main differences between Workaround 1 and Workaround 2:

  • With Workaround 2 and a smartphone, you will not be using the phone’s main dialer. With Workaround 2, you will be only using the free Hangouts app (and with Android, you’ll also need to have installed the free Hangouts Dialer “helper” app). In the case of a smartphone with Workaround 2, you are best served by removing the standard phone dialer’s icon from the dock and hiding it elsewhere, i.e. on the last page of your apps. In its place (and even with a tablet), put the Hangouts icon in the dock, so you will remember to use it as your only telephone app for placing telephone calls.
  • In an iOS device (iPad/iPhone), follow the instructions in this official Google page to assure that incoming calls will ring at all times (except when you have the device in Do Not Disturb).
  • With Workaround 2, when your device is not connected to an unmetered WiFi, your voice calls will no longer be free or unlimited (even to the US, Puerto Rico or Canada), although they will only consume a tiny 740.6 kb per minute (thanks to Bob Triggs article in Android Authority), which expressed in gigabytes is 0.0007406GB. Considering that Project Fi charges US$10 per GB, your calls will cost you about US$0.007406 per minute (i.e. less than a penny per minute). 100 minutes will cost you US$0.7406 (i.e. about 74 cents). 1000 minutes will cost you US$7.406 (i.e. about 7 dollars and 41 cents). The calculations are for voice calls, and they are amazingly inexpensive, especially considering that your calls are 100% free whenever your device is connected to unmetered WiFi. Video calls via any app will obviously consume more data, but that is outside the scope of this article.
  • Unlike with Workaround 1, Workaround 2 doesn’t require thinking about whether to use the standard phone dialer or the Hangouts app. I know that some people don’t want to have to think about it. Well with Workaround 2, you use a single app all the time to make and receive voice calls: the Hangouts app. No thinking required!

Please note that some people might want to use Workaround 2 even with a Project Fi-approved smartphone, but only when traveling outside the US and Puerto Rico, in order to reduce the cost of their voice calls when not connected to WiFi. This applies to people like one of my friends who expects to consume multiple hours of voice calls per month in Canada when he is not connected to unmetered WiFi. In my case, I consume much less than an hour per month of voice calls when not connected to unmetered WiFi, in the US or any other country. As a result, I don’t worry about the US$0.20 per minute for voice calls when out of the US. I currently do use a Project Fi-approved smartphone, which as of the publication time of this article is still a Nexus 6, and is still working fine.

Link to save US$20

Using this link, you’ll get a US$20 credit and so will I after you sign up.

Conclusion

The absolute best Project Fi experience is achieved with one of the approved smartphones, without any workarounds. However, if you happen to prefer another phone (or already one), you can get about 88% of the logistical advantages and 100% of the financial advantages by following Workaround 1 or Workaround 2 as explained in this article.

See recent and upcoming related articles

Upcoming articles, reviews, radio shows, books and seminars/webinars

Stand by for upcoming articles, reviews, and books. Sign up to my free mailing list by clicking here.

Si deseas suscribirte a mi lista en castellano, visita aquí. Si prefieres, puedes suscribirte a ambas listas (castellano e inglés).

Listen to his CapicúaFM show at CapicúaFM.com in iTunes or Stitcher.

FTC disclosure

No manufacturer is specifically paying Allan Tépper or TecnoTur LLC to write this article or the mentioned books. Some of the other manufacturers listed above have contracted Tépper and/or TecnoTur LLC to carry out consulting and/or translations/localizations/transcreations. Many of the manufacturers listed above have sent Allan Tépper review units. So far, none of the manufacturers listed above is/are sponsors of the TecnoTur programs, although they are welcome to do so, and some are, may be (or may have been) sponsors of ProVideo Coalition magazine. Some links to third parties listed in this article and/or on this web page may indirectly benefit TecnoTur LLC via affiliate programs.

Copyright and use of this article

The articles contained in the TecnoTur channel in ProVideo Coalition magazine are copyright Allan Tépper/TecnoTur LLC, except where otherwise attributed. Unauthorized use is prohibited without prior approval, except for short quotes which link back to this page, which are encouraged!


Was This Post Helpful:

0 votes, 0 avg. rating

Support ProVideo Coalition
Shop with Filmtools Logo

Share Our Article

Born in Connecticut, United States, Allan Tépper is an award-winning broadcaster & podcaster, bilingual consultant, multi-title author, tech journalist, translator, and language activist who has been working with professional video since the eighties. Since 1994,…

46
Leave a Reply

avatar
17 Comment threads
29 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
21 Comment authors
meenaAllan TépperAlexAndy Kuiper - SEO AnalystMarco Antonio Jimenez Recent comment authors
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Brian Kaeter
Guest
Brian Kaeter

I have a Moto X Pure which supports all major US networks including T Mobile, Sprint, US Cellular, and Verizon (even though it’s not used by Fi). It’s virtually the same phone as the Nexus 6. I wish Google would officially support Fi on non-Nexus devices if they have the capability to run the Fi network.

