The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in the US has loosened the restrictions on the use electronics during flights, saying it's safe for airline passengers to use their gadgets “during all phases of flights”.
This after a month-long review of the current regulations, which specify that passengers switch off all electronics devices when flying under 10,000 feet.
Gadget makers have been pushing for an easing of restrictions for a while now, given that most phones now can be operated in Flight Mode, which shuts off the cellular signal but allows the rest of your smartphone's features to be accessed as usual.
The FAA first hinted that a change in the regulations could be coming a month ago, and the decision comes after consultation with airline representatives, aviation manufacturers, passengers, flight staff and members of the mobile industry.
It will be up to individual airlines as to how, and more significantly when, they implement new measures, but it should mean passengers will now be able to use their portable devices at any time other than the actual takeoff and landing, though you'll only be able to communicate with the outside world via the in-flight Wi-Fi connection, with cellular connections still outlawed.
But it's a pleasant surprise these days to see any change to official regulations that actually increases the rights and freedoms of the everyday consumer, so we'll take what we can get.
Then again, it's probably just a move to keep a closer eye on you via your phone or tablet's front-facing camera...