Switching From Google Voice to Project Fi – How It Works

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After looking through the Project Fi sign-up process that was posted to reddit earlier today, we came away feeling more knowledgable about a majority of the service’s features, but also left feeling a bit worried about how it would play with Google Voice. Because certain features were noted as being left out, we were wondering if Project Fi would even be an option for some of us long-time GV users. Thanks to a great find by one of our readers, we now think we know exactly how Google Voice will transfer over to Project Fi.

The biggest thing to understand here is that when you transfer over from Google Voice to Project Fi, you are essentially leaving your Google Voice life behind. Because of that, you get to keep some of the features and lose others. 

Transferring your Google Voice number to Project Fi

This is the most important step of it all because you really have no choice here if you want to keep your same Google Voice number, but use Project Fi. As we mentioned earlier, when you join Project Fi, you can transfer your Google Voice number or have Project Fi assign you a new one. Unfortunately, if you choose to have it assign you a new one, you lose your Google Voice number and can’t ever get it back. My guess is that because Project Fi is attached to your Gmail account, you can’t have two numbers associated with it, so it either needs your Google Voice number or a new one – you can’t have two.

Google recommends that if you want to keep your current Google Voice number, but don’t want to use it with Project Fi, that you transfer it to a different Google Voice account or another carrier for safe keeping.

According to Google, transferring your GV number to Project Fi could take 24 hours.

Recap:  If you have a Google Voice number, in order to keep it and use Project Fi, you either let Project Fi have your Google Voice number or you can transfer it to another Gmail account or carrier. If you don’t, you will lose your Google Voice number for good.

Which features are carried over to Project Fi from Google Voice?

Now that you know how to keep your Google Voice number alive while using Project Fi, it’s time to see if it’s even something you should consider. Because again, Project Fi’s feature list differs from Google Voice’s. Here are the features and information you get to continue enjoying with Project Fi:

  • Your voicemail greeting
  • Your voicemails
  • Your call history
  • Your texts
  • Call forwarding
  • Call blocking
  • Caller ID
  • Short codes
  • Credits you paid for in US dollars will be transferred over to Fi; credits paid for in another currency will be refunded once you request one.

Which features aren’t carried over to Project Fi from Google Voice?

So those are the big features that are coming with Project Fi. Most of that is all the good stuff, especially call forwarding and blocking. But there are still some things that won’t make it over  that may cause you to hesitate when considering pulling the trigger on Fi.

  • You can no longer make or receive calls in Google Talk or the Google Voice apps.
  • You will no longer have a dedicated web portal for accessing text messages and voicemails. New text and voicemail history will also not be saved to Google Voice. If you want these features on the web, you will have to consider using Hangouts with Project Fi.
  • Call history won’t continue to be backed up to Google Voice. Your history will instead just live on your actual phone, in the Phone app.
  • These settings also aren’t available on Fi:  spam filtering, call recording, call switch, conference calling on the fly, caller ID (incoming), and outgoing caller ID (anonymous caller ID).
  • Also, the Google Voice apps and website will no longer be accessible once you sign-up for Project Fi.

We’ll have more information on Project Fi shortly, but this should answer most of your Google Voice-to-Project Fi questions.

Via:  Google Support
Cheers kevlar!



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