When your phone is set on Airplane mode, all radios inside the device are disabled. This prevents radio signals from possibly interfering with the equipment that pilots rely on while flying an airplane. Also known as Flight mode, or even offline mode, passengers on a plane can use this setting to access content already downloaded on a phone such as a movie, music, or a mobile video game.
According to XDA, Google plans on making this feature more intelligent in Android 11. The report says that on phones running the next Android build, turning on Airplane mode will not automatically disable Bluetooth by default. Instead, if you are using Bluetooth and then turn on Airplane mode, Android will be smart enough to figure out that you still want this connection enabled even when activating Airplane mode.While Bluetooth and Wi-Fi are currently disabled when Airplane mode is turned on, both can be used by enabling them separately.
The new feature was spotted on the Android Open Source Project Gerrit under a new commit titled "Context-aware Bluetooth airplane mode." It states that Bluetooth should not be automatically turned off when Airplane mode is turned on under one of two conditions. One, Bluetooth A2DP is connected, or two, the Bluetooth Hearing Aid profile is connected. A2DP stands for Advanced Audio Distribution Profile and is used to allow a device to send high-quality audio from a Bluetooth device to a handset. Both devices have to have A2DP or else the Bluetooth connection will be limited to passing along voice calls. Most phones do support A2DP these days. The Bluetooth Hearing Aid profile allows those with hearing aids to wirelessly connect to smartphones and other devices.
With this new feature, a passenger in a plane won't have to do anything to keep his wireless Bluetooth earpods connected to his Android phone once forced to turn on Airplane mode. Otherwise, the user's wireless earpods will stop working until Bluetooth is separately enabled. It saves the user a little time and aggravation.
Back in 2017 with iOS 11, Apple gave iPhone users the ability to keep Bluetooth and Wi-Fi enabled even when Airplane mode was turned on. This allows an iPhone user to keep his Apple Watch connected to his iPhone via Bluetooth even with the handset's internal radios shut down. And it also allows an iPhone user to stay connected to his AirPods when Airplane mode is enabled.