Airplane Mode

Robert Michel openmoko at
Mon Nov 27 19:49:06 CET 2006

Salve Bob!

On Mon, 27 Nov 2006, Bob Pluss wrote:
> I've been following this thread since the beginning and am very  
> excited about the release of the Neo1973.

> Will there be an "airplane mode" on this phone? In which the GSM  
> receiver and probably the GPS receiver too
> can be turned off so that it is safe to be used on commercial flights?

Of course will such a modus a very important one,
even when some air carrier are going to alow cellular phones
during flights I'm shure we will programm it or even the
first firmware will has it (But remember, I'm a normal
list member like you)

To go on with some ideas:

Beside the forbiddance to use mobiles inside an airplain,
hospitals, some scientific institutes have trouble GSM/GPRS
radio broadcasts so there is to switch of the GSM part as well.

GSM protocoll extension
For this an extension for GSM IMHO would be interesting the
MT (mobile terminal) could "say" to Gsm-Network cell - I'will
stay in this cell and passive from now on on the same frequency 
please go on to 
- singnalize incomming calls
- send SMS for my
but do not think that I recieved the SMS - please wait for my
confirmations or do resend them to me, when I switch into an
actice mode again.
So the passive mode would allow users to have "radio/listen mode"

I don't know the cycle of "I'm still online pings" but even without
an protocoll extension with a modification of the GSM driver
(done by FIC or it's GSM-chip supplyer) the MT could still be
logged in to the GSM cell but stop sending. The first incoming
call or SMS would be signalized to the user - without radio
emmission from the mobile.

AGPS could assist you to remember or automaticaly switch of the
phone into the "Airplain Mode"  (and inform you with acustical or 
vibration signalisation) and remember or automaticlay switch on
after leaving a special localisation...
(automatical switching on could be 20 seconds after signalisation 
and a chance to stop it)

So when you working in a hospital, walking in your break time
trough the park of the hospital, your GSM connection would
automaticaly on, and off again, when you walk into the hospital.

When PDAs allowed inside of airplains, GPS should it be as well,
so the AGPS reciever could try from time to time to get localisation
information - or a passive GSM network scan would be nice to programm
to remember you to leave the "airplain modus".

A passive mode could also good for travalling - choose if
you want highest accessibility and use maximum of transmission
power - or allows to interupt the connection while you are
not phoning....
Together with a GIS/map of the network quality and agps,
the system could know that you are now in a train and the
next 30 minutes you will have 3 dead spots - even when you
take this train route the first time - so you could inform
the user before.
By different levels of "accessibility" the GSM stack could
- try it best
- try it with low power
- try it with given time to wait after faild connection
- try it only at the best location
- just deccide I will be offline for the whole 30 Minutes

So together with AGPS you will know better in advanced when
you better not to call.
Before pick up a call you should have forcast information
as well when you will lose your connections next time it
often doesn't worth to pick up a call for 10 seconds...
And when you will have approximated only 30 seconds you
can start "Rob, hello - will lose GSM concetion in 20 seconds
so what's your point?"

Or for those of us who are talking for hours... a voice
message for the owner or both could annouce
"dead spots 5 minutes ahead - good connection starts in 30 minutes"

Electro magnetical emission
I could imagine that there are location where no PC, no PDA,
and no smartphone are allowed to work - the smartphone have
to shut down...
I think our phone does have the power to be programmed to switch
on for dates, alarms, reminder... there should be a distinction
"shut down" and  "sleep". Timed wake ups should only work
with "sleep".
And beside a "shut down" a suspend to RAM would be nice....

Ok this was to much beside the topic "airplain modus" but
please go further and do not only copy 1:1 function that already
exist - just thought also how can we solve things better.
What else would be usefull/nice/handy/smart?

So the "airplain modus" is an important one and we should 
to describe in detail what he will do.
BTW in my S55 device/menue help is missing - it has no explanation 
for the "airplain modus" - the Neo1973 has a nice screen with VGA
resolution - that give space for help text and explaination grafic,
even animation  - and links to familar modi.


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