Iphone - Explaining how airplane mode and cellular data options work.

Community Help: Airplane Mode vs Cellular Data - Easily explained

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Alot of people often go through their iphone settings and are confused by airplane mode and cellular data, and do not understand what is the difference between turning cellular data on or off and turning airplane mode on or off. Let me explain this in simple terms. Both are 2 different settings found which can turn similiar things on or off. People often want to use imessage internationally also since its free, and are not sure if that can work with "cellular data" or "airplane mode" turned off. First off it is true that imessage (and facetime) can both be used free even internationally and can simply be used over wifi anywhere you are without using celltowers (although it can use celltowers also if no wifi is available but you need a cellphone plan of course).

What are the differences between airplane mode and cellular data on the iphone?

Answer:

Basically, airplane mode means to turn off all electronic communication on the iphone. This means it wont send any signals for making phone calls, sending or receiving text messages, wifi, GPS, location services, or any cell tower information. This is what you turn on if you are traveling in another country and want to just use your iphone as a camera for example. Be aware that you can turn on airplane mode but then enable wifi after it, a very important point as you can then access internet and apps and imessage all free even internationally in another country.

For cellular data, when you turn off cellular data, that means you cannot use data, MMS messages or personal hotspots, etc. This means basically you want all your data to use wifi only and not cellular. This is what you want to turn off if your data plan is about to go over its limit, for example, as this prevents you from using anymore data. It is different then airplane mode, as you can still place phone calls with data off. If you dont have wifi then you wont be able to use internet as all cellular data is now off. You can still use wifi, and you can still make phone calls without a problem as stated.

Alot of people wonder whether they should turn off cellular data when traveling internationally in other countries, or whether to always leave airplane mode on as they dont want international charges for text messages or phone calls. In this case I would turn on airplane mode, then enable wifi on after it. This way, you wont be able to make phone calls or use cell towers in any way and wont get international charges, but you can still send imessages free back home to others by using wifi. You can also still use wifi to access information like maps or apps, use the iphone camera, and basically still use the rest of the iphone just like an ipod touch.