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How iOS 7 can save you battery life

Most smartphones today all have the necessary features. So battery life has become a big deciding factor for many people. After all what good are all these new features if the device is dead? Well now that iOS 7 has been out for almost 2 weeks. What does Apple’s new iOS have that might help save user’s valuable battery life.

Apple has made some enhancements to Siri in iOS 7. The digital assistant can now do a lot more than in previous iOS versions. Siri can now turn things on and off including Bluetooth, Wifi and Cellular Data. It might not seem like a big deal to have your Wifi, Cellular Data and Bluetooth on all the time but the radios do use battery power. So why have them on consuming power especially at times when they are not in use. Now it would be a pretty daunting task to turn them on and off manually whenever you leave the house, office, or wherever else you have or don’t have wifi, need or don’t need bluetooth. But now with Siri, iOS 7 makes it easy and this is one way iOS 7 can save you battery life.

The only thing to keep in mind is that Siri needs a connection to the internet in order to work. So before you turn off the Cellular Data or Wifi connection you must always turn on the corresponding one to keep you connected to the internet. Just remember on first before turning off. Let’s say you are leaving your house and with it your Wifi connection. The drill goes something like this, enable Siri and say “turn on cellular data”. This will turn on cellular data, your 3G or LTE internet connection. The next step is to say “turn off wifi”, yes it’s as easy as that. You will now save yourself some battery life by not having your wifi radio on even though it is not being used. The same goes for bluetooth so if you’re not using a headset or some other device that is connected by bluetooth turn it off for a little extra savings.

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iOS 7 also introduced Control Center. You can get to it by swiping up from the bottom of the screen. The control center is accessible from the lock screen and home screen. It also allows the user to manually toggle wifi and bluetooth among other things on and off. There is no cellular data so that one will still remain accessible only through the Settings menu or by using Siri like we did above. However now telling someone to turn off their wifi or bluetooth is not a long string of menu options. It ican be done by simply swiping up from the bottom of the screen and then turning them off from within Control Center (highlighted in a box in the image below).

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It might seem simple but give it a try and see if the battery life savings are worth it to you.

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Event

iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c and iOS 7 what did we get

On Tuesday of this week, Sept. 10th, Apple held their event. We speculated on what we would get and talked about the other questions that still remained to be answered. Well now we have our answers. The iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c and iOS 7 were shown off so what did we get? Well we’re going to cover some of the details and also talk about some of the questions that are now created about where do they go form here. The video of the keynote is now available on the Apple site, go watch it.

So to go through what we got to see at the keynote, there was the

iPhone 5c (Android Free)

The iPhone everyone thought was going to be cheap turned out to be “less expensive” instead. No one should have been surprised since Apple doesn’t do cheap and yet they were. When netbooks proliferated the computer landscape Apple did the MacBook Air. It was far from cheap but “less expensive” than a MacBook Pro. The iPhone 5c is the same. It is far from cheap but at $99 for a 16GB model on a 2 Year contract(US) it’s cheap enough that it becomes a throwaway phone. It’s something parents can buy their teen as an emergency phone. It’s a phone people less interested with the latest and greatest technology as well as people coming from a feature phone can buy without sticker shock.

So the iPhone 5c comes in five colors, white, pink, yellow, blue and green. Yes pink, not red or fuchsia they proudly proclaimed it pink on stage.

5c

The phone internals are the same as what is in last years model, the iPhone 5, with the exception of a slightly bigger battery and a slightly better FaceTime camera. This is impressive because I own an iPhone 5 and it is one hell of a smartphone. The wallpaper that comes on the iPhone 5c will match the color of the phone plus with iOS 7′s transparencies the OS will play even more on the color aspect. The pricing on contract is 16GB at $99, 32GB at $199 and $549 off contract. The pre-orders for the iPhone 5c will be available tonight and the phones will go on sale next Friday Sept. 20th.

iPhone 5s (Forward Thinking)

The iPhone 5s is the flagship model and brought a lot of things that were already rumored but became reality. The iPhone 5s comes in three colors, Silver, Gold and Space Grey. The silver and gold models have a white face and white accents while the space grey is the only model with a black face and black accents.

