If you’ve got Airplane mode, why not Holiday mode!

I recently returned from a holiday in Cornwall where for the most part I had a forced exclusion from the internet due to staying in a beautiful location a few miles from anywhere.

What this got me thinking about was the individual choice about being disconnected from the internet and that it wasn’t my decision to be disconnected but simply a by-product of where I was staying.

Thinking about the future as I often do and the fact that ubiquitous access to the internet will be a reality then how do you or how will someone manage that disconnection as I believe it is healthy to disconnect occasionally just like it is healthy to take a holiday from work.

One of the features on my iPhone is Airplane Mode and this basically disconnects the phone from any connectivity but still allows you to use the device to perhaps, do some offline stuff, write documents, watch some videos, play music or even play some games whatever you choose to do but you are not connected to the internet even though if you switched airplane mode off you would be connected again.

So why not develop a few other modes and give the user greater control and personalisation of the device they are using.

The obvious one is Holiday mode.

I’d imagine it working something like this:

I switch on Holiday mode for the first time and it presents a number of options – for other iPhone users I’m thinking it’s a hybrid solution between settings and notification centre – where the user decides the how each application interacts, sends and receives data.

So for example I can keep google maps running, web browser and perhaps sending and receiving calls and text messages to a selected group of people (based on how I’ve classified them – personal, professional, business, etc)

This would also allow me to make an on the spot request to applications if I wanted to share something interesting such as photo or status update but instead of having the application working all the time, I simply make a call to that app within holiday mode to share the photo or update.

In fact it doesn’t have to be called Holiday mode, it could simply be a personalised version of the phone and how you interact with it – this could also be used in the context of where devices are shared so you could create a mode which was “family” and this would allow your family members to use the device without accessing specific – it goes beyond “profiles” in my view and really creates a personalised version of the device to suit your needs in any given situation. 

Personally I would really like to see greater personalisation in devices that allow me and give me the choice to disconnect when it suits me and not having to reply on connectivity black spots which will reduce and disappear in time.


5 thoughts on “If you’ve got Airplane mode, why not Holiday mode!

  1. Carl, I believe much of this is possible on my S4 using ‘blocking mode’… perhaps not as user friendly as holiday mode but I can block all types of comms and notifications but allow certain contacts etc and even tweak by time of day etc. I often use it overnight for example to block all notifications except ‘phone calls which may be family emergencies etc.

  2. I hadn’t really given this much thought until I was able get email on a ‘bring your own device’ basis last year. A combo of iOS’s ‘do not disturb’ (which I found fairly easy to set up – http://arstechnica.com/apple/2012/09/how-to-make-the-best-of-ios-6s-do-not-disturb-feature/ – and which will be even easier to use with iOS 7 next week) and temporarily switching off the work mailbox if I was on holiday did the trick.

    I know that’s not as sophisticated a solution as you’ve envisaged in your post, but I found it interesting to reflect on how convenience can so easily become intrusion – and how we (IT folk) need to let people take responsibility for managing their balance. Having moved fairly recently to a work environment where we don’t yet have ‘bring your own’ for email, I would love to get back the two hours a day of productive time I used to have while I travel, and be able to both stay on top of stuff a bit better *and* feel I can switch off a bit more fully when I get home.

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