What you need to know
- Google Fi is launching end-to-end encryption for phone calls on its network.
- Calls between Fi customers will include a special tone and symbol when protected.
- The new end-to-end encryption is rolling out first on Android phones.
In Thursday's blog post, Google says that the feature will work between smartphones on its network, and will include audio and visual cues so that users know immediately that their calls are end-to-end encrypted. That means no one should be able to listen in on your calls and that your private conversations can stay that way.
When making a call to another Fi customer using Google's Phone app, users will hear a unique ring sound to indicate that the call is encrypted. There will also be a lock symbol on the call screen to visually indicate that your call is protected. Similarly, the person on the other end will see the same icon.
Google already provides end-to-end encryption for its Messages app, and recently, WhatsApp backups to Google Drive have also gained an extra level of protection. Google Fi also provides a free VPN service for customers and other security benefits.
However, the feature will only work for calls between Google Fi customers, meaning calls to other carriers won't get the same level of protection.
Google says the feature will arrive on Android devices on its Fi network "in the coming weeks." Support for iOS devices was not mentioned.
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