Modern aircraft are more tolerant of interference from electronics than their predecessors, while modern mobile devices use far less energy and transmit far less powerful signals. Even though the new regulations make it easier to use your electronic devices while flying, enabling Airplane Mode on your iPhone saves you from having to power down your smartphone completely. Using Airplane Mode will allow you to use certain features of your phone while disabling those that may cause interference.
Airplane Mode is the name of the feature that allows you to use an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch safely on an airplane while it is in flight.
Enabling Airplane Mode from the Settings menu on your phone allows you to turn off all the RF-generating functions, while still allowing you to listen to Justin Bieber, play your favorite games, or check your text messages. This mode leaves you with just a small hand-held computer, deeming it safe to use in the skies as the Wi-Fi, cellular transmitter, GPS, Bluetooth, and other apps that use wireless networks are all powered down and disabled.
To enable Airplane Mode, slide to On/green. You’ll see existing networking options turn gray. A small airplane icon will appear in the top left corner where your network signal strength indicators normally appear. To turn it off, move the slide to Off/white. If you have an iPhone running iOS 7 or up, you can turn Airplane Mode on and off via Control Center. To do this, swipe up from the bottom of the screen. At the top left corner of Control Center, there is an airplane icon. Tap it to turn on Airplane Mode and the icon will light up. To turn the mode off, just tap the icon and it will turn gray.
More carriers now offer in-flight Wi-Fi services, allowing passengers to send emails, browse the web, stream entertainment, or to work. In this case you may use your iPhone to connect to the plane’s network while remaining in Airplane Mode to keep the cellular and GPS transmitters disabled. For this option, from the Settings menu, select Wi-Fi, then enable Wi-Fi and choose the applicable network. You can also enable Bluetooth to use a wireless headset to listen to music. Keep in mind, however, that most airlines block access to Wi-Fi calling options, such as Skype or Google Talk, in the interests of preserving quiet in the cabin.
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