If you’ve flown on an airplane, you’ve heard an announcement to turn off your cell phone or keep the device in airplane mode while in the air. This serves as a precaution so your phone doesn’t interfere with the airplane’s communication system. Some people only think of airplane mode while flying, but surprisingly, there are benefits to switching to airplane mode even when you’re not on a plane.
Airplane mode disables your phone’s calling and data features, but this doesn’t mean the phone is completely useless. With your phone in this mode, your battery doesn’t work as hard, which can extend your battery life – a plus when you’re running low on power and can’t connect to a power source.
Although you’re not able to make calls or send text messages, there’s plenty you can do in this mode.
1. Stream Music
The good thing about airplane mode is that you maintain the ability to stream music from Spotify, iTunes or any other streaming services you subscribe to—as long as you’re connected to Wi-Fi. So if you want to kill time and listen to a few tunes, head over to a coffee shop, hotel, restaurant or connect to your home’s Wifi. You can listen to your favorite songs even with your data feature turned off.
2. Messaging Apps
Even though you’re not able to receive or send text messages over the cellular network while in airplane mode, you’re not completely disconnected from the outside world. Communication with your phone remains possible via a messaging app—but again, only if you’re connected to Wifi.
To prepare for periods when you’ll have to switch to airplane mode, download a messaging app to your smartphone. By doing so, you can send private messages to family and friends without having to use your cellular data.
3. Social Media
Social media apps also work if you’re in airplane mode and connected to Wifi. If you don’t have a messaging app on your phone, send status updates through Twitter, Facebook or any other social media platform you use. Check in, post pictures, play games or catch up on the latest news headlines.
4. FaceTime or Video Chat
If you prefer face-to-face communication, FaceTime or video chat also works while in airplane mode. This is useful when you’re away from home and need to communicate with friends and family, but you don’t want to eat up your cellular data. Video chatting in airplane mode also lets you communicate, while preserving your battery life.
5. Alarm Clock
Airplane mode doesn’t stop you from using your cell phone as an alarm clock. One benefit of turning on airplane mode before falling asleep is that you won’t receive phone calls or text messages throughout the night, which can interrupt your sleep. It’s also smart to put your phone on airplane mode before taking a quick nap during the day.
Napping can be particularly difficult because there’s always the risk of getting a midday phone call or text. Sure, you can put your phone on silent mode, but it could still vibrate and disturb your sleep. This doesn’t happen in airplane mode.
Airplane mode is often associated with traveling on an airplane, and some people mistakenly think that using it turns off all of a phone’s features. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Whether you’re looking to preserve your battery’s life, enjoy peaceful sleep or use less cellular data, airplane mode is the answer—and in most instances, you can continue to use many of your phone’s features.