Android’s apparent 'R' update which is likely to be released by the third quarter of 2020, may not automatically turn off the device’s Bluetooth. Usually, when you switch on the Airplane mode on your Android device, it switches off all radios, including Bluetooth, Wi-Fi among others. The latest update is likely to support continued Bluetooth usage even on Airplane mode. With this feature, users can continue listening to music without interruption.
As per a new commit in the AOSP Gerrit titled “Context-aware Bluetooth Airplane mode,” the feature will be applicable in two cases, i.e., that Bluetooth A2DP is connected, or Bluetooth hearing aid profile is connected. Now there is no clarity whether this will be applicable to fitness bands and smartwatches as the commit mentions that a media device must be connected via either A2DP or the hearing aid profile.
Considering that only a few device makers offer the 3.5mm headphone jack, and with Bluetooth headphones becoming very common, it seems that Google is taking the right step. The feature, if and when it comes, will be quite helpful for frequent travelers or someone who wants to only use their device as a music player without enabling cellular or Wi-Fi radios.