i5s

So they have added one more color, the gold but for me it sucks because I don’t like the white face. I wonder why they didn’t have the gold with both a white and black face? Perhpas this is just my personal color bias but I would have loved a black and gold model. It’s a trivial thing I will just get the Sky Grey model but I’m just a little sad at the lost oppurtunity :_(

Starting down bottom you will notice that the home button no longer has the little rounded rectangle on it. It also now has a stainless stell ring around it with the introduction of the Touch ID fingerprint scanner. The Touch ID will be used to unlock the device as well as authenticate a user for app store purchases. It can be trained to know up to 5 different finger prints and has 360 degree readability. The all new A7 chip inside is a 64 bit processor, the first in mobile and although it may not make sense on the iPhone it’s forward thinking for other iOS devices and future iPhone models. The new iOS 7 operating system (OS) is also 64 bit taking users along for the 64 bit transition of iOS devices. Now 64 bit typically means the ability to address more memory but it also means instead of doing things faster it does more things at the same speed. So you still end up accomplishing more but in a different way. Just imagine two people trying to eat as many hot dogs as they can. One guy takes normal sized bites but eats as fast as possible. While the other guy eats at the same speed but he takes bites twice as big. Even though he’s eating at the same speed as the first guy the bigger bites means he’ll finish faster. The ability to address more memory might not make sense now but in the iPads or in future generations of the iPhone and iPads that ability to address more than 3GB or RAM will make sense.

Continuing with the upgrades inside was the introduction of a new chip the M7. The new chip measures motion by taking readins from the accelorometer, gyroscope and compass. A task that would have be done by the A7, so that frees up some computing cycles on the A7 chip itself. The M7 chip allows for a new breed of apps while adding to the existing functions of the phone. The chip knows if you’re driving, running, walking, or sleeping. So for example if you switch from driving to walking the Maps app will switch from driving directions to walking directions automatically.

The cameras on the iPhone 5s got some upgrades too ofcourse. It now has a dual LED flash which is able to combine depending on the lighting of the scene being photographed to create better colors and skintones. The back camera now has a larger sensor, larger pixels and a larger aperture which all combine to let in more light for better pictures. This combines with the camera app in iOS 7 for new features like. Burst mode which snaps multiple shots at 10 images a second, great for action shots. Slow motion video, the camera shoots video at 120 frames per second allowing the user to play back the video at 1/4 of the speed for interesting effects. The front camera also has larger pixels along with better backside illumination. Better backside illumination allows more light to the sensor resulting in better pictures and video for great FaceTime calls and world renowned “selfies”.

The iPhone 5s will be sold at the same prices previous models of iPhones have sold at. On a 2 year contract (US) 16GB at $199, 32GB at $299 and 64GB at $399 while off contract the 16GB iPhone 5s starts at $649 (US). There will be no pre-order available for the iPhone 5s and they will go on sale next Friday Sept. 20th. You can get them at your local Apple store or by going to a carrier store. Although carrier stores usually don’t get as much stock on launch day as the Apple store.

iOS 7

The new OS has undergone some drastic changes to the look and feel while still doing most things the same way it always has. The new OS will be released to everyone next Wednesday Sept. 18th. It will support iPhone 4 and newer, iPad 2 and newer and iPad Mini. Beyond the new look and colors there are many refinements as well as new features that enable a user to get things done faster and easier. The notification center is now available from the lock screen to enable glancable information. There is a new Control Center that gives the user quick access to some of the typical phone controls like Wifi, Airplane mode, Bluetooth, etc. The Control Center is also available from the lock screen. Some users will not like the new colors and look of the interface and icons. Some will not like system changes like swiping down from anywhere on the home screen to open Finder instead of swiping the home screen right. You can’t please everyone but I have a feeling that this iOS will please almost everyone and that is Apple’s aim with it.

iOS 7

iWork (Free)

The next big announcement was that iWork for mobile which they listed as consisting of Keynote, Pages, Numbers, iMovie and iPhoto was going free. It will be going free for new iOS devices and as I have been told devices running iOS 7. This is awesome news for me since I already own two of the five software and would love to have the others. It will be a great bundle and should be yet another plus for users looking at upgrading their iOS device. It will also be a great addition to users upgrading to iOS 7. When users install iOS 7 there should be a prompt like there is now for downloading iBooks and the Podcasts app. It will now also include the five apps listed above.

