Electronic SIM cards are remarkably convenient and do away with the need for a tiny piece of plastic when setting up cellular service. After supporting Pixel devices for several years, Google Fi can now be activated on an iPhone through eSIM.

Update 4/27: When the support document first went live, the eSIM capability was “still rolling out.” Google Fi on Twitter this morning officially announced the capability’s availability for new customers.

Original 4/16: In late 2018, Fi dropped its Project status and added official support for iPhones. Like any other carrier, the setup process involved getting a SIM card mailed out to you, or buying one in store.

The process of setting up Google Fi is now getting easier on iPhones with new subscribers able to use an eSIM. A modern Apple device is required — XR, XS, XS Max, and 11 series, while this simplified iOS eSIM activation is currently only available to “new users who sign up for Google Fi.” The just-announced iPhone SE should also support eSIM, according to tech specs for the device.

Setup starts by making sure you have a compatible iPhone after joining Google’s MVNO. On the website, opt in to quick setup and eSIM activation, and then install the mobile app for a device and iOS (12.1+) compatibility check.

Once everything clears, you’ll be prompted to visit fi.google.com/ios/quicksetup on another computer. A QR code that has to be scanned by your iPhone will be shown, with the process continuing on your cellular device.

Update: According to Google, this new capability is still rolling out and might not yet be available for all users.

This capability was previously exclusive to Pixel 2 and later Google devices, and opens up  Dual SIM use cases alongside a physical nano-SIM, especially when traveling.

Full setup instructions are available here, with existing customers not being offered the capability today. eSIM support from Google Fi will hopefully expand in the future.

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Abner Li

Editor-in-chief. Interested in the minutiae of Google and Alphabet. Tips/talk: abner@9to5g.com