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Here's Why You Can Now Text and Talk on a Plane (Update 1)

Stocks in this article: GOGO AAPL GOOG

Updated from 10:00 a.m. EST to provide initial thoughts on the service in the fifth paragraph.

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Gogo (GOGO) allows a passenger to access the Internet while he's on an airplane. Gogo is unveiling Friday its new Text & Talk technology, which allows users to send text messages and make phone calls using a smartphone, all while 30,000 feet in the air.

Users can download an app from Apple's (AAPL) App Store or Google (GOOG) Play, and then text and talk just as they would normally.

The instructions are simple enough to follow. Here are some screen shots to show what users can expect from the app:

"Gogo Text & Talk is just one more way Gogo is keeping airline passengers connected to their lives on the ground," said Ash ElDifrawi, Gogo's chief marketing officer, in a press release. "While we see this as more of a text messaging product for commercial airlines in the United States, the phone functionality is something that some international air carriers and our business aviation customers are asking for."

Earlier this morning, Gogo invited me to try out the service. It works as advertised, with a few small drawbacks. In my experience, I texted a few people, but the return text messages showed up in iMessage, not in the app itself. The sound quality and functionality is the same as your regular iOS or Android device, but you can not talk and text at the same time, as you can on certain smartphones.

In an interview on the flight, Gogo Vice President of Product Brad Jaehn said the app was not yet available for Microsoft's (MSFT) Windows Phone, but that it was more likely to get one than BlackBerry (BBRY).

The new Text & Talk service is part of the reason Evercore analyst Jonathan Schildkraut raised his price target to $20 from $15, keeping an "overweight" rating.

Gogo is slated to report quarterly earnings on Nov. 11. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters expect the company to lose 31 cents a share on $76.8 million in revenue.

-- Written by Chris Ciaccia in New York

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