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Questions

Naming
Now that this has all been revealed there are a few questions that come out of these new introductions. With the release of the iPhone 5c the iPhone 5 model is gone. So going forward what is Apple going to name their iPhones? Next year will be the iPhone 6 and most likely the iPhone 6c with the iPhone 5s internals. However if there is an iPhone 6s there would be an iPhone 7c. Apple can call these devices whatever they want and it will sell but having the c model with a higher number than the flagship iPhone just does not seem feasible to me. They could also just kep the iPhone 6c name for release with both the iPhone 6 and 6s by upgrading the internals inside based on the previous year’s model. However even though the device is different having the same name just doesn’t seem sexy enough in my opinion. What I think is that they will drop the “s” model and just stick with full number releases from now on with the “c” model alongside. So there will be an iPhone 6 and 6c, 7 and 7c, 8 and 8c, etc. There would also be the possibility of them dropping the number altogether and having just the iPhone and iPhone c like they did with the iPad. However that also has it’s own advertising downsides.

Screen
Now that the iPhone 5s is out the rumors of the iPhone 6 are already starting to swirl. The biggest thing is that Apple will release an iPhone with a bigger screen. We are one year away so there is plenty of time for this rumor to pick up steam. I’m still not sure how I would feel about a bigger screen and it would depend how big of a screen. I love the screen size right now and the ease of using the phone with one hand. However if there was a 5″ iPhone I would definitely buy it. Any bigger than 5″ and for me personally that is too big. I would have to pass on that model and that will be the question Apple will contemplate if they are thinking of doing a bigger screen iPhone. Users all have different sized hands along with different opinions on what size is comfortable and what size is too big. As with Apple’s devices they make decisions based on what benefits the majority of their users. So if they do go to a bigger sized screen I’m sure it will be at a size that will please existing users and entice some users. But it wont please everyone so we’ll see if it happens at all.

64 bit
The A7 chip and iOS 7 are both now 64 bit. The upcoming iPads will have the new chip so does the 64bit come into play on those devices which would make much more use of more than 3GB of RAM? Or is this a future play for 7 or 8th generation iPhones/iPads that will eventually use RAM capacities north of 3GBs?

Well one thing is for sure it was an interesting event with some great devices launched. So are you getting a new iPhone 5s or 5c?

Pictures: The Verge, Apple

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Apple Event today!

I know it’s been awhile since there has been any activity here on T3kd. Matt put up a very eloquent farewell speech but the Apple event today has brought me out of hiding. Matt is still just as busy as he was before so it will probably be mainly me for the next little while discussing everything tech. However I’m sure when time allows Matt will pop in and bless us with a few articles. Anyway lets get down to business here, today is the day, it is Apple’s September 10th event. So let’s talk a little about this event, what to expect and where you can get coverage.

We haven’t been invited to the event so we wont be covering it live. However many sites in the blogosphere will have live coverage. You can find a few at the following places:
iMore
Engadget
Ars Technica
AllthingsD
MacWorld

So tune in to any one of those places to get live, or as close to it as possible, coverage of the event. Now what’s going to be announced? You know it’s funny I’ve been talking to a few of my friends about the iPhone 5s and 5c leaks that have happened over the last little while. All my frineds are telling me how much they hate it that it spoils the surprise at the Apple event. I have a different outlook on the topic though. I’m more impressed that Apple is able to still have so much secrecy even though these high resolution pictures have emerged. These aren’t grainy spyshots either they are full resolution, well lit, gorgeous shots of the casings. Yet we still wonder what the price points of the models will be, what storage options will be revealed, will there be a 128GB model iPhone 5s or c, will there actually be a fingerprint scanner, will the iPhones actually look like the leaked pictures?

