Project Fi App Update Paves The Way for U.S. Cellular Service

So first, let me be clear.  This update to the Project Fi app that is rolling out to the Google Play Store does not enable U.S. Cellular support.  Yet.  If you are a Fi users then you will be seeing the update come to your Nexus 5X, Nexus 6 or Nexus 6P over the course of the next few days and it is part of the puzzle for U.S. Cellular support with Google’s MVNO.

As readers will know, U.S. Cellular was announced as the 3rd carrier that makes up the service, joining T-Mobile and Sprint.  That announcement was last month and the expectation has been that an update to the Fi app would be required to make all of it work on the back end.  That, effectively, is this update.

The trick here is that Google still has to push the big red button and turn it all on in the background and it is only going to work on your Nexus device if you have both this version of the app and the latest Marshmallow update.  In the Project Fi product forms today, the Fi team posted what is going to be happening and the timelines involved.

Google's Project Fi
Google’s Project Fi

One thing to note is this app update and the latest available Android OS is required to ensure your device is ready to connect to our newest partner’s network, U.S. Cellular, which will be made available in the coming weeks.

That last part, “the coming weeks”, is the key.  Some Fi users are reporting seeing U.S. Cellular pop-up as their carrier in Fi but I can say for me on my Nexus 6P, I have not seen it yet.  My guess is that this will be a gradual roll out to everyone.

In addition to the upcoming support for U.S. Cellular, there are some other tweaks and improvements in the app so you’ll want to get it anyway.  The OTA is rolling out now so it should be to you soon.

For those not on Fi and are curious about it, you can read my review and my six month follow up here on the site.