Did you know that as of last year, 82 airlines provide some form of in-flight WiFi?
In-flight WiFi is becoming a necessity for airlines to compete in today’s market, and even small carriers such as Air Astana from Kazakhstan, Air Côte d’Ivoire from Ivory Coast, and Air Mauritius are getting in on the WiFi game.
Fortunately, airlines are also working on improving their current technology to improve internet speeds in a way that makes it possible to use almost any app during your flight.
When Routehappy measured global in-flight WiFi last year, they found that 57% of flights offer strong enough WiFi to browse the internet, but only 16% provide fast enough WiFi for full video streaming and speeds comparable to your connection at home.
With that in mind, the next time you’re on a flight with WiFi, here are the best apps to use regardless of your airline.
Apps That Work With in-Flight WiFi
Google Apps (G Suite)
If you’re aiming to get some work done on your next long-haul flight, Google tops the list.
Apps like Gmail, Google Calendar, and Google Docs will run smoothly on almost all in-flight WiFi, plus they can usually be configured to run offline.
So, even if your WiFi connection drops mid-flight, you can keep on working uninterrupted without worrying about unsaved changes.
Now that 57% of ASMs offer robust WiFi connections, the chances are that you’ll be able to stream your favorite music all flight long.
What’s more, if you opt to pay for Spotify premium you can download your playlists or favorite songs before boarding so even if your flight has a spotty connection your music will play uninterrupted.
There’s no better time to catch up on some reading than a flight. Instead of packing your bag full of heavy books you can read all the novels you’d like on the Amazon Kindle app without needing to bring an e-reader.
The Amazon Kindle app works on any mobile device, and with today’s in-flight WiFi chances are you’ll be able to download new books mid-flight.
However, this app also offers an offline service so you can download books before you board to guarantee in-flight entertainment for the whole ride.
Name a better way to pass the time!
This popular mobile game will help you pass the time on any flight it works both online and offline, so if you’re connected to WiFi you can participate in tournaments, and even if you’re not you’ll still have hours of fun.
Sim City Built It
Sim City Built It is another excellent app for passing the time – it can be used both online and offline. Chances are you’ll get addicted to building your interactive Sim City and won’t even notice the plane touching down.
White Noise Lite
For those red-eye flights where you’d really like to fall asleep, White Noise Lite is the perfect option. This is an app that offers relaxing sleep sounds and allows you to drown out background noise.
The app works both online and offline, so no matter the WiFi connection you’ll be able to catch some shut eye.
There’s nothing like passing the time watching your favorite movies and TV shows. If you happen to be onboard one of the flights that offer top-notch WiFi you’ll be able to stream whatever show you’d like in real time. But if you’re traveling abroad, you’ll require NordVPN to access US Netflix.
However, since the bulk of airlines don’t yet have WiFi speeds that are fast enough, it’s a better idea to download your movies and TV shows before you get to the airport so you can watch hours of footage without any issues.
Almost All Your Apps Will Work
The good news is that in today’s digital world, chances are your flight has WiFi, and almost all your apps will function normally.
If you’re flying with a US airline, you have an even better chance of in-flight WiFi because 85% of US-based airlines offer WiFi. In comparison, 32% outside the US offer WiFi, which is still a significant improvement from the 14% who offered WiFi in 2016.
Some airlines including SouthWest and United use a proprietary system while most US airlines use GoGo Air for their in-flight WiFi. Regardless, no airline seems to restrict the use of any apps besides explicit adult content.
Some airlines like SouthWest and United even provide free TV content once you’re connected. So next time you’re booking a flight, you can choose these airlines for sky-high surfing.
All your apps are almost guaranteed to function, and you’ll be able to make the most of your time on board.
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