Really the pictures haven’t spoiled anything but in fact has just whet everyoone’s appetite and increased the fervor before the event. So what are we looking forward to seeing at the event today? The iPhone 5s ofcourse, it will be exciting when whichever Apple exec presents it on stage to have all of our questions answered and to see just how we will be wowed, again. The iPhone 5c, the long rumored budget iPhone, it is pretty much expected at this point but when we actually see it up on stage and hear it’s specs and prices this will be a new chapter in the iPhone saga. So it should be a very exciting event for the Apple customers, lovers and everyone watching to see what is up their sleeves. They will obviously talk about iOS 7 and more than likely the Gold Master (GM) will be released to developers. Something I’m excited about as a dev myself I have been running the iOS 7 betas so I’m ready to see the final product of all the hard work over in Cupertino.

Well with only 20 minutes until show time pull up a chair to whichever live blog you choose and enjoy. We will have the after coverage of what was announced for those who missed the event.

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Spotlight in iOS 7

Spotlight in iOS 7

If you’re a dev and are playing around with iOS 7, you may have noticed that spotlight, iOS’s search feature, appears to be gone in iOS 7. However, Spotlight in iOS 7 is still available. Here’s how to get to it.

On any homescreen, simply pull down on the icons. Don’t pull down from the top, since that brings down notification center. Literally place your finger anywhere below that and pull down. The motion is similar to when you are scrolling up on a webpage in Mobile Safari. Here’s a picture of what Spotlight in iOS 7 looks like.

Spotlight in iOS 7

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BiteSMS now has a quick compose widget (Jailbreak)

BiteSMS is one of the great Jailbreak apps for Jailbroken iOS devices. It is one of the reasons many people Jailbreak their devices and many return to Jailbreak. BiteSMS opens a pop up window for SMS/iMessages on the lock screen or inside an app. It allows a person to reply or dismiss the message without leaving the app or breaking their concentration and it is arguably one of the things many users wish Apple would impliment in stock iOS. Well BiteSMS now has a quick compose widget in the Notification Center.

So now a user can create a new message without opening the app at all. All it requires is to pull down the Notification Center and there is a quick compose icon in the lower right corner. The new feature even has favorited contacts in the widget saving the user time composing messages to people they correspond with often. It looks slick, makes things easy and the best part is when it is combined with another Jailbreak app “LockInfo” you have access to the quick compose widget from the lock screen. The feature is in beta right now so you will have to add the beta repository as a Source in Cydia. The address is http://cydia.bitesms.com enjoy!

NEW: Quick Compose Widget. Just a simple convenient way to launch a Quick Compose with a favorite contact (managed via Phone > Favorites). It’s a Notification Center Widget (managed via Apple > Settings > Notifications > Quick Compose Widget).

BiteSMS Quick Compose
BiteSMS Quick Compose
BiteSMS Quick Compose and LockInfo
BiteSMS Quick Compose and LockInfo

Sources: Cult of Mac

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Do you really want a bigger iPhone?

Yesterday I was reading a Gizmodo post “Battery Life Is the Only Spec That Matters” which had some valid points and others that were assumptions. However there was one good point, we are possibly to blame for the thinner iPhone 5. The reason I bring it up is because it is pretty much a common idea now that most people would have rather had a thicker iPhone 5. But although we say that and think why did Apple make it “Lighter” and “Thinner”? Perhaps we are the ones to blame. So ask yourself “Do you really want a bigger iPhone?”

Confused now well just bear with me and it will all make sense. So the new argument is that the size and heft of the iPhone 4/4s was great. So with the new machining process and materials used for the iPhone 5 having it at the same size and weight would have resulted in more battery. More battery would have resulted in phenomenal battery life and we would have all been over the moon. But would we? have been over the moon that is. It is easy to say it in hindsight but with competitors hot on the heels of the iPhone it’s hard to tell. There are blog posts and articles abound about how Apple is no longer innovating. I am one of the people who would have loved a fatter iPhone 5 with crazy good battery life. However don’t forget that battery life is different for each and every person. I get over 24 hours on each charge of my iPhone 5 so I only charge it once a day. However every user is different in the apps they use, web browsing habits, social media use and those are just a few of the things that make the battery life different in each case.

