tech tips for writers

Tech Tip for Writers #126: Why Use Airplane Mode?

Tech Tips for Writers is an occasional post on overcoming Tech Dread. I’ll cover issues that friends, both real-time and virtual, have shared. Feel free to post a comment about a question you have. I’ll cover it in a future Tip.

I was flying cross country to visit my daughter in Maryland a while ago. I’d stocked my phone with Kindle books so was rather enjoying the flight, ignoring everything but the joy of reading. As the hours passed, I noticed my battery drop precipitously until I began to worry I wouldn’t have enough power to call her upon landing. Being a total nerd, I’d prepared for that by bringing my iPad, fully charged, with a Kindle reader.

When I got there, my daughter explained ‘airplane mode‘ to me so I wouldn’t worry about running out of battery ever again (she’s as much of a nerd as I am).

Because its primary purpose is to place calls, my phone constantly searches for internet connections in case I want to dial out. Sure that uses battery power but since the closest cell tower typically is quickly found, the affect is minimal. In the air, not so much (no satellite phones here). Airplane mode stops your phone from searching for an internet connection. If you don’t use it on a long flight, you’ll find your battery drained by the time you land because your phone ran through its power searching constantly for a signal that didn’t exist.

If you’re not flying but know you aren’t using the internet for a period of time, switch your phone to airplane mode. It’ll save your battery.

More tech tips for writers:

Editing is Easier When It’s Done Digitally

What the Heck Does ‘Print Screen’ Do?

Sound Doesn’t Work?


Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy, and the thrillers, To Hunt a Sub and  Twenty-four DaysShe is also the author/editor of over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, adjunct professor of technology in education, webmaster for four blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer,  a columnist for TeachHUB, monthly contributor to Today’s Author and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. You can find her books at her publisher’s website, Structured Learning.

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69 thoughts on “Tech Tip for Writers #126: Why Use Airplane Mode?

  1. I found out about airplane mode when my OCD will kick in when it came to having my phone fully charged, I installed an app called Battery Doctor, and it have advice to help you save power, and it mentioned that your device will drain your battery looking for a signal, and switch it to airplane mode. I did that when I was in school and have poor reception in certain spots

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I just had to google this, and found that phones potentially have the ability to interfere with airplane equipment but in likelihood they don’t.
    It seems airlines are using caution.

    Personally, I dread the day folks are able to make/receive calls in flight. Gaf!!! Imagine sitting next to someone yakking on their phone for the whole flight. I’ve noticed they’ve removed all the old phones that used to be built into the back of the seats.

    I always carry my charging cord,too. So many planes have plugins at each seat ( even domestic flights).

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks for googling that, Barb. We have all been quite curious about it. As for the phone calls–until satellite phones become as common as our cell tower phones, you’re safe. I too am glad they got rid of the seatback sat phones. Too annoying!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve been using it for years when I travel, when I don’t want to incur roaming charges. No worries on the plane because I turn my phone off once in the air. I always have my Kindle for reading, it’s easier to read on that than a phone for me. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • That’s the reason we’re all given, but since I never turned mine off and none of the planes crashed, I think it’s like Santa Claus–they’d rather tell us this than the truth. They’d be smarter to tell us it drains our batteries. Everyone would turn them off then!

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Here in the UK we are required to use airplane mode whenever the aircraft is in the air, we aren’t permitted to use our phones for anything like reading unless we have it in that mode. Apparently it’s to prevent it interfering with aircraft systems.
    Your aircraft must be more robust than ours!!! 😋

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I have known that moment of landing and finding that I couldn’t call from my phone due to battery drainage! Now I am careful especially when I am travelling long distance. Thanks for the tech tip Jacqui. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Great tip and I’ve noticed before that turning off wifi and Bluetooth saves battery life a bit as they’re not constantly searching for a source. Another plus is that you’re not distracted with calls, emails, notifications etc! Win win!😀😀

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Pingback: Tech Tip for Writers #126: Why Use Airplane Mode? – All About Writing and more

  8. Jacqui, it is always interesting to hear your tech advice, I know some but am lazy and often ask instead. 😊 . Airplane mode whilst flying is surely a requirement? We are always told on all aircraft to switch off all electronic devices or put them on airplane mode as not to interfere with the aircraft’s signals.

    I will now read your other advices…..
    Miriam
    p.s. You might get more questions than you bargained for

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I would have thought that in air on a kindle would use the same amount of battery as when on the ground? Am I missing something? Can’t the kindle be used purely on its battery power? Kindle can be read while not linked?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh yes, absolutely, if the book is downloaded to the device. I have a large collection of books on my phone (they don’t take much room). Then there’s only nominal battery power required. If I wanted to download new ones I can’t until I get my Internet back.

      Liked by 1 person

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