Airplane mode is a very specific mode of operation that is available on all current versions of the iPod Touch, iPhone and iPad hardware. It is a function that is built directly into the iOS operating system that is present on all three of Apple’s devices. It is primarily used to prevent your device from sending or receiving any electronic signals, which in turn allows you to use it safely on an airplane. Airplane mode has a number of other benefits that are worth exploring, however.
Airplane mode disables many functions from Apple devices including the ability to make calls for iPhone owners. It also disables the ability to use the Internet and any GPS or location based services from owners of all three devices. It is important to note that Bluetooth functionality is also disabled when airplane mode is engaged. Any Bluetooth devices you may own, like headset microphones, will not be able to connect with your iPod Touch, iPhone or iPad for the duration that airplane mode is engaged.
The main benefit of airplane mode is that it allows you to still use most of the functions of your device while still suspending others that could interfere with the operations of an aircraft. For example, you can still run all of your applications, listen to music and watch videos on your device while airplane mode is engaged. If any of these applications attempt to connect to the Internet or a cellular data network, however, they will be unable to do so until you turn off airplane mode.
It is important to note that just because you have turned on airplane mode on your iPod Touch, iPhone or iPad doesn’t mean you’ll actually be able to use your device during the takeoff and landing of an aircraft. The order to turn off these devices is always left to the discretion of the flight staff on each airplane that you ride in. While some may allow you to continue to use your device if you prove that airplane mode is active, others may not and might force you to turn it off anyway.
You can enable airplane mode on your iPod Touch, iPhone or iPad by opening up the “Settings” application. The first option on all three devices will be labeled “Airplane Mode.” Tap this option one time to open its dedicated screen. Tap “On” to turn on airplane mode. A small aircraft icon will appear in the upper corner of your device, indicating that airplane mode is on. You can turn off airplane mode from the same screen.
Airplane mode has a number of different benefits for Apple device users even when they’re not flying in an airplane. Because the GPS, Wi-Fi and cellular data network functionality of the devices are disabled, the device will use much less battery power than it would under normal circumstances. If you are running low on battery power but can’t immediately charge your device, turning on airplane mode is a great way to prolong your device’s overall lifespan for as long as possible.
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Laura is an avid traveler and used uSwitch.com to compare iPhone 4 deals. She now uses her phone whilst flying… in airplane mode of course.