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Thoughts on Airplane Mode and (Dis)Connectivity

Thoughts on Airplane Mode and (Dis)Connectivity
technology
Christine Huang
  • 19 september 2008

Jan Chipchase offers some interesting thoughts on the iPhone and what “Airplane Mode” says about our evolving relationship towards mobile devices. The creation of this switch that stops our phones from making and receiving calls, but keeps its other functions intact is, in Chipchase’s view, a reflection of how our phones have become more than just phones. Or perhaps become something else entirely. He writes:

The inclusion of an Airplane Mode on the 3G iPhone is pretty obvious design choice right? It’s a well implemented feature that is both easy to access and easy to communicate the current state of connectivity to anyone who needs to know. For a phone it is entirely logical that the default state is connected and for the user to make a conscious effort to disconnect. But in the spirit of the future perfect is the 3G iPhone really a phone? And broadening the scope of the question – is there a point in the evolution of mass market mobile phones that cellular connectivity as we understand it today is perceived not as a core feature, but as an optional extra? At what point is ‘Airplane Mode’ relabeled as, as…?

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