I’m sure you are all familiar with the phrase “Ladies and gentlemen, please turn off all your electronic devices”. Frequent flyers know that speech inside out, but they also know how boring a long flight can be, especially when you don’t have a good book or there is no movie playing.
One way to endure your next flight is to entertain yourself on your mobile device, be it a smartphone or tablet. However, as you also know, you won’t be able to download apps in mid-flight, so you have to prepare yourself before you take off. While there are tons of apps on every app store, choosing the right one for a long flight isn’t that easy.
Best plane apps to use
As a general rule, you should go for plane apps that do not require you to log in to a server, a.k.a offline apps. Most games work offline, so in that department there are no issues. Just be sure to check if they work properly before you board your plane. Also, apps that are huge battery drainers are to be avoided, especially if you have a long flight.
You have to take into account how much your battery lasts, so you will have a working device at your destination. Depending on how long your flight is, and how long your battery lasts, there are a number of apps that will help you with your entertainment.
Usually, users set their device on Airplane Mode when flying, and in this scenario, they don’t have Internet connectivity or even mobile reception. However, there are some airlines that offer WiFi connectivity, but at a price. Also, if your plane has charging sockets, it will be helpful for you, as you can stop worrying about how long your battery lasts.
Vacation Apps to use during flights
Information is the key to having a great trip. So before you go, be sure to pack your phone with offline plane apps that will work without a WiFi of data connection. We’ve previously featured a list of vacation apps that users can install on their Android devices, and while not all of them work offline, you can find some that do and offer nice services.
Language learning apps are something to think about also. If you’re planning a vacation in a different country, the hours you spend flying there can be put to good use and you can learn a few words in that language that will help you get along better.
In the same category, map apps can do you a world of good. There lots of map apps that have support for offline use, and they are perfect to use on a plane. Also, they can be used once you’ve gotten to your destination. If you don’t plan on getting a huge roaming bill for data usage, then offline apps will be of great value. Map apps are available for both Android and iOS devices.
Entertainment Apps to use during flights
If you are a frequent flyer, and you go on business trips all the time, probably the best way to pass your time is to play a game or do other entertaining activities on your mobile device. While this will be the choice of most users, keep in mind that these also drain your battery very fast. But still, there are lots of apps that you can try.
Games are in no short supply. Actually, most games do not require an Internet connection except for when you download them. If your flight lasts only a few hours, then you can get a few games and play them on the plane. For longer flights, be sure to download games that have lots of levels, so you won’t finish them too soon.
Apps like Angry Birds, Where’s My Water and pretty much any puzzle or arcade game have lots of levels, and they will keep you entertained for a long time. If you want to see more awesome games that you can play whilst on a plane, then check out our top of the best 3D games for Android and iOS or the 10 games that are never boring for Android users. You can also have a look at our own weekly lists with best Android and iPhone/iPad apps and games, there is plenty to choose from.
Music players usually work on airplane mode, and if you have a collection of your favorite MP3′s on your SD card, then all you need is a pair of headphones and a nice pillow, and your flight will be very relaxing. Avoid radio apps, as they either require an Internet connection or a radio signal, none of which are available on Airplane Mode.
If you are not satisfied with the default music player app that your device has, there are many others that you can use. For example, iOS users can try out Planetary, TapTunes or in:play, while Android users have doubleTwist, Poweramp and Winamp at their disposal.
If you are a fan of podcast, then you should download a podcast app for Android or iOS and download a few episodes prior to your flight. This way, you will have what to watch or listen to during your flight.
Watching a movie on your mobile device can also be a solution, but if your flight does not offer a charging port, you might want to avoid video players, as they tend to be quite the battery hogs. On the other hand, if your device has lots of battery juice, then download a video player like BS Player, VLC, PlayerXtreme HD or flex:player.
When in doubt, read a book
If you’re not the type who plays games on their mobile device, or they have no music stored on their smartphone, reading a book is always a good option. If you’re usually a light traveler, then a real book is not something you want to drag around with you. But fear not, your mobile device is more than capable of providing you with lots of reading materials.
Your mobile device can playback audio books, for those that don’t want to stress their eyes too much. There are lots of places where you can download audio books for free and then later transfer them to your smartphone or tablet. In terms of players, Android users can give Audiobook Player 2 or MortPlayer a go, and for iOS users, there’s always Audible, where they can download and listen to audio books. Also for iOS users, there is OverDrive Media Console which acts as both an audio book player and a eBook reader app.
Apart from audio books, users can enjoy actually reading a book. There are many services where you can buy or download free eBooks, and for reading them, you can use either the default smartphone document reader, Adobe Reader or a dedicated eBook reader app, depending on the file type of the book. Android owners can use Moon+ Reader, Google Play Books or FBReader to read their electronic books, while iOS users have the Kindle app, the default iBooks app and the NOOK app.