208s
Guest
208s

It sounds like the ability to seamlessly switch between networks requires specific hardware not just hardware that supports all the networks. Hopefully more phones work with Fi officially in the future

Allan Tépper
Guest

Yes, I was just about to write that. Thanks for reading, writing, and commenting.

Allan Tépper

Scott Newell
Guest
Scott Newell

I am already a Fi customer with a 6P handset. If I wanted to include my iPhone affiliated spouse, does this mean she could/would get a data-only SIM for a T-Mobile handset (with very limited 3/4G coverage vs. normal Fi coverage map) or could she create her own Fi account without purchasing a handset and getting a normal nano SIM card (and hence, expanded data on the TMo network)?

Thanks for the great article…hope you find out soon about the iP7 network switching abilities.

Allan Tépper
Guest

Hi Scott,
You could pick Workaround 1 or Workaround 2. As I explained in the article, each one has pros and cons. The coverage for either will match T-Mobile’s iPhone. You didn’t mention which model of unlocked iPhone that your spouse has. If it is an unlocked iPhone 6s or unlocked iPhone 6s Plus or later, it will have the full T-Mobile coverage including the 700 MHz Band 12.
No word yet about the iPhone 7. It was only yesterday that Google announced the Pixel and Pixel XL.

jonsguest
Guest
jonsguest

what about Iphone 7, my wife has an iphone 7 and it works on all networks. Will be just be able to add the phone or will we have to still have another phone to get it activated first?

Allan Tépper
Guest

Thanks for reading and commenting. As indicated in the article and in the comments below, it is not enough to have all of the networks per se. It is also necessary (on a hardware level) to be able to juggle a call seamlessly from one of the networks to another. It is not yet clear whether the hardware of the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus is capable of that. If it is, then the next step is for Google to create a Project Fi app for iOS for those iPhones that are capable of that. None of that has… Read more »

Dan S
Guest
Dan S

I’ve been using the new iPhone 7+ with my GFi SIM and it works well (I have a Nexus 6p). I’m pretty sure it’s only using T-Mobile which is fine. The main drawback is you can’t send and receive MMS texts to people not using an iPhone. IMessage works great but sending photos and videos to non-iPhone users fails every time. I believe it is because you cannot register the phone’s IMEI with Google Fi officially which creates this issue.

Allan Tépper
Guest

Thanks Dan for reading and commenting.
You can send MMS (photos and videos) using the free Hangouts app for iOS. Be sure to log in with the same Gmail account you use for Project Fi in the Hangouts app.

Yirong Li
Guest
Yirong Li

Somehow I can only receive but not able to send SMS or MMS using Hangout. I can send iMessage to iPhone users but not able to send to non iphone users using iPhone message app. I have iPhone 5s. Any idea?

Christian Wagner
Guest
Christian Wagner

Same exact boat. Loved my 6P, wasn’t thrilled about Googles new Pixel line so I bought the 7 Plus and kept Fi. Try this: go into Settings -> Cellular -> Data Options -> Cellular Data Network -> and under Cellular Data APN type “epc.tmobile.com” then to the LTE Setup APN type “fast.tmobile.com” then under MMS APN type “fast.tmobile.com” and in MMSC type “http://mms.msg.eng.t-mobile.com/mms/wapenc” then in Max Message Size put “1048576” and lastly in MMS UA Prof URL put “http://www.apple.com/mms/uaprof.rdf” These are the settings I’ve found to work, and I can now send to non-iPhone users, MMS, and group chats that… Read more »

Yirong Li
Guest
Yirong Li

What if you are outside of US? Do you have to reset these settings?

dfgriffith
Guest
dfgriffith

I just tried the fi sim in an iphone 6s, without the settings it was sending and receiving texts from another project fi android phone (nexus 5x) but each android text is followed by gibberish line from the android phone. the iphone text messages are received fine by the fi android phone. Anyone else have this issue? I tried using the settings above but it didn’t fix the issue. I haven’t been able to find someone else having this problem. Ideally would like to solve the problem but maybe not a big deal, My kids really do not care for… Read more »

Geesus
Guest
Geesus

This is a known cross-platform issue. You’re not doing anything wrong. Basically think about it as, this is Android, this is iOS and they don’t play well because everyone here has a bigger … well, ya know.

skimcpip
Guest
skimcpip

On an iPhone 6S using workaround 2, if someone sends an iMessage to my phone number (ported to google voice), will the message show up in iMessages or Google Hangouts?

