Just FYI, what this article seems to be half-arsedly attempting, and spectacularly failing, to report, is the use of iPad tablet devices as the hardware component of an Electronic Flight Bag (EFB). Some examples of EFBs here: http://images.google.com/?q=electronic+flight+bag
Very simply put, an Electronic Flight Bag means you have a portable computer, typically in tablet form factor, which holds relevant documents and applications relating to both the aircraft and the specific sector being flown. A more advanced type of EFB can also be used for tracking progress of the flight (shows a map with a cute aircraft symbol in the middle of it). Initially, these portable computers were custom-made, ruggedised, hardened-electronics jobs. All a bit over the top and expensive.
For whatever reason, iPads are incredibly popular amongst flight crew: almost everyone has got at least one (yes, some people overdo it and have two or more!). Btw, it is specifically iPads that seem to be in vogue, rather than Android devices--it's just what's "in" within this particular community.
Airlines, aircraft manufacturers, navigation data providers, and regulators are now catching onto this and essentially making official what has been going on for a couple of years now: people take their devices to work with them and use them to assist in flight planning and execution.
Many major aircraft manufacturers (incl. Airbus, Boeing, and Gulfstream) now offer iPad-based EFB products. It is up to each individual airline to seek approval for their own use of an EFB solution though. American Airlines have been doing so since at least December 2011, and they have not been the first, so exactly why this is news now, I'm at a bit of a loss to explain.
Now, as to the specifics in this article:
"