Current Federal Aviation Regulations prohibit the use of all portable electronic devices below 10,000 feet. In other words, if it has an on/off switch, you are supposed to turn it off until the captain tells you it is safe to use it.
There are reports, however, that the FAA is considering loosening restrictions on certain electronic gadgets. In spite of a few dubious anecdotal accounts of such devices interfering with aircraft navigation systems, there is no scientific proof of that kind of dangerous connection.
In fact, as of last year, some pilots are allowed to use iPads inside the cockpit. Current proposals allow use of readers and tablets, but retain the prohibition against cell phones. In truth, most passengers would likely prefer that passengers around them not be permitted to chat during the entire flight with persons outside the plane.
In any event, for those travelers interested in the ultimate outcome, and anxious to use their iPad, Kindle or personal gamer at all times while on board an aircraft, stay tuned…