Demystifying Airplane Mode: Its Purpose, Functions, and When to Activate It

You must have flown in an airplane. Right? Then, you are aware of Airplane mode because the air hostesses keep asking passengers to turn on this mode on their smartphones before takeoff and landing. But do you know what this mode means? 

Airplane mode is one of the most underutilized and misunderstood features. People think this feature is exclusively associated with air travel, but its uses extend far beyond the friendly skies. This guide will demystify Airplane mode, explaining its functions and purposes and when to activate it. 

What is Airplane Mode?

Airplane mode was invented to eliminate any possible interferences to sensitive airplane systems. This mode is displayed on your smartphone as a small icon with an airplane symbol. 

This feature got its name for a good reason. When flying in an airplane, you are mandated by law to switch off your device’s wireless communication capabilities. If multiple devices transmit signals at high altitudes, it can potentially interfere with the navigation and communication systems of the aircraft. Activating Airplane mode means being compliant with airline safety rules, and that’s how it got its name. 

How to Turn on Airplane Mode?

Here are steps to turn on Airplane mode on different devices. 

●    macOS

There’s no need to wonder how to put Macbook on Airplane mode because the steps are straightforward. Although it doesn’t have a single option for this mode, it is possible to enable Airplane mode by turning off Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and Location Services features. 

●    iOS and iPad

Open the Control Center > Tap the Airplane mode option. This will turn off all telecommunication services, including Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and GPS. 

●    Android

Go to Settings > select Network & Internet > toggle the Airplane mode on or off. 

What is the Purpose of Airplane Mode?

The Airplane mode is primarily designed to comply with airline regulations to ensure air safety. Its core function is to turn off the device’s wireless communication features. Turning on removes the device’s ability to connect to Wi-Fi, cellular networks, and Bluetooth. 

However, the purpose of Airplane mode is not only to be compliant when you are soaring at 35,000 feet. It is also about practicality. For instance, your device will work harder to establish connections when you are in an area with no cellular or weak signal. This constant searching will drain your device’s battery. If you activate the Airplane mode in such situations, you can conserve battery. You will know about the different scenarios when it makes sense to activate this feature below. 

When to Activate Airplane Mode?

●    During flights

Typically, this mode is activated during takeoff and landing. This is written on the FAA website’s Safety Information page. You may have to face the music if you are found guilty of not complying with the flight safety rules. You might be banned by the airlines or may have to pay a hefty fine. 

●    To conserve battery 

As explained earlier, turning on this feature helps conserve battery and prolong your device’s lifespan. If you are traveling and have forgotten to carry your charger or power bank, you can save battery by switching on Airplane mode. 

You can also turn this feature on when charging your phone. This will help to charge faster, and the battery will last longer on a single charge. 

●    To reduce distractions

Today, we are living in a hyperconnected world. People are constantly bombarded with emails, notifications, and messages. Finding a moment alone with your phone constantly ringing and demanding attention becomes difficult. 

So, when you are working, studying, or need some ‘me’ time, turning on Airplane mode can help you escape digital distractions. It can be a powerful tool to boost productivity and regain focus. 

●    To drive safely

Distracted driving is a growing concern. You can prevent accidents and keep your eyes on the road by turning on Airplane mode. 

When not to Use Airplane Mode?

● When relying on your device’s GPS navigation service to reach a location, you must not turn on this feature. 

● If you need Wi-Fi and want to use the Internet to make calls or return emails, you must not turn on this feature. 

Wrapping Up 

Airplane mode is a versatile feature offering much more than in-flight safety. Along with being compliant with air safety rules, this mode helps minimize distractions, conserve battery life, promote safer driving practices, and improve sleep quality. Understanding where and when to activate this feature to leverage its benefits is essential. 

Next time you need to focus, traveling on a plane, or seeking to preserve battery life, remember to turn on Airplane mode. Also, remember to turn off this mode once you want to resume telecommunication services on your smartphone. 


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