Google Fi (previously known as Project Fi) is a pretty nifty little service created by Google to raise cellular carriers’ performance. But it’s not perfect. One particularly dirty little secret may be causing Google Fi customers to be overbilled. If you are on a wifi-network and think you aren’t using any mobile data, you might be very wrong. Android engineers created a cool functionality called “switch to mobile data automatically”. If your Wi-Fi signal becomes weak or unreliable, your phone will switch to mobile data automatically. But, often, you don’t want that to happen, because you’ll be using mobile data without even knowing it. So, for many customers, turning off the “switch to mobile data automatically” toggle makes a lot of sense. Most all carriers offer the ability to protect against inadvertent mobile data usage…….except for Google Fi.
For a reason that remains unknown, Google Fi’s engineers apparently disabled this function. See below:
On this settings page, under WiFi Preferences, most all customers will see a “switch to mobile data automatically” toggle. But not if you are using an Android phone on Google Fi’s network. So, if you are concerned about inadvertent use of mobile data, you have no choice but to put your phone on Airplane Mode when you are connected to a wi-fi network. Otherwise, you may find yourself with a ridiculously high data burn — especially if you are streaming video! We’ve not been able to determine what Google Fi’s engineers were thinking (or not thinking).
Most disturbingly, the inability of Google Fi customers to use this valuable data function isn’t mentioned anywhere on Google Fi’s website. If you do a Google search on this disabled functionality, you won’t find any mention of it. Essentially, Google Fi has kept its customers in the dark about the fact that they may be unknowingly racking up data usage. This is not only not perfect, but its actually pretty bad. Google Fi customers — beware!