Collecting ideas for airplane mode

iOS & iPadOS

What can you do in airplane mode? I hope this will spark a lively (dare I say it, TRENDING) discussion.

I am about to go on a vacation to familiar places that for the most part will not have reliable internet connectivity. The good news is that I took the advice of many here and bought a 128GB iPHONE SE in April, so it still has plenty of memory. The bad news is that few apps actually give you useful info or entertainment in Airplane mode.

I'm traveling basic economy with only one small carry-on so there's little room for other gadgets like a Vr Stream. I'm planning on using my iPHONE for everything. I'll be camping, hanging out with elderly relatives who live in a rural area and occasionally visiting a MacDonalds to get the internet. I have plenty of batteries and regular access to power. Just no cell or wi-fi service.

So far, here are the things I can do in airplane mode with a bit of pre-planning:

* Watch described movies on Amazon prime video if it lets me download them first; sometimes it does not and I don't know why.
* Watch video that is not described on Xfinity stream if it too will let me download; sometimes it also does not.
* Listen to audio books on BARD, Overdrive, LibroFM, Librivox and similar apps, all seem to let you download.
* Read in Nook, Kindle iBooks and similar if the book is already downloaded to my library
* Play text adventures, Papa Sangre, The NightJar and some of the Blindfold games; not sure which ones require the internet before or during play
* Explore the city I'm visiting with Nearby Explorer (I'm using the free beta)
* Record interesting audio clips from my trip with a variety of apps
* Read/answer email recieved last time I accessed the internet using the built-in Mail app
* Read magazines or other printed material with KNFB
* Write down my thoughts in any text editor or word processor
* Learn to use Microsoft Word and Apple Pages like a pro
* Play music that's already on the phone

Things I haven't figured out how to do include:
- Read mail with third-party apps
- Play free music
- Download programs for later watching from any of my local TV channels or networks like PBS or Spike
- Download blog posts I never got time to read
- Download podcasts or other spoken-word content on the web for offline listening without needing to subscribe
- Play some games -- not sure which do or do not need net access
- Download from Netflix, Hulu or other (I'd subscribe if I could actually use the feature in Airplane mode and it wasn't too expensive.)
- Learn new things; for example, take a course, master a new programming language, etc.

What are your thoughts? What have you successfully or unsuccessfully attempted in airplane mode?



Submitted by Deborah Armstrong on Sunday, July 23, 2017

Oh, I do have a bluetooth keyboard. On previous trips I always had my Windows laptop so I wrote code (I like Perl and VBScript for hobby projects) and I also downloaded lots of music, movies and podcasts. I feel a little lost that my laptop won't be with me this time, because downloading anything I want to it is so much easier.

Submitted by JeffB on Sunday, July 23, 2017

You can get lots of books using the Bard app and store them on your iPhone.

Submitted by Faruk on Sunday, July 23, 2017

For blog posts, you can use read later services such as Instapaper and pocket to save articles, well, to read them later. I am pretty sure that Instapaper lets you read your saved articles offline since I have been lately using it, but I am not certain about Pocket. The only thing that you have to do while using Instapaper or pocket is to download their relevant web browser extension and click on the extension to send the article to the service. Naturally, before you do that, you should create an account by going to their websites or downloading the app to use both services. I had been mostly a computer person, but for a few years I have started to utilize my iPhone more. However, I still do much of my reading on my computer, so it is fantastic to click on the Instapaper Chrome extension on my laptop to send an article to the service so that I can read it on my iOS device with the Instapaper app.

Submitted by Jared on Sunday, July 23, 2017

Netflix lets you download some but not all shows. You should be able to download any Netflix produced series such as House of Cards or Orange is the new Black. These should have descriptive audio. Netflix costs $8 a month for the basic plan, and up to $12 a month for 4k video quality. You can get a 30 day free trial from Netflix as well.

Submitted by Deborah Armstrong on Sunday, July 23, 2017

Maybe I'm an idiot but when I read instructions for using InstaPaper or Pocket they said I had to install a bookmarklette and then click on it when I'm on a page I want saved. How do you "click on the bookmarklette" using the keyboard? I have Chrome, Firefox and Safari and Windows and the iPHONE but couldn't figure the bookmarklette part out.
As for Netflix, we have a shared family subscription so I'll have to take another look to see if I can download. For Amazon prime there's a download link on some videos but not on others. It appears you can often download the series pilot but not the remaining episodes in a series.
Thanks for the Bard reminder, and VoiceDream and Read2Go also let you download. I collected a ton of books from both sources on my phone yesterday.

Submitted by Tasha on Sunday, July 23, 2017

Unless they've changed something, the last time I downloaded shows with Netflix, audio description was disabled. Super frustrating.

Submitted by Faruk on Sunday, July 23, 2017

In reply to by Deborah Armstrong

You don't have to mess with bookmarklettes. You can Just go ahead and download the Instapaper extension for your choice of browser. Once you have downloaded the extension, simply click on the extension in the extensions toolbar and Instapaper will automatically pull out the article and save it into your account. It does not say anything when you click on the extension, but you can see the word "saved" at the bottom of the webpage showing that the article has been successfully saved.
Hope this helps.

Submitted by Deborah Armstrong on Monday, July 24, 2017

And bookshare books take up much less room than Learning Ally, Bard, audible and the like. So for anyone with minimal RAM stuck in airplane mode, bookshare is a great choice. Be aware that if you are a U.S. student or you have a card from a public library that supports bookshare -- many do -- your account is free. I know I have friends in the English-speaking wworld not in America who have public libraries that sponsor bookshare memberships.

Submitted by Deborah Armstrong on Monday, July 31, 2017

On my camping trip this weekend I extensively tested Nearby Explorer in airplane mode. It works awesome. Of course I only had one road near me, but as we wound our way back home down the mountain there were many many little trails it identified. It uses onboard maps and 4GB so not for everyone's phone, and certainly my old iPHONE 5C with 16GB would not have been happy. But it let me locate relevant features (like the potty!) in the middle of the night so I could find my friends' tents faster than they could with flashlights. Nearby Explorer will also use maps from Google, Apple and Open-Street, all which do need access to the internet.
Also, often overlooked, your music collection if you've purchased it with iTUNES or burned it from CD and copied it with iTUNES, is accessible provided you have it on your phone when airplane mode is on. I tend to just keep a few albums because I like to save enough room for maps, audio books, movies and the like. If you go in to cloud storage, Google drive, One-Drive, DropBox and the like and set files you might need for offline viewing -- some call that feature "make favorite" those files will also be accessible in airplane mode. iBOOKS too is accessible. As I drifted off to sleep in my tent I did indeed have lots of choices to entertain me!

Submitted by MikeFont on Tuesday, December 12, 2017

I'm curious, where do I download the Insta paper extension for Safari browser. I have just downloaded the app and wish there was a bit of a tutorial for this app somewhere.
Any help is appreciated!
Update, I have received the email from Instapaper with the link to download the extension for safari, but I'm not sure how to use it. I had to download it to my dropbox, but not sure what to do next.
I would seriously appreciate any help with this app until I can get a handle on it and how to use it. thanks guys