The FAA, finally admitting what everyone else has known all along, is slated to scale back its draconian electronics policy. The only surprise is why it took so long, since the gadgets ban never actually accomplished anything in the first place.
The rule barring the use of electronics has always been illogical and completely untenable — pilots have been using iPads in the cockpit for years. And really, why do I have to turn my phone off when I can literally put it into airplane mode? Why can't Alec Baldwin play Words With Friends in peace? According to the Wall Street Journal, this attitude is prevalent enough that the FAA is being forced to act due to the "sheer number of passengers flouting today's rules." The new guidelines will likely allow passengers to use electronics for anything other than phone calls during taxiing, takeoffs, and landings.
But this is also a government agency, and so the changes will take time — according to WSJ, the FAA likely won't make a formal decision until the end of September, when the final version of a study will be prepared by an advisory panel comprised of industry, government and pilot-union representatives.