Now let’s just say Apple did make the iPhone 5 the same size and weight of the iPhone 4/4s and used the extra space to pack in extra battery. Some people, like me would have excellent battery life but still some would still have mediocre battery life. It’s those people who would then complain that even though the design is new the iPhone 5 was still the same size as the iPhone 4/4s and Apple wasn’t innovating. They would point at the competitors and all their “innovations” but most of all Apple would have lost more mind-share of consumers. The Gizmodo post highlights an excellent point, when the iPad 3 debuted with Retina Display it was slightly thicker and heavier than the iPad 2. Did people love the fact that the increased size gave them Retina Display with the same or better battery life? no complaints were all over the place about the increased size and that it was now heavier. So when consumers, blogs, media outlets react like that can we really blame Apple for making devices thinner and lighter instead of giving us more battery?

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Why GameStick is awesome

For the unacquainted, GameStick is another Android powered gaming console which is soon going to hit the markets. GameStick and Ouya are similar in a few ways, both were funded by Kickstarter campaigns and both are gaming consoles which run on Google’s Android OS. Both the GameStick and Ouya are going to have their very own gaming and app stores and both of them will come with controllers. But while Ouya went ahead and designed a sleek looking box, GameStick is going to be what the name implies, a game stick.

The portable GameStick was an instant hit at Kickstarter where it reached its $10,000 goal in only two days. PlayJam the company behind GameStick is displaying the console at GDC and generally people seem quite impressed with the device.

GameStick

GameStick Size:

The console’s size it its stronger suite. While Ouya is also a very handy console, you can’t just unplug it and put it in your pocket. GameStick on the other hand is a very small device which plugs directly into the HIMI port of your TV/Monitor. That’s not all; the console can be slotted directly into the handy controller which can also be easily pocketed. GameStick is a device which you will take everywhere.

GameStick Plug n Play:

There are apparently no wires to tang around with, GameStick simple connects to your TV via the HDMI port and you are ready to roll. Simple connectivity means that the GameStick will be relatively easy for children to handle. I for instance don’t want to spoon feed the young ones; I just want them to be capable of entertaining themselves. The console with its simple plug and play attitude will prove to be vital when it comes to youngsters having a good time. Also Netflix and other video streamlining apps will also be instantaneously available on your slightly outdated TV.

GameStick Price:

The console is priced at $79 which is an incredibly affordable number. Nice clean interface, video streaming, gaming and emulation all in one place for the price of only 80 bucks, well that is very hard to resist.

Ouya and GameStick are going to go toe to toe, we wish both of them good luck. As for me, I will be getting both of them upon release. We will be sure to update you after we had some hands on time with GameStick.

 

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Samsung Galaxy S4 screen comparison

So are you waiting for the Samsung Galaxy S4 to arrive just so you could enjoy the 5 inch full HD screen? Well if the most important part of a smartphone for you is the screen, you may be a tad bit disappointed. The reason of discontent is not all that surprising, we all know that however improved the display is, it will still be an AMOLED one. The difference is a little bit too obvious if you compare the Samsung’s flagship smartphone with other top end phones.

The good guys over at Phone Arena compared the Samsung Galaxy S4 screen with a number of smartphones from other manufacturers and the results are quite good. The lineup included the Apple iPhone 5, Sony Xperia Z, HTC One, Samsung Galaxy S3 and Nokia Lumia 920. The only other noticeable contender which is missing is Nexus 4, but that is ok. All the smartphones have at least 720p displays so the playing field is almost even.

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Click to enlarge

As you can see, Samsung’s AMOLED display on both the Galaxy S3 and Galaxy S4 fails to compare with the brightness of other smartphones. Apple’s retina display and HTC One’s LCD panel performed admirably well.

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The viewing angles on all the smartphones were great, except the Sony Xperia Z which tanked the test. Again iPhone 5 and HTC One were able to display a wider variety of colors when viewed at an angle. But that is not a big issue, how many times you actually hold your smartphone at such a steep angle anyways.

