Project Fi features will soon find a new home in the Google Voice app.
The cellular service provided by Google for it’s flagship phones like the Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, Pixel and Pixel XL will piggyback on the the newly update Google Voice app to enable advanced features for users. Currently, Project Fi users rely on a combination of the phone dialer and Hangouts to access several features including calling, texting, audio and visual voicemail transcripts call blocking and call/message history. However, with Hangouts moving to the enterprise, some of these features are being removed so Fi users are waiting for a better solution. In particular, visual voicemail is no longer available if you made the move from Hangouts to another SMS app like Google Messenger. I did just that a few weeks ago and I do miss visual voicemails but Google Messenger is a much better texting app than Hangouts is at this point.
Project Fi is already tied so closely to Google Voice that it makes sense to integrate these features into the newly updated app. It’s even conceivable that Google Voice and Project Fi merge making Google Voice a fully functioning phone service. This makes sense now that Google has finally updated Google Voice and is adding VoIP after 5 years of stagnation and that Project Fi is starting to move out of it’s “project” phase. I’ve been using Fi ever since it launched and it’s definitely a viable alternative to Verzion and AT&T even without an integration with Google Voice. Having a dedicated app for it’s advanced calling and messenging features could bring user en masse. The one limitation here is that Project Fi is not available to all Android phones which is obviously an issue. Maybe this integration with Google Voice is a sign that Google will make Project Fi available to other non-flagship phones, which would be prudent.