To help you and your family stay safe during the holidays, Google is rolling out a handful of new features for their phone subscription service. These new ‘Family features’ will automatically be included in all Fi plans at no extra cost. You’ll begin to see these in your Google Fi app next week, so keep an eye out!
The first feature is a welcome one – Blocking calls and texts from strangers. Toggling on this new setting will make it so that only numbers in your child’s contact book can call or text them. They can still make outbound calls or texts to anyone and anyone they do contact can get back to them for up to 30 days. ‘Block calls from strangers’ is bypassed for 48 hours if 911 is dialed so that the first responder can call back in the case of an emergency.
Next, you will now be able to create a data budget for your children’s devices. If you’re on the Flexible plan, this could help you and your family set a limit to how much data is used across the board each month. Once your child uses up their data budget, their data access is slowed, not stopped. In the Fi app, you can set it up so that you’re alerted when your child gets close to their data limit or even slow their data earlier.
Lastly, it’s now easier than ever to set up Family Link for children through the Fi app on their Android device. You can set up content rating restrictions for the Play Store, limit screen time, and manage app downloads too! Google has had tunnel vision this last year on making their apps and services more family-friendly and as a father, I couldn’t be happier. We use Family Link and Google Fi in my home, so I’ll set this up as soon as possible and let you know my thoughts!
If you’re looking to add more family members to your Fi plan, you should know that it decreases your group’s per-person rate. Not only that, but Google is currently running a holiday special that basically gives you a Moto G Power or Stylus for free after a $100 discount and up to $199 in-service credit that gets applied to your first monthly bill! Instead of the new Fi member joining your family group paying the full amount up front, they’ll instead only pay $149 or $199, depending on which phone they choose.