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Click to enlarge

Once again HTC One triumphs over the AMOLED displays with much whiter whites. The Galaxy S4 fails to display the white color properly and gives off a greenish tinge thanks to the AMOLED display. Apple iPhone 5 and HTC One were the clear winners in this round too, with Xperia Z closely following them. Regardless of the comparison, we find the blacks on the Galaxy S4 to be much sharper than the competition, which to us is more important. Remember how you hate when the night scenes are displayed with a whitish hue applied? Well if you get the Galaxy S4 that won’t be much of an issue.

 

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Metal Gear Solid V announced, David Hayter not returning

The king of stealth espionage is back and it returned with a much bigger bang this time around. Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain has been officially announced at GDC by none other than the father of the series, the legendary Hideo Kojima. The master of hour-long cinematic cut scenes revealed that the Metal Gear Solid V is actually Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes and The Phantom Rain combined. Well that was a blow to those who were hoping that Kojima was readying another IP to launch alongside the stealth and action heavy Metal Gear Solid. But on the other hand it is more Metal Gear Solid, and you can never have enough of Snake.

First have a look at the trailer, then peruse towards 7 minutes of actual gameplay and after that come back to us for a little heart to heart (you will get the joke after watching the trailer).

Now that you have watched the amazing trailer for the Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Rain about 3 times. Let us point towards the fact that the game looks absolutely amazing, which is thanks to the in house graphics engine made by Kojima and Co. The Fox engine is clearly meant to make games like Metal Gear Solid V and it is showing that it is capable of not only cinematic action but also smooth frame rates.

In case you missed what the trailer said and were busy watching the stellar graphics, Snake has been in coma for 9 years. He awakes alongside Ishmael, the same guy from The Phantom Pain whose face was wrapped in bandages. In the gameplay demo, which was from the tutorial section of Metal Gear Solid V, Snake can’t walk or navigate properly. That is because he was in a coma for a lot of time, and even Snake can’t shake that off in an instant. Kojima pointed out that Metal Gear Solid V will become an open world game after Snake fully regains is rotary senses.

Unfortunately, David Hayter won’t be reprising his role as the iconic Snake. The charm of Mr. Snake not only lies in his charming actions but also his alluringly full voice and it will be a shame to see him voiced by another. We are still excited about the Metal Gear Solid V which will be hitting current gen consoles sometime in the future.

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FAA May Soon Allow Tablets, eReaders, and More During Takeoff & Landing

You may soon be able to use your eReader, tablet, or other select digital devices on airplanes during takeoff and landing.  That’s according to buzz from behind the scenes at the FAA.  The Verge reports that the Federal Aviation Administration is considering flyers to use such devices during the maneuvers if they can be used in “Airplane” mode — meaning Wi-Fi and cellular receivers off.

That doesn’t mean you’ll be able to use your cellphones though.  Those digital devices will still be banned except during taxi maneuvers while the plane is on the tarmac.

FAA Study Supports Rule Change

The FAA launched a study last year and discovered that the ambient buzz from these devices doesn’t interfere with critical components of the aircraft. The study was the result of increasing pressure (according to an unnamed source who leaked info to the New York Times) to either allows these devices to be used or offer a credible explanation of why they can’t be used.

The study also looked into such topics as policing these new policies, what exactly should and shouldn’t be allowed, and whether or not the individual rules should be left up to airlines or if the FAA would issue a blanket statement across the nation.

FAA may allow tablets, ereaders, and more during takeoff and landing

The FAA has come under scrutiny for its lack of transparency in the past but even law makers are getting in on this fight. Senator Claire McCaskill from Missouri said in a statement that the FAA needs to come up with some sort of official stance. She introduced legislation that would effectively bypass the FAA’s authority on the issue and allowed such devices to be used during any portion of an airplane’s flight.

The Verge also reports that the outgoing chairman of the FCC wants to see a change in the FAA regulations as well, stating that the agency really needs to relax its restrictions.

Currently, many airlines offer paid Wi-fi during flight but require transmitting devices to be powered off during what the FAA reports are the most dangerous times for aircraft maneuvering — takeoff and landing.

The final results of the FAA study will be available in July and any regulations changes will likely be months in the making.  However, this may be a very welcome change for those tech-savvy travellers and regular air commuters.

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