• Lowell

Airplane Mode - I’ve Been on Autopilot

This is embarrassing, because apparently there was a change in airplane mode functionality about three software versions ago. I missed it! I don’t use airplane mode often, so that’s my excuse. However, I’m more exploratory with my new iPad Pro, so I’ve noticed things.


I’ve been activating airplane mode overnight to determine how much battery life it preserves. I‘ve been surprised to wake the next morning and find new email messages in my Inbox and the WiFi icon onscreen in the upper right corner. Not exactly how I remember airplane mode working. I remembered airplane mode turning off WiFi, Bluetooth, and cellular connections.


I’ve learned airplane mode now turns off only cellular connections in its default mode. Some suggest this is because airlines require cellular connections to be off during flight, but still allow WiFi connections.


There is a workaround.

  1. Turn on airplane mode. This is most easily done using the Control Center.

  2. Tap the WiFi and Bluetooth (if desired) icons to turn them off.

  3. Airplane mode remembers your settings. Turning off airplane mode will now turn on WiFi and Bluetooth. Turning on airplane mode will now turn off WiFi and Bluetooth.

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