Google offers free phone service to some Maps users — are you eligible?

Google Maps Local Guides
(Image credit: Laptop Mag/Sean Riley)

Free phone service? Count me in. Some Google Maps users are being rewarded for their contributions to Google Maps with an offer of three months of free unlimited Google Fi phone service.

That's up to a $195 value for sharing photos or opinions on locations in Google Maps and if we start to see more such offers from Google it may certainly boost interest in the Local Guides program. A writer from Android Central received the offer and there's a running discussion on Slickdeals as well.

If you are a regular contributor to Google Maps you should check your email to see if you are eligible for the offer.

Is Google Fi worth switch to for a few months of free service?

The only catches to the offer are that you must not be an existing Google Fi customer and you have to port your number in, so you can't just open a free new line for a second phone and get a new number.

Whether you should consider a switch to Google Fi is going to depend on too many factors to offer a definitive answer, but I've used the service off and on for several years and it's been a good experience. You should naturally check the Google Fi coverage map (opens in new tab) to verify how it looks in your area. Fi uses a blend of T-Mobile and U.S. Cellular towers with intelligent switching for the best connection available.

The free three months of service are on the Google Fi Unlimited Plus plan, which is normally $65 a month for a single line. That plan gives you unlimited hotspot tethering on your phone and tablet along with 100GB of Google One cloud storage. Dropping down to SImply Unlimited for $50 a month limits your hotspot usage to 5GB a month, but data usage on your phone is still unlimited. Finally, the Flexible plan is good for lighter users as it is $20 a month and then $10 per GB of data used with built-in tools to monitor your usage.

Google Fi Plans

(Image credit: Google)

How do you contribute to Local Guides?

If you haven't contributed to Local Guides and the promise of perhaps getting an offer like this in the future is tempting it's easy to do and genuinely helpful for other Maps users. You just go to the "Contribute" tab in Maps and if you have location tracking on it will suggest locations that you have visited recently to rate, review, upload photos or make edits to information about the location.

Sean Riley has been covering tech professionally for over a decade now. Most of that time was as a freelancer covering varied topics including phones, wearables, tablets, smart home devices, laptops, AR, VR, mobile payments, fintech, and more.  Sean is the resident mobile expert at Laptop Mag, specializing in phones and wearables, you'll find plenty of news, reviews, how-to, and opinion pieces on these subjects from him here. But Laptop Mag has also proven a perfect fit for that broad range of interests with reviews and news on the latest laptops, VR games, and computer accessories along with coverage on everything from NFTs to cybersecurity and more.