Google’s wireless network can now be activated on an iPhone via eSIM. In other words, without needing a SIM card mailed to you or purchased at a retail store, you can now use a Google Fi number on your iPhone in addition to the phone number connected to the SIM card in your iPhone.
However, there are a couple of caveats to the new feature. Here's everything you need to know, including how to get started with activation.
How to set up Google Fi on iPhone using eSIM
Google has a support page here fully detailing how to activate Google Fi on an iPhone using eSIM, but here's a quick summary:
- Sign up for Google Fi on the Google Fi website.
- You'll want to do the “Quick setup”.
- Download the Google Fi iOS app.
- Once you have everything ready to go, visit this page on a device that’s not your iPhone, like your laptop.
- Sign in to your account and follow the on-screen instructions to complete set up.
Which iPhone models support this feature?
Activation over eSIM is only supported by iPhones with Dual SIM functionality:
- iPhone XR
- iPhone XS
- iPhone XS Max
- iPhone 11
- iPhone 11 Pro
- iPhone 11 Pro Max
Are there any other limitations?
Initially, only new Google Fi users could activate via eSIM on iOS. However, Google is now rolling out the ability to existing customers.
Also, Google Fi for iOS is in beta, and some users have reported that the wireless service is lacking features available to Android phone users. For instance, you have to adjust your iPhone’s settings to send texts to phones that aren’t iPhones, and you can't use Google Fi’s VPN feature.
How much is Google Fi?
Google offers two types of plans for Google Fi:
- Google Fi Flexible: A flexible plan with a lower base monthly rate for unlimited calls and texts, but you must pay an additional $10 for every gigabyte of data you use per month. This plan starts at $20 a month for one person.
- Google Fi Unlimited: An unlimited plan with a consistent monthly fee that lets you use unlimited data (with some restrictions) plus unlimited calls and texts. This plan starts at $70 a month for one person.