“If you’re sitting on a plane at the gate and reading this column on an electronic gadget, you’re about to hear eight dreaded words: ‘Please power down your electronic devices for takeoff,'” Nick Bilton reports for The New York Times. “But this time next year, you might hear something very different: ‘Please put your devices on ‘airplane mode’ for takeoff.'”
MacDailyNews Take: Cue the ignorati chorus: “Airplane mode? Huh? Hey, how do I do this ‘airplane mode’ thing?” They’re going to have to make “how to” tech demonstrations part of the flight attendants’ safety spiel.
“According to people who work with an industry working group that the Federal Aviation Administration set up last year to study the use of portable electronics on planes, the agency hopes to announce by the end of this year that it will relax the rules for reading devices during takeoff and landing,” Bilton reports. “The change would not include cellphones.”
MacDailyNews Take: Even though, of course, an iPhone in Airplane Mode is not a cellphone. (Just tell your stewardess it’s an iPod touch and wave her off.)
Bilton reports, “One member of the group and an official of the F.A.A., both of whom asked for anonymity because they were not allowed to speak publicly about internal discussions, said the agency was under tremendous pressure to let people use reading devices on planes, or to provide solid scientific evidence why they cannot. As I wrote in 2011, travelers are told to turn off their iPads and Kindles for takeoff and landing, yet there is no proof that these devices affect a plane’s avionics. To add to the confusion, the F.A.A. permits passengers to use electric razors and audio recorders during all phases of flight, even though those give off more electronic emissions than reading tablets.”
“The issue is only increasing in importance as more Americans board flights with wearable computers,” Bilton reports. “People are flying with electronics like the Nike FuelBand, Jawbone Up and FitBit, all of which track your daily activity. But before long, there will be passengers with Google glasses and an Apple iWatch.”
Read more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: The expeditiousness of government is matched only by molasses flowing uphill.
As we wrote back in March: It’s a load-of-crap rule, as anyone who’s ever flown knows. On any given flight, multiple people with iOS and other devices never turn them off (likely, some of these people don’t even know how to really turn their devices off) or never even put them to sleep. They certainly don’t put them into “Airplane Mode,” either. Their Wi-Fi is on all flight long and most of the time there are at least three personal hotspots bouncing all throughout the plane, too. The fact is – we see it almost every flight – some people simply hide them from the flight attendants and continue to use them during takeoff and/or landing and, guess what, we’re still here.
American Airlines first commercial carrier with FAA approval to use Apple iPads in all phases of flight – September 11, 2012
FAA to study use of iPads, iPhone on airplanes during entire flight – August 28, 2012
F.A.A. taking ‘fresh look’ at passenger use of iPad, devices use during takeoff and landing – March 19, 2012