Flight tracker apps have become a popular way to keep track of flights, including take off/arrival times and even those dreaded delays! But you may not know that if you have an iPhone or a Mac, you don’t actually need a third-party app to track a flight, as this handy feature is already built-in to the operating systems. Read on to find out more…
For several years now Apple has been integrating data detectors into its iOS and macOS systems, which can recognise things like dates, times and addresses and turn them into tappable links.
Tracking Flights in Messages
If someone sends you a flight number in Messages (e.g. Lufthansa LH459), tap on the underlined number and a sub-menu should pop up with the option to ‘Preview Flight’.
Click on this and you’ll see a summary of the flight’s progress, airports, whether it’s on time, departure and arrival times, flight duration etc.
Tip: To increase the chances of iOS detecting the flight number, try where possible to include the name of the airline in addition to the number.
Tracking Flights on a Mac
The same data detectors are included in macOS, so you can also track flights on your Mac, using Spotlight. To open Spotlight, either click on the little magnifying glass icon in the Menu Bar at the top right-hand corner of your screen (see first image below), or click ‘cmd’ and the spacebar together. Then type the flight number into the Spotlight search bar and click on one of the results to find out more information.
And that’s all there is to it – happy flight tracking!
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