Airplane apps are there to help you maintain your sanity on long flights.
The one thing that unites all airplane apps is that they exist to occupy the hours between takeoff and landing. Some are there for entertainment, some are there for education, and a few even offer both. However, all of them will make your next flight much more enjoyable.
Here are some of the best airline apps of 2020.
Airline App (Various)
This is less about a specific app and is more about a general idea.
It’s a great idea to download the app related to your airline before you depart. Not only do such apps allow you to access a variety of information related to your flight, but it often lets you access additional in-flight entertainment options.
There are other apps that can relay essential information related to your flight, but few of those apps will be as up-to-date and trustworthy as your flight’s official app.
There’s no shortage of great games available for iPhone and iPad (and even Apple Watch). Considering that most of those games can be played offline, it’s easy to recommend most of them for a long flight.
However, Threes deserves a special shoutout. Considered by many to be the best puzzle game released on a mobile or handheld device since Tetris, Threes is a puzzler with a unique mechanic that requires you to use math to remove obstacles. It’s complicated, but once you figure out it surprisingly inviting mechanics, it will absolutely hook you.
Threes is a great way to activate your brain on a long, boring flight.
Want real-time updates about your flight while you’re actively flying? Air Traffic has you covered.
On the one hand, Air Traffic is useful as a source for genuinely helpful information. However, it offers much more than just travel speed and expected arrival time. It allows anyone who is fascinated with the process and technique of air travel itself to dive into a world of invaluable information.
Air Traffic is a fantastic way to not only know more about where you’re going but to learn more about how you’re getting there.
Podcasts have really come into their own over the last five years or so. They’re often spoken about with the same cultural enthusiasm as great television shows and movies. If one comes along that you’ve got to experience, then you’ve got to experience it.
There’s no shortage of great podcasts apps, but your built-in Apple Podcast app is often more than enough. It’s a wonderfully designed way to compile your favorite podcasts and discover some new ones.
Podcasts are a tremendous way to kill time on a long flight, and you can’t go wrong with listening to them via this app.
Citymapper doesn’t work in every city you may be traveling to, but you should definitely check it out if one of your upcoming destinations support it.
Basically, Citymapper lets you plan out various travel routes in certain major cities. By accounting for various modes of travel (including public transportation), Citymapper can ensure that you never lose your way in a strange place regardless of where you may choose to go.
Citymapper can help ensure you have a smooth trip once the wheels are down. It’s also a great way to understand how a city works before you land.
Learning a new language is one of those things that many people want to do, but the truth is that it can be difficult to find the time to do so. Well, a plane ride happens to offer quite a lot of time to do something productive.
Duolingo is simply one of the best language apps out there. While it’s especially valuable if you’re traveling to a foreign country, even domestic flights offer enough time to learn a new language.
This is simply an entertaining and educational app that is one of the more efficient time killers out there.
Here we have another great app that lets you keep up with your flight information as you’re on the airplane.
FlightStats can tell you where your flight is, where it’s going, what the current conditions are like, and much more. It’s quite simply one of the best ways to keep track of what you’re flight is up to when you’re in the air.
While we can’t guarantee that FlightStats will occupy you for your entire flight, it will almost certainly capture your interest for a period of time and help you to get a little information about your trip.
Yet another flight tracker app? Yes, but the truth is that Inflighto is actually much more than that.
You can get flight information from Inflighto, but that’s not its greatest contribution. Here’s an app that it designed to tell you more about the world that you’re flying across at rapid speeds. With incredible information regarding natural landmarks and other world stats, this is one of those educational apps that is more entertaining than anything.
Inflighto is basically the best window seat that you’ll ever have. It’s an incredible new way to experience the joy of flight.
Netflix is both an obvious and not so obvious candidate for this list. On the one hand, it’s pretty obvious that you’d want to watch the entirety of the Netflix lineup while you’re on a flight.
On the other hand, it’s easy to forget that you can download many Netflix movies and shows before your flight. While your device can only hold so many downloads, we’re willing to bet that Netflix offers just as much (if not more) entertainment options than your in-flight selections.
Don’t forget to download your favorite works before you board and take full advantage of Netflix while you’re in-flight.
Maybe we’re biased, but we happen to think that you should read more online articles. The only problem is that it always feels like you’ve got something else to do on your device when you should be reading.
Pocket helps solve that problem. It’s an app that lets you download articles and other online works so that you can read them at your leisure. Naturally, a long flight offers a lot of leisure time necessary for reading online articles.
This is simply a great way to experience great online writing when you have the time to do so.
This recommendation comes with a small disclaimer. While it’s possible to listen to Spotify offline, you will need a premium account to do so. Of course, so many people who use Spotify do subscribe to the premium package.
If that includes you, then how can you think of flying without Spotify? As one of the world’s most popular music apps, Spotify allows you to stream nearly the entire history of recorded music. It even allows you to access a growing collection of podcasts.
Spotify is a modern miracle of technological offerings, and it’s an essential flight companion.
Do you like to plan out your trips in advance? If so, then you should certainly consider downloading Tripit.
Along with offering flight alerts and other information, Tripit lets you plan out an itinerary for your trip once you’re on the ground. Even if you lay out some of that information beforehand, it’s great to have the option to tweak and review it while you’re on the flight.
Even if you don’t need to plan every detail of a trip, Tripit can certainly help you get your feet under you for when you’re on the ground and ready to start exploring.
This might be an odd recommendation to some. After all, VLC is considered by some to be an old media player primarily accessed via desktops.
However, you need to know that VLC is capable of playing various forms of media that you may download from different sources. What that means is that you can use it to play just about any TV show or movie that you want (assuming you get them from the right source).
VLC is one of the best ways to experience just about any form of media you want while you’re in-flight.
There are a lot of ways to kill some time on a flight, but few are better than sleeping. That’s especially true of long international flights where you pretty much have to get some sleep at some point.
White Noise can help you get that sleep. If features sounds and other luxuries designed to help you fall and stay asleep. You even have the ability to add and loop your own sounds. It helps you to enter a kind of meditative state as you prepare to enjoy some much-needed downtime.
Even if you don’t think you need White Noise, you may be surprised by how much it can help you enjoy some better rest.
Minipedia – Offline Wikipedia
Wikipedia is one of (if not the) best and most important websites ever made. It allows you to access information on just about anything that you can imagine.
Minipedia (and other apps like it) allow you to easily access an offline version of Wikipedia wherever you may be (in this case, an airplane). You’d be amazed how many hours you can burn falling deeper into a Wikipedia hole.
Besides being a great tool to have access to in general, Minipedia and apps like it are especially welcome on a flight.