Airlines have been given the green light to expand the use of most portable electronic devices during all phases of flight.
The Federal Aviation Administration is changing the rules that have been in place for around 50 years.
The FAA said Thursday that a committee of experts determined most commercial airlines can tolerate radio interference from devices like cell phones.
The changes will let passengers read, work, play games, watch movies, and listen to music - but no phone calls.
"Now I want to be clear that you still cannot talk on your phone during flight," FAA administrator Michael Huerta clarified.
"The Federal Communications Commission governs cell phone use during flights, and the committee did not consider that issue," he said. "All devices should be in airplane mode."
The FAA said the committee did find in rare cases of low visibility that some landing systems might not be able to tolerate the interference.
When that happens, passengers may be asked to turn off devices but those cases only occur on about 1 percent of flights.