Allan Tépper
Guest

Follow this Apple article to deregister iMessage: https://selfsolve.apple.com/deregister-imessage

skimcpip
Guest
skimcpip

Thanks for the response. Actually, I’m more interested in continuing to use iMessage but with a Google voice #.

DanK
Guest
DanK

I ordered a Pixel from GFi and an extra SIM, as part of the new group (family) account structure, for use in my wife’s iPhone 6. The first SIM* activated just fine, but I cannot get the second SIM to activate (D002 error), even if I remove my Google Account from the new Pixel and add (only) my wife’s Account. Google says that it is because this phone is registered with my Account and the only way to activate the other SIM is to “park” my Account on a 2nd, approved GFi phone. * The SIMs weren’t marked. The first… Read more »

Allan Tépper
Guest

I would consider one possible option that is free, and one that is temporarily expensive:

(1) Request a free data SIM for your FI account and use on that with your wife’s phone using workaround 2 in the article.

(2) If you don’t like that idea, you can purchase a used Nexus 6 just to activate the your wife’s SIM, and then resell it again. I just sold my old Nexus 6 to someone in Argentina, and it arrived there this morning, so my ex Nexus 6 is no longer available, but I am sure there must be more available.

Chachi
Guest
Chachi

We’re you ever able to get both SIMs to activate and work?

DanK
Guest
DanK

Yes, by brute force. I went to the pop-up Google store in NYC and they let me activate it with a demo Pixel. It then worked in my iPhone 6 … but T-Mobile’s family plan has better pricing, so we just went there.

Jay Man
Guest
Jay Man

GFi support tells me that you must have a supported device associated with your account. If anyone tries to activate that phone again then you will have it removed from your account and your plan gets canceled.

I even asked to have my device removed from my account but they want the new device info or will close my account.

Jose
Guest
Jose

Great article! Does Wifi HotSpot / tethering work on the iphone with Google Fi?

Jay Man
Guest
Jay Man

I just tried to activate the new Fi sim I got for my wife’s iphone. I was unable to activate it in my nexus 5x. Support tells me it’s because my device is already associated with my account. I will need a new supported device to activate her sim on.

Sean Harvey
Guest
Sean Harvey

I have a question here. I received the first SIM card that they sent out, successfully activated it with a Google Pixel phone, and now have it working in my iPhone 7. I’m planning on using the “Workaround 2” method, but am waiting on the extra data-only SIM cards to arrive. I had them assign a new phone number, but I’m curious now, if I activate one of the new data-only SIM cards the same way that I did before, and put it in a different iPhone, is this new SIM card assigned its own #? How will this work… Read more »

Allan Tépper
Guest

Hi Sean, Thanks for reading and commenting. The data-only SIM is attached to your Project Fi account (for billing purposes), but by definition does not have any phone number associated to make phone calls. In fact, you can’t make phone caller’s using the iPhone’s dialer app with a data-only SIM. To make phone calls using Workaround 2, you must do something else, depending whether you want it to be the same number as the one on your Project Fi account or some other phone number. If you want it to be the same number as the one on your Project… Read more »

Sean Harvey
Guest
Sean Harvey

Thanks for your reply, and that’s what I was having a hard time figuring out in my head! I already understood the part about using the Hangouts app, but was just confused of how a phone number would be associated with it, but the phone numbers are assigned to the specific Gmail account that is logged into the Hangouts app. I always associated 1 SIM card to 1 phone #, but I get that the phone # is actually associated with a Gmail account in this sense. With that being said, what happens with iMessage then? While I see how… Read more »

Allan Tépper
Guest

I would not expect iMessage to work associated to that phone number, but I believe that iMessage can also work with an email address. I don’t recommend iMessage since it is not cross-platform. I prefer cross-platform services like Duo, Signal, and WhatsApp.

Sean Harvey
Guest
Sean Harvey

Hmm. Well even in this case, even WhatsApp is associated with a phone number correct? I’m hoping that I can have each SIM have its own number associated so that my different employees will be able to use them.

Allan Tépper
Guest

WhatsApp works with no problem with Workaround 2. It just requires a manual confirmation at the beginning, since WhatsApp doesn’t automatically always “see” the code sent via SMS to the Hangouts app.

