Everything that you need to know about airplane mode

What is airplane mode?

Airplane mode is an option that most mobile phones have, which allows you to deactivate the phone’s wireless network functionalities. These functionalities include:

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    • Connection to mobile data.
    • Wifi.
    • Roaming.
    • Location services.
    • Near Field Communication. Abbreviated as NFC. This is a feature of phones from the Sony, Motorola, Samsung, Lenovo, LG, Huawei, and the iPhone 6 brands, which allows you to instantaneously exchange information when devices are near each other.
    • Radio.
    • Bluetooth.

Airplane mode makes it impossible to have any kind of communication

This is a configuration option that can be accessed in a simple and quick manner. It was originally a functionality created to be used ideally when the mobile phone’s user were in an airplane or other aircraft to avoid any interference.

Even though this function was originally made due to the prohibition of keeping mobile phones powered on inside of airplanes, this mode can also be used in any other situation that requires you to temporally deactivate the mobile phone without needing to turn it off and to be able to use other apps that don’t need to be connected to the internet, such as the calendar, calculator, MS Office, games, photos, among other apps.

Some people use airplane mode to charge their mobile phone faster without having to fully turn it off, since, by deactivating all network activity, the current that the phone receives is only used for charging the battery.

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The rest of the apps that don’t need to be connected to the mobile network can be used. You could even activate Wifi, Bluetooth, or the radio and let the rest of the services disconnected.

Airplane mode is also a way of saving battery charge, so some people use it when they are out of the wireless network’s range to avoid having their batteries run out. Let’s remember that wireless connections are the functions that consume the highest amount of battery.

Deactivating messages, calls, emails, notifications and updates from social network apps is also a good choice whenever it is time to rest.

To activate airplane mode, you need to access the network settings, phone options, or press the button to power on or off the phone until we see the airplane icon on the phone’s notification bar. This will indicate that airplane mode is active.

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In which situations could I activate airplane mode?

As we have previously mentioned, airplane mode should be mandatorily be activated while you are flying in an aircraft to avoid interference between the mobile phone and the connections of the airplane. This is one of the rules in all flights: keep the mobile phone deactivated.

There are also other places where users are asked to keep the network connections deactivated by using airplane mode, such as in hospitals and labs, since they could create interference with instruments of high accuracy, or because the sound of calls or notifications becomes a disturbance. This is the reason why it would be an appropriate opportunity to activate your mobile phone’s airplane mode function in these places.

Another time when airplane mode should be activated would be on the cases when we are far away from an antenna or in a place of low coverage. There are places where the connection is unstable since the antennae are far away, and this makes the mobile phone to consume more battery than usual in order to make the phone find a connection. In this case, it is appropriate to use airplane mode as a way to save battery charge.

We could also activate it whenever we find ourselves in situations where we don’t have any electric energy to charge the phone’s battery, be it because we are in in the middle of a trip that takes a lot of hours, like, for instance, if we are in a train or a bus; or because an electric energy outage has occurred for a long period of time.

The airplane mode function will allow you to save battery until the electric energy flow gets restored, or until we reach our destination. Or we could even use it whenever we need to rest from calls or notifications and stay away from social media apps in our mobile phones for a bit.

Airplane mode is ideal to avoid notifications that we could receive whenever we are playing with an app. It is also ideal for cases where we are receiving ads while playing free-to-play games.

Sometimes we are studying or reading about a particular topic, or we may be distracting ourselves with a book, and we don’t want to be interrupted with messages, calls, nor notifications, since we require to be concentrated in the activity being performed at that moment. To achieve this, activate airplane mode during those times, which would be quite useful and will prevent us from becoming distracted.

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Privacy tricks with airplane mode: WhatsApp and Facebook

Airplane mode can also be activated to answer WhatsApp messages while your last connection remains unseen to your contacts. Whenever you need to answer a WhatsApp message while preventing your contacts from seeing you, you should first activate airplane mode. Then, access WhatsApp, type the message, and send it. The message will remain unsent. Afterwards, get out of WhatsApp, and access the airplane mode function to deactivate it. The message will be sent. However, the last instance when you were available won’t be recorded. We invite you to try it out.

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This function is also wonderful for reading Facebook messages.

Airplane mode as a way to be disconnected and avoid being disturbed: work and leisure

Receiving messages or notifications in the middle of a meeting, gathering, conference or workshop may be considered annoying for both the person receiving it and the speaker. For this reason, activating airplane mode will prevent us from losing our concentration from the conversation, and will keep us aware to the information that we could be receiving without interruptions and without disturbing our peers.

Occasionally, using the mobile phone consumes a huge amount of our time. Some studies have revealed that, a person checks their mobile phone approximately no less than 50 times per day. This could be true, or probably the truth might be that a person checks their phone even more times per day. It all depends on the use given to the mobile phone.

Not everyone shares the same speed of life. This can be seen when, even during activities such as watching a movie on a movie theater, one gets interrupted by their mobile phone. For this reason, on movie theaters, before the movie starts, it is advised that people keep their mobile phone turned off or in silent mode.

If you’re one of those people that checks their mobile phone all the time, we advise you that, before entering a movie theater or a theater, you should activate the airplane mode function so that you can enjoy the movie without interruptions and without disturbing the rest of the audience.

Can a mobile phone be tracked if it’s one airplane mode?

As we have previously explained, whenever we activate airplane mode, we deactivate the phone’s connection to the network. In other words, we deactivate the connections that could cause interference with other radio signals. However, the GPS function is not always completely deactivated while activating airplane mode.

The GPS functions as its own antenna, and it is an operating system that determines the position of an object on Earth through a 24-satellite network that works 24 hours a day and under any weather condition.

The GPS also works as a passive radio, that is, as a device that receives signals but doesn’t send them. For this reason, even if the phone is on airplane mode, the GPS keeps working.

However, if there is no internet connection, you can’t browse the online map apps, even though we already saw that we can activate Wifi while using airplane mode. Therefore, it is possible to track a mobile phone through GPS as long as the phone’s GPS system is activated, even if the phone is on airplane mode.

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To fully activate or deactivate the GPS system, you need to access the apps’ settings, select the option “Privacy”, and then “Location services.”

You could also configure the GPS to keep it activated or deactivated individually for certain apps. Additionally, there are people that think that, even if the GPS is deactivated, you could be tracked. This discovery was made public after a case of a murderer that was found through the GPS of his mobile phone, from the battery consumption of his mobile phone.

How to find my mobile phone if it’s turned off or if it has airplane mode activated?

If, for any reason, you lost your mobile phone and it was powered off or in airplane mode, don’t panic since there is hope that you can find it.

Edward Snowden, the ex-CIA agent, to avoid being tracked, hid his mobile phone in a freezer to be able to make calls and then block any incoming or outgoing signal. Snowden knew that he could be tracked even if he turned off his mobile phone or if he removed the battery, since some phones keep some energy on the inside of the device.

Pinpointing the location of a phone may not be as accurate as wanted while it is disconnected or powered off, but it is still possible to locate the area where the phone is located through any antenna.

Other ways of finding your phone include calling the network service provider. Through the GPS, the phone can be tracked with the same system used by the police or ambulance services. The network providers could indicate the last location of the phone and, this way, have a reference.

If you’ve lost your phone in a public place, it would be convenient that you filed a claim to the local police, since they could help you locate it by using the IMEI number to track the phone.

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Safety apps that protect your phone: Lookout

One of the apps that could help you with this issue is the “Lookout” safety app. By connecting to their website, you can check the safety state of registered mobile devices in real time. You can even see the mobile device’s location in a map and activate an alarm, even if it is in airplane mode.

This app also has a function called “Signal Flare”, which registers the mobile phone’s last location before it was turned off.

To download the app, you’ll need to access the Play Store by using the search bar and typing the word “Lookout”. Then, press the “free download” button to download it.

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When you start the application, you’ll be able to see a tutorial that will help you create an account, which will be linked to your email, and, of course, a password.

You will need to check the “begin protection” box to activate it. After looking at many windows, you find the main screen where you could scan apps, files, and documents. This is done automatically. Lookout serves as a security system that protects the user’s data. Besides the tracking function, this app also functions as an antivirus and an anti-theft app.

To locate the mobile phone, you need to log in on the website lookout.com from a smartphone or PC, and check the “find device” box. Afterwards, the phone’s location will appear on-screen.

Lookout also has a function called “Signal Flare,” which registers the location of the phone during its last connection to the internet. This could give you a reference to help you find your lost phone.

There are other apps that allow you to locate your mobile phone. Some of them are:
• ANDROID LOST: this is a free app that allows you to control your phone through the internet or via a SMS. You can turn on the GPS and Wifi to locate the phone device. Likewise, this app allows you to delete your data if you need to.
• LOOKOUT SECURITY & ANTIVIRUS: this app can be downloaded for free or be bought. It comes with a built-in antivirus, and the free version allows you to locate the mobile phone’s location and even activate an alarm. Register your location before the phone turns off due to lack of battery charge.
• WHERES MY PHONE: this app was made by the South Korean company NHN. This app can take pictures of the place where your device is located and indicates the location. Additionally, it sends an email to your account if someone tries to unlock your device. This app would be incredibly useful to give us a reference about the last location of the mobile phone in case it gets lost.
• FONEHOME: This is a paid app. In it, a message is sent to the phone and, if someone reads it, a picture will be taken. It can emit sounds in case the phone gets lost, and it is activated remotely via the GPS. Now, this app needs to be installed on the mobile phone beforehand to be able to work. Additionally, you should adjust the configuration to allow access to the device’s location in Google’s Settings. To do this, access “Security,” “Device manager,” and then, on the “location” option, activate the service to allow access.

Find your smartphone using Google

Likewise, you’ll be able to find your phone through the Google account that is linked to your Gmail account by accessing from the search bar to the “device manager” option to track the location of your device.

Access via your Google account to android.com/devicemanager. Remember that, to access this option, you need to have activated the location services on your device beforehand by going to Settings.

To activate the device tracking function, you will need to access the phone’s configuration, check the options that appear in “Google settings,” and follow the instructions. This function is found on the mobile phone’s apps. You need to activate the search device option remotely.

Find your Apple phone

If your phone is an iPhone, you should have the option “Find my iPhone” activated beforehand. This can be done on the “Settings/iCloud” menu.

You will have to log in with your Apple ID to be able to activate it. If you’re going to make the search from a PC, go to icloud.com/find, or download the app “Find my iPhone” from another device with the same operating system.

Afterwards, select a device to be able to see its location on a map. If the device is temporarily turned off, the actions will take effect after the device turns on.

Additionally, you can locate your device by opening the “Find iPhone” app on another device. You can do it from a mobile device or by accessing iCloud from any web browser.

Log in by using your Apple ID and your iPhone password. If the app is installed in another device, you will need to log out from it to be able to use the app.

Afterwards, touch the iPhone icon. A dropdown list of devices will open below the location map. There, you will be able to see where your mobile phone is. If the device is turned off, you will only be able to see its last location.

Activating the “Lost mode” option, which is found on the bottom central corner of the device. You should type a code to unlock the phone. Don’t use bank account numbers, social security numbers, nor your date of birth as a code.

This function will be only useful to you in case that the phone is disconnected from the internet since it will block the device when it gets powered on, and it will send you an email where you’ll be able to see the device’s location.

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