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Google Fi gets a new name, tweaked pricing, and a new focus on family plans

There's no shortage of changes coming to Google's wireless carrier.
Written by Jason Cipriani, Contributing Writer
June Wan/ZDNET

Google on Wednesday announced Google Fi, the company's wireless carrier service, is changing its name to Google Fi Wireless. In addition to a new name that makes it clear the service is focused on providing wireless service, there are several more meaningful changes coming to the carrier that are sure to keep current subscribers and attract new subscribers. 

Also: 7 Google products to expect in 2023: Pixel Fold, Pixel 7a, and more

First up, Google added cellular connectivity for the Pixel Watch or Samsung's Galaxy Watch line to its Simply Unlimited plan. 

Typically, smartwatch data plans are $10 a month before taxes and fees, and up until today's announcement, it hadn't been possible to use a cellular smartwatch with the Simply Unlimited plan. Subscribers on the Flex and Unlimited Plus plans already included LTE connectivity for a compatible watch. 

Speaking of the Simply Unlimited plan, a single-line plan is $50, but now those who sign up for 2-4 lines will pay $80 a month. That's not per line. $80 a month, plus taxes and fees. 

Also: Google TV adds over 800 free channels. How to access them

Previously, if you had two or four lines with Google Fi Wireless, you'd pay the same $80 per month. However, those with three lines would pay $75 a month. So, it's actually a slight price increase for those with three lines of service. 

Streamlining the cost of multiple lines to be effectively $20 per line all the way up to 6 lines of service (which would be $120 a month), makes a lot of sense. If nothing else, it makes it easier for customers to understand the expected cost. 

If you add a new line to an existing account or sign up for new service, you're eligible for a free Pixel 6a, Samsung A14 or a Motorola Moto G Power. The catch? The cost of the phone will be split up as bill credits over the course of 24 months. Still, it's not a bad deal. 

Also: The best Android phones right now

To provide you with confidence you'll want to use the carrier for 24 months, Google Fi Wireless is giving potential customers a free 7-day trial to test coverage and ensure that the carrier's network will work for you. You'll need a phone that's eSIM capable, and also compatible with Fi Wireless. You can check your phone's compatibility here.

Finally, there's a new version of the Fi Wireless app rolling out in the coming weeks that has a "family-centric" design for managing your account and related family settings.

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