Sean Harvey
Guest
Sean Harvey

Hmm. So I think if I explain what I’m trying to accomplish it might be a bit more clear, but I’m starting to think that I can’t FULLY do what I’m looking for with the data-only SIM cards. We have 4 people that will be traveling extensively throughout the world all next year, all of which will be using an iPhone. I’d like them all to be able to have a phone that has data, but that can also use iMessage normally. I’m fine with the Apple phone function not working and instead needing to use Hangouts to make calls.… Read more »

Allan Tépper
Guest

If you insist on using iMessage, yes, you will need to pay US$15 per extra phone number. If I were you, I would consider forgetting about iMessage, and use WhatsApp and/or Signal instead.

Geesus
Guest
Geesus

If this works I will be so excited! Thank you! Happy Holidays or Merry Christmas.

Aaron Mann
Guest
Aaron Mann

Can you use the same Nexus phone to activate multiple SIMs? I’m looking to get both my wife and I on Project Fi, so just wondering if we could use the same Nexus phone to activate 2 different SIMs.

Allan Tépper
Guest

For Workaround 2, it’s not necessary, since the data-only SIM cards just have to be activated on line. For Workaround 1, yes, you need to activate them with a Nexus, Pixel or Pixel XL. I believe you can use the same one, but I am not positive. I happen to like Workaround 2 🙂

Sean Harvey
Guest
Sean Harvey

As a follow-up, I have this fully working in Argentina and it’s great! For now I’m using my voice/data SIM in my iPhone 7 and it’s fully functioning. Quick question regarding which workaround method to use, I was under the impression that the actual iPhone phone app would NOT work, since it’s not supported, but it seems to be working fine. The purpose of using workaround 2 and placing/receiving phone calls fully with the Google Hangouts app on iPhone is purely to save money with phone calls, correct? By using the phone app, you’ll be charged 20cents/minute (in Argentina), where… Read more »

Allan Tépper
Guest

Hi Sean, Thanks for reading and commenting. The iPhone dialer app indeed works with Workaround 1, not with Workaround 2. The advantages of Workaround 2 are: (a) that you don’t need to activate the SIM in a supported phone, which you already achieved, and (b) that you don’t have to alternate dialer apps to get WiFI calling. It’s all seamless. When in Argentina (or anywhere else), WIFI calling is free. If you use Workaround 1, you might forget to call using WIFI via Hangouts, and pay 20 cents per minute even though you had WiFI available. (“I could have had… Read more »

Sean Harvey
Guest
Sean Harvey

Awesome, all makes sense now and Workaround 2 is the clear winner here in my opinion. Highly recommended for any mid-long term traveler, absolutely awesome that I won’t have to be swapping out local SIM cards all the time. Cheers!

Marco Antonio Jimenez
Guest
Marco Antonio Jimenez

Hello mr tepper. I read the whole discussion but I still don’t have my answers. I definitely want to do workaround 2 with the data only SIM with my iPhone 6.0. It is possible? And can the sim be activated without activating the regular SIM that you pay $20 plus $10 per gb?

Allan Tépper
Guest

Thanks Marco Antonio for reading and commenting. In order to request data only SIM cards from Project FI, you must first be a Project Fi customer, which does require activating the complete Project Fi SIM in a qualifying phone, whether you own it or just borrow it from someone. After that is done, you can request data only SIM card(s) from Project Fi. Those data only SIM cards require activation on the Project Fi website, not in any specific device. I also clarify that your iPhone must be unlocked. Also, if you have an iPhone 6 (not iPhone 6s or… Read more »

Marco Antonio Jimenez
Guest
Marco Antonio Jimenez

Thanks a lot.. That really helps!

Andy Kuiper - SEO Analyst
Guest

coooool 🙂

Andy Kuiper - SEO Analyst
Guest

I had no idea this even existed – I’m in Canada – but will now be paying closer attention – *iPhone user though – which makes things a bit more tricky. Thanks Allan 🙂

Alex
Guest

Nice guide Allan, I used your guide to set up Project Fi for my year of traveling about 6 month ago. Aside from a few quirks like both Hangouts app and regular phone ringing at the same time the service works great. If you want to read my experience of using it for 5 month I wrote a post on it here: https://fabriceleven.com/travel/review-using-project-fi-abroad-for-5-month-straight/

Allan Tépper
Guest

I am glad Alex. With Workaround 2, you should not have the problem of both ringing simultaneously.

meena
Guest

No IMSI settings, patches, escape, and so on. required.GoFree essentially should be related with the iPhone assoNo IMSI settings, patches, escape, and so forth. required.GoFree purchase sim opened apple iphones | gfsim only should be related with the iPhone related with the net and plot regularly.