Airplane Mode on Your Smartphone: How and When is It Useful?


The term “Airplane Mode ” is familiar to people who have ever boarded an airplane. Also called Flight mode, it is a mobile phone (or computer) setting or button you can use to switch off all cellular, Bluetooth or Wi-fi communications on your device. In effect, you can no longer receive or send text messages, make voice calls, or browse the internet in Airplane mode. That is, until you turn it off. 

However, this does not stop you from using your phone for other tasks. You can play games, snap pictures, listen to music and handle other tasks that do not require connecting to a network of some sort. Airplane mode immediately turns off your Wi-fi, Bluetooth and cellular connections. 

 

airplane mode

Nevertheless, you can manually turn on the Wi-fi and Bluetooth functionalities even after the Airplane Mode is switched on. That way, you will be able to connect your Bluetooth headset and listen to music. In some cases, you may also be lucky to be onboard an aircraft with an active Wi-fi network. In which case you will be allowed to connect to the Wi-fi network and receive signals.

The Original Purpose of the Airplane Mode

In 2013, the United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) made it a rule for all travelers to switch off smartphones and digital devices before boarding a plane. Or otherwise put their devices in Airplane Mode. This is because mobile phones and other digital devices produce radio waves. These waves can cause electromagnetic interference with sensors and communication equipment on an airplane. 

For those who are observant enough, you will notice such interference if your mobile phone is near a speaker, for instance. You should hear buzzing sounds emanating from the speaker. It is even more pronounced on an airplane carrying several dozens of passengers. And all of them are potentially operating a mobile phone or digital device. The cumulative effect of all the signals generated by these devices will be powerful indeed. It is enough to badly mess up communications between the airplane and the control towers on the ground. 

Switching On/Off Your Phone’s Airplane Mode

You can easily find the Airplane Mode button in the Notification bar atop your Android device. For iPhones or iPads, you will locate it in the Control Center of the device. Just look for the airplane symbol and tap on it. To open an Android phone’s Notification bar, simply swipe down from the top of the screen and it will be revealed. For iPhones and iPads, swipe up the side of the screen to reveal the Control Center. 

Other Important Uses of the Airplane Mode* 

There are other very beneficial uses of the Airplane mode to mobile phone owners. This is the part you should pay more attention to, to conserve your mobile phone’s resources. 

Your mobile phone charges faster in Airplane Mode. Because there are no distractions, nor other tasks hindering your device or engaging your battery. You can use this mode to charge your phone undisturbed, while you handle other important tasks outside of the device.

Airplane Mode conserves your battery power, and of course extends your battery life. 

While Airplane Mode is on, it stops your mobile phone from emitting radiation. It can safeguard your body or other devices from being affected by the radiation.

During Airplane Mode, your mobile phone will not attempt to connect to any radio/communication device or tower by sending out a signal. This will prevent unwanted costs while you are traveling. That is, if you did not subscribe to an international roaming package with your mobile operator. Unless you have an international roaming plan, your phone will likely send signals to nearby communication towers and incur charges in the process. Unfortunately that would happen even if you have your cellular data or Wi-fi signal turned off. So prevent this anyway by going into Airplane Mode. 

–  You can also conserve your mobile data at home or in the office with Airplane Mode. It will prevent apps from updating automatically (outside using Wi-fi). It will also stop automatic downloading of images and videos from WhatsApp or Telegram messages. 

You can enable Airplane mode right before going to sleep, or when you don’t want unnecessary distractions from your phone. It will stop noises from text messages, email, app or web notifications. Nevertheless, it does not interfere with important reminders such as your alarm clock.

Child Protection mode and your privacy is better enforced when your phone is in Airplane Mode. If you allow your kid to play a game on your phone for instance, that random moment of misbehavior can happen. He/she may press a call button, or send a text or email in error. The child may even start browsing the internet, or snooping around on your phone. To stop your kid from wasting your airtime and cellular data would be good. Or stopping him/her from even getting you into trouble with wrong calls and messages. Very simple – just put your phone in Airplane Mode  before allowing such a child. And be vigilant all the same.

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