There was much rejoicing when the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration announced last month that we'd soon be able to use devices likes iPhones and iPads during all segments of flight (as long as they're in Airplane Mode), but today's announcement from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) faced a much more lukewarm reception. According to The Wall Street Journal (via MacRumors), airline passengers may soon be able to make voice calls and use cellular data above 10,000 feet. Talk about Pandora's Box.
And so our long national, er, mild annoyance is over. Following a recommendation by a special committee last month, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced today that restrictions on portable electronic devices such as the iPhone and iPad on airplanes in the coming months will be far less imposing than they were in the past.
If Cold War is any indication, the Sky Gamblers series may have reached maximum altitude with last year's stellar Storm Raiders. Sure, there's still plenty of high-flying dogfighting action to be found in this latest entry, but there's a legitimate question as to whether this fourth outing on iOS is running on fumes after so many entries in a relatively compact span of time. Thankfully, Cold War does bring some fresh ideas to the table, and the online multiplayer still provides the best aerial combat on the App Store. But the core campaign experience of Cold War is a bland and tired-looking stroll through what is an otherwise fascinating portion of American history.
If there's one tool every pilot has to rely on, it's their flight navigation charts. While these charts have traditionally been paper-based, American Airlines feels they can save $1.2 million by having their pilots try an alternative in the iPad.
So you're going on vacation soon and you don't really want to spend your hard earned cash on apps before your journey. How about some free apps -- and a nifty new, helpful service from Google -- to get you all squared off for your trip? This week's Free App Friday features Google's new "What's Around Here?" Labs plug-in, free audiobooks for the plane ride there, an airport map on your iPhone and an app that let's you see what your pilot's seeing!