The FAA announced a big move today and has announced that portable electronic devices will now be allowed "during all phases of flight". Of course the announcement still hinges on the airlines as each will have to rollout their own policies, but that shouldn't take too long to get rolling. 

This means that all devices with an on/off switch including your phone and tablets can be used even below 10,000 feet, though you'll still need to put them in airplane mode. 

Here's a quick summary:

Top Things Passengers Should Know about Expanded Use of PEDs on Airplanes:

  1. Make safety your first priority.
  2. Changes to PED policies will not happen immediately and will vary by airline. Check with your airline to see if and when you can use your PED.
  3. Current PED policies remain in effect until an airline completes a safety assessment, gets FAA approval, and changes its PED policy.
  4. Cell phones may not be used for voice communications.
  5. Devices must be used in airplane mode or with the cellular connection disabled. You may use the WiFi connection on your device if the plane has an installed WiFi system and the airline allows its use.  You can also continue to use short-range Bluetooth accessories, like wireless keyboards.
  6. Properly stow heavier devices under seats or in the overhead bins during takeoff and landing. These items could impede evacuation of an aircraft or may injure you or someone else in the event of turbulence or an accident.    
  7. During the safety briefing, put down electronic devices, books and newspapers and listen to the crewmember’s instructions.
  8. It only takes a few minutes to secure items according to the crew’s instructions during takeoff and landing.
  9. In some instances of low visibility – about one percent of flights – some landing systems may not be proved PED tolerant, so you may be asked to turn off your device.
  10. Always follow crew instructions and immediately turn off your device if asked.

Now we just wait on the airlines to get going on this as well, but it looks like Delta (for one) is already on the case. Check out the full details here.