Leaked app hints at Google's "Project Fi" MVNO plans

Remember talk about Google's plans to take on mobile carriers? While the initial furor of speculation seems to have died down a bit, it seems that things are still proceeding as planned for Google, with an expected public announcement at the upcoming I/O 2015. A new leak has revealed some possible details about the service that would give consumers reasons to be hyped and carriers cause to worry. Aside from free calls and texts inside the US, Project Fi will only charge users based on data they actually consumed and even credit unused ones at the end of the month.

Details of this "Project Fi", which seems to be the codename for the MVNO service, came from a certain Tycho app that was included in an unofficial build for the Nexus 6. The names are unlikely to remain once the official product is out but, according to Android Police's source, the app itself is legit and, therefore, the information contained there in are as well. At least to the extent that a work in progress is legit and accurate.

The Tycho app itself isn't exactly extraordinary and offers the same basic set of features you'd expect from similar apps from other carriers. Somewhat notable, however, is that the app seems to let users do a lot more. This includes being able to activate the service, request a new number, start a transfer request, or even close and resume an account right from within the app. It's not exactly a groundbreaking new feature as other carriers do have these, but it's still a welcome convenience.

The meat of the leak, however, focuses on the features of Project Fi, which might not be the final name of the service. Consumers might be delighted to know that Google's MVNO won't be charging them for data they don't use and would even credit those for next month's allocation. The service does bill by the GB, which might be a bit overkill for those whose regular data usage only ranges in MBs. That said, given Google's target audience, we do expect most of them to consume a lot more data than your average user. Aside from supporting multiple lines under a single account, the MVNO seems to also support multiple devices under a single line. Users will be able to switch from one device to another and carry over the Project Fi connection and number, though only one device can be active at a time. Definitely a welcome feature for tech savvy users with multiple devices.

And given we're talking about Google here, it shouldn't come as a shock that Google would be monitoring your usage to serve you more personalized ads. In an MVNO context, that means having access to your call history. Fortunately, Google will let users opt out of it and might even make that switch easily visible and reachable.

Sounds tasty? Do remember that all of these come from an unverified leak, so do take with a grain, maybe even a cupful, of salt. Google isn't exactly planning to rival or oust mobile carriers (yet), but these rather delectable features might very well ruffle a few of their feathers anyway.

VIA: Android Police