Gogo Inflight for Android is coming

I fly a lot. And I have to work on the plane a lot. But one thing I don't do because it's a hassle is connect my phone to the in-flight Wifi. It's just not easy to do on a mobile browser. But it's going to get better. Gogo Inflight has just released apps for iOS and BlackBerry for "one-step sign-in on your mobile device" -- and and Android application is in the works.

Definitely going to look forward to this one, as I'd much rather just whip out my phone for a few quick e-mails than drag the ol' lappy out from under the seat. And soon it's going to be much easier to do so. [Gogo Inflight]

 
There are 31 comments

Bodero#AC says:

I hope it's less expensive on your phone.

Tough to justify $5-10 on some flights if you're just using a mobile browser, unless you're a business traveler.

It's about 20% cheaper, but I don't think you can buy access on your phone and then use it for your laptop (unless you're some sort of linux pro and can figure out how to tether it)

eahinrichsen says:

I would love to be able to use this, but I can't expense in-flight internet, unfortunately. But hey, maybe if airlines ever wake up and start to offer in-flight wifi as a complimentary/reduced cost feature for first class or travelers with a certain status level... oh, but I can dream.

VMdoug says:

I hope it works with the Motorola XOOM ;-) I'm flying out to the West Coast next week...

noszero says:

We can't use our internet or the plane will crash but we can use their internet and its ok. So they can sell ice to an Eskimo...

Blah says:

If the Eskimo didn't have access to the ice they are normally surrounded by, then yes.

Look man, I'm a busy Eskimo, I don't have time after a long day at work to head out and hack off chunks of ice, then break them down into soda glass-friendly pieces

No sir, I buy my pure, pre-cut ice from Gogo

RAPTOR0065 says:

The onboard wifi hardware has been tested and certified to not interfere with that specific avionics package on the aircraft. Your phone has not (and would be too expensive for you to own if it was). Is it going to interfere? Probably not. When your flight is on departure or final approach (near the ground with the pilots relying 100% on instruments to ensure they don't hit a tower, building, terrain or another aircraft) is not the time to find out.

icebike says:

Full instrument landings are still not allowed in the US. They are in EU, and some military.

There has never been a documented case of a cell phone interfering with flight controls or avionics. Period. Full stop. Anyone who claims otherwise is full of it.

If an 8 oz bottle of shampoo is not allowed in the cabin, do you seriously believe a cell phone would be allowed if it presented any threat at all?

After all, a large number of people don't bother to turn cells off. You can count two or three cells ringing on just about any final approach.

RAPTOR0065 says:

You're assumptions are in error.
"When your flight is on departure or final approach (near the ground with the pilots relying 100% on instruments..." is just that; departure or final approach. Category IIIB ILS will take you to within 50' but not land you on the runway.

When I'm in the weather I'm relying 100% on my instruments. I'm not certain as to what you're doing, but that's not the point. If it's possible that a cellular device - or any device for that matter - may cause interference (whether you're flying off an ILS, VOR, TACAN, NDB... it doesn't matter), it should not be used and that's why the regulations are in place until we're certain the devices are safe. When you're several hundred feet from the ground and surrounding obstacles, minor amounts of error can make for a big difference. There's no apology presented for your inconvenience in the effort to keep everyone else safe.

crosberg says:

Hi all! I work with Gogo Inflight Internet and saw some questions so I wanted to take a moment to answer them.

@Bodero, mobile passes are less expensive than laptop, there's a complete pricing layout on our site here: http://ow.ly/45Drs

@VMdoug: While our Android app won't be ready in time for your flight, you shouldn't have any issues using any device on one of our flights. If you do hit a snag, you can chat with one of our team members 24/7 on the ground or inflight by going to GogoInflight.com and clicking on "Live Help" in the upper right corner.

@noszero: This is actually a comment we hear a lot, but our tech works differently than your phone's CDMA or GSM connection by connecting to the equipment on the plane and then creating a wifi network for users to access, which keeps the connections separate and safe.

Hope that helps, and thanks for the shout out, Phil!

icebike says:

@noszero: This is actually a comment we hear a lot, but our tech works differently than your phone's CDMA or GSM connection by connecting to the equipment on the plane and then creating a wifi network for users to access, which keeps the connections separate and safe.

It doesn't work any differently, its just wifi certified for air craft use and tested not to interfere.

There has never been a documented case of GSM or CDMA interfering with flight controls. The regulation against aircraft use of those technologies does not come from the FAA, it comes from the FCC, because the cellular network was never designed for your phone to be able to light up 200 towers at a time. (Although by 2007 the FCC had pretty much washed its hands of this issue).

In flight micro-cells for cell phones provide a strong enough signal to actually suppress signal strength of the handsets, causing them to reduce their emissions. Cell service on aircraft was well on its way to being widely deployed, and then 9/11 happened.

Blah says:

I believe an argument against allowing cell service on air plane is that it would be too time consuming, if not impossible to test every electronic device for compliance.

Even if they did this, they would probably need to validate every combination of electronic device to make certain the perfect storm of E&M didn't occur, which would be impossible.

Especially with personal electronic increasing so rapidly in popularity since 2000.

RAPTOR0065 says:

The regulation against the use of "personal electronic devices" does come from the FAA. It's Federal Aviation Regulation Part 125.204.

