Invites for Fi -- Google's new mobile network -- are beginning to trickle out of
Skynet's Google's email servers. But uh-oh Houston, there seems to be a problem: Google Voice no longer works like it should. Bloggers remember well that Fi was touted as the answer to greedy U.S. carriers -- an alternative to carrier dysfunction. But reality interrupted this dream, taking its bite with Fi's no Google Voice policy.
So contrary to expectations, Google appears to be well on its way to becoming a good ol' boy, a jacket wearing member of the Carrier Club: Hobble or restrict an app or feature, then maybe, perhaps sometime in the future find a way to charge for a half-baked replacement.
In IT Blogwatch, bloggers stick with what they've got.
Today's humble blogwatcher is Stephen Glasskeys.
Derek Walter just wants it work:
Project Fi invites are on their way, and they reveal a lot about how Google’s new wireless service will work.
A series of screenshots posted by a Reddit user show the signup process, with a key provision being that you need to use the Google Voice number tied to your Google account or choose another. MORE
Kevin Tofel disrupts naysayers' disruptive opinions regarding Google's disruption:
I have a custom Google Voice number -- I paid extra for it years ago -- and many of my contacts already have and use that to reach me. So if I switch to Project Fi, I'll surely port my Google Voice number to the service.
I still think Project Fi has potential for disruption in the cellular industry. It's not about the price, however, which starts at $20 a month plus $10 per GB of LTE data with a credit for unused service. Instead, the disruption is in the multiple coverage networks between Wi-Fi, T-Mobile and Sprint, plus the seamless transition between the three. MORE
Ryan Whitwam says leave now (but you are always welcome back):
[Project] Fi's product manager Simon Arscott explained a few things earlier today, and one item he addressed was what happens if you leave Fi. According to Arscott, you can transition your number back to Voice if you decide to stop using Fi. MORE
JC Torres bluntly tells us something we don't want to hear:
To put it bluntly, Project Fi is killing Google Voice no matter which way you look at it.
It is natural for something...so experimental to have a few bumps, but the finality of losing one's Google Voice account forever is enough to put some would be testers off, as Reddit comments so colorfully demonstrate. Google has yet to chime in on the matter. MORE
Meanwhile, Chris Welch asks why Fi and Voice won't get along:
This all seems like a ton to sacrifice just to be part of Google's Project Fi, which is powered by a dual-network (Sprint and T-Mobile) setup, while also placing a huge focus on Wi-Fi connectivity. ... Google's willingness to completely wipe away Google Voice accounts also speaks volumes about the service's standing at the company, and it doesn't seem to be a good one. MORE
You have been reading IT Blogwatch by Richi Jennings and Stephen Glasskeys, who curate the best bloggy bits, finest forums, and weirdest websites… so you don't have to. Catch the key commentary from around the Web every morning. Hatemail may be directed to @itblogwatch or email@example.com. Opinions expressed may not represent those of Computerworld. Ask your doctor before reading. Your mileage may vary. E&OE.