Updated "Time" while flying in Airplane Mode

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Clint1583, Oct 14, 2016.

  1. Clint1583 macrumors regular

    Mar 4, 2011
    Okay, somebody please explain this one to me. Just took a recent flight from Europe to the US West Coast. When leaving Germany I placed my iPhone in Airplane mode and was never connected to the planes wi-fi system.

    During the flight I checked my phone of various reasons and each time the phone had the correct time for the current time zone, even while flying over the Arctic Circle. At the same time my Apple Watch showed the current time in Germany where I departed from.

    Several time's during the flight I took my phone off airplane mode for a few seconds and it immediately updated my watches time also.

    How exactly does this happen without any internet connection at 35,000 feet over the Arctic Circle or Atlantic Ocean?
  2. bd4 macrumors member

    Jan 26, 2014
    Just a guess, but in iPhone 6 and newer, there is a built-in barometer, so the iPhone could figure out that you're in an airplane. Probably it then uses GPS to determine your location. Since GPS only receives data, it can be used safely in Airplane mode.
  3. Newtons Apple macrumors Core

    Newtons Apple

    Mar 12, 2014
    Jacksonville, Florida
    No doubt the GPS did the updates. It is just like when driving from one time zone to another you GPS knows when to change your time to the current location.
  4. C DM macrumors Sandy Bridge

    Oct 17, 2011
    As of iOS 8.3 GPS isn't disabled when airplane mode is enabled, so most likely it's that (as others have also suggested).
  5. goudok macrumors regular

    Aug 14, 2012
    were you connected to planes wifi? Sometimes that can trigger a time update.
  6. Clint1583 thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 4, 2011
  7. T5BRICK macrumors G3


    Aug 3, 2006

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