Also, there have been several complaints of "erratic avionics operation" that have been speculated (not confirmed) to have been caused by the use of cellular phones (calls and text messages). For more info: http://www.faa.gov/news/fact_sheets/news_story.cfm?newsid=6275

You're correct that there's never been an accident directly contributed to the use of PEDs, but there's been plenty of incidents where their use has been put into question. Personally, I've never had my Evo significantly interfere with my instruments but I've never had someone call me while I was flying an approach either.

icebike says:

Your own cited source makes it clear that the Ban was an FCC ban just as I stated:

Since 1991, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has banned the inflight use of 800 MHz cell phones because of potential interference with ground networks. This ban requires that in addition to the testing the FAA requires to show non-interference to the airplane systems, an airline would also need to apply for an exemption to the FCC rule before it could allow cell phone use inflight. The FCC proposed modifying this ban in 2004, but subsequently withdrew the proposal based on the comments it received.

Even if the FCC ever rescinds its ban, FAA regulations would still apply. Any installed equipment would be subject to FAA certification, just like any other piece of hardware. The air carrier would have to show that the use of a particular model phone won’t interfere with the navigation and communications systems of the particular type of aircraft on which it will be used.

(Note: A cell phone is not a piece of installed equipment).
(Note 2: A Micro-cell would be installed gear, and several such have already been certified for air craft use, but the FCC ban is still in place).

See this register article to see who is currently opposing use of Micro Cells in the aircraft. Hint, not the FAA. Not the FCC. Not the Airlines. http://www.theregister.co.uk/2005/06/01/onair_under_fire/

FAR 125.204 does not ban Cell phones. It leaves it strictly up to the airline. Text is here: http://www.flightsimaviation.com/data/FARS/part_125-204.html

So, pays to read your own citations once in a while.

RAPTOR0065 says:

Your post:

"The regulation against aircraft use of those technologies does not come from the FAA"...

See the FAR. Your post excludes the FAA's regulations, mine did NOT exclude the FCC. The reason you're wrong on this point is as follows: "Even if the FCC ever rescinds its ban, FAA regulations would still apply".

And again, the FAR prohibits the use of ANY electronic device in part A. Part B of the FAR provides EXCEPTIONS that the certificate holder approves. Your cellular device is not on that list.

Learn to read the citations once in a while.

KOMO says:

I had an option to use this on Sunday on an Alaska Airlines flight but I just couldn't justify the cost for a two & a half hour flight.

jamestbrewer says:

I just took a GoGo enabled AA flight over the weekend with my Nexus One and it was awful. I tried to use the free facebook promotion, but everytime I connected to the server I would get an error on my phone and the wifi would turn off

icebike says:

Friend of mine used WiFI on Alaska Air a few weeks ago with no problem. Oh, he didn't even have this app. Gogo doesn't have the market cornered on in-plane wifi, they just offer better deals (sometimes). He had no problem connecting to the WIFI after paying the Stew for the little instructions card.

I've never know the Nexus One to simply turn off WIFI by itself.

netposer says:

So this app basically pre-signs you up for in-flight wiFi so you don't have to fill out a form with your info and CC number?

Dnomyar220 says:

Not sure how many corporate users use the "iPass" program, but iPass already has an android app that connects to in flight wifi "for free" (company already has subscription service with iPass, which can connect to gogo). It looks pretty easy to set up, I haven't tried it.

SPRTUSR says:

I've never been able to connect to gogoinflight on my HTC EVO. It will recognize it for 20 seconds, then lose the connection. Anyone know why that is? It works fine with my ipod touch...

Blah says:

From what I can tell from the article, this isn't yet available for Android, unless you are saying it is available without an app. I've never seen it on any planes yet myself.

eahinrichsen says:

I have the same problem on my Nexus One. My iPod Touch connects just fine, though, and I have never used the iOS app to facilitate the connection.

crosberg says:

(Again, I work for Gogo...disclaimer!)
We have seen occasional issues with some Android devices on our network. Have you ever contacted our customer care team inflight? You can also chat with them live, 24/7, from GogoInflight.com. Just click "Live Chat" in the upper right and they can help troubleshoot.

icebike says:

How would they do that inflight if the system can't hold a signal?

Also, its not at all clear that voice coms are allowed even when wifi is stable.

crosberg says:

Hopefully the person has an alternate device to contact us with, but if not they can contact us once on the ground to let us know what happened. The more info we get about this kind of problem the faster we can work to remedy them.

Also, voice communications are not supported on our flights (Skype, Facetime, Gchat, etc) but we do have a live text-based chat to allow our Customer Care reps to work with users 24/7 to troubleshoot issues.

Achance007 says:

I had the same exact problem on my HTC Incredible on two delta flights today. (Which google lead me to this post) I tried numerous times, turned off/on phone 5 times before finally giving up. It worked without any issues 2 months ago on two airtran flights. Were you flying delta by chance?

rayjr13 says:

Same cycling WiFi problem on my HTC Thunderbolt. Used gogo successfully two weeks ago on an over sees flight (until we were too far off the coast for signal) but yesterday 3 flights with gogo and I was unable to stay connected to gogoinglight SSID on any of the flights.

tcorkum says:

Just got off the connection with Gogo tech support chat and they did not have any suggestions to the Android phones dropping connections. I too have not issues with Itouch and laptops. But after the initial connections working with two different android phones the next attempt connects gets an IP address then drops and continues this cycle.

hopefully the application will take care of this.