Flights Stories May 14, 2015

With the HealthDash app, an alternative dashboard for Apple’s own Health app, Apple Watch users can view more health and fitness data points captured from Apple’s HealthKit platform, as well as a history of stats, right on their wrist. expand full story

Flights Stories November 3, 2014

Southwest Airlines has just announced that it’s launching a new in-flight entertainment service that will offer users the ability to listen to Apple’s Beats Music streaming service free via onboard Wi-Fi. expand full story

Flights Stories October 31, 2013

As expected, FAA permits use of electronic devices during all phases of flight

As first intimated back in March and pretty much a done deal in September, the FAA has confirmed that use of portable electronic devices by airline passengers will be permitted from gate to gate. Cellular devices must be in flight mode throughout, and you cannot make voice calls, even via Wi-Fi.

The ruling only gives the go-ahead to airlines, so there’s no saying when individual airlines might start applying the policy, but it’s unlikely to be before next year.

One uncertainty remains: the FAA says that approval is for ‘lightweight’ devices and gives examples, but doesn’t actually specify a weight.

Once an airline verifies the tolerance of its fleet, it can allow passengers to use handheld, lightweight electronic devices – such as tablets, e-readers, and smartphones—at all altitudes

It’s not immediately clear whether the permission includes laptops. Given the rather thin line between a lightweight laptop and a tablet, not to mention the difficulty non-technical cabin crew would have distinguishing a tablet with keyboard accessory from a laptop, this seems something of an oversight. Perhaps the rules should allow anything with an ‘Air’ in the name …

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