Google released the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro earlier this year as the company’s new flagship Android smartphones. Now the devices are receiving a feature that normally requires a paid Google One subscription.
Back in October, Google quietly revealed in a support document that the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro would soon have free access to Google One VPN, a basic VPN service included with the Premium tier of Google One (priced at $9.99/month). Now the rollout is official, as Google told How-To Geek, “Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro users will be able to use VPN by Google One at no cost and keep their online activity protected no matter what app or web browser you use.”
The service, which is also called “VPN by Google One,” is about as simplistic as possible — you flip it on, and your internet traffic is routed through Google’s servers. It’s primarily advertised as a security feature for public Wi-Fi networks, and a way to hide your IP address from some third-party tracking (but not Google, obviously). The VPN server is locked to the same country as your device, so it can’t be used to watch streaming services from other regions, or many of the other possible uses for VPNs. It wasn’t even available on desktop computers until last month.
Despite the simple feature set, it’s great to see the Pixel 7 series receive even more built-in functionality, especially after the deep discounts seen during the Black Friday season. A few other software features are rolling out, such as “Clear Calling” on phone calls (which reduces background noise for the person you are calling), per-person voice transcription labels in the Recorder app, and a new security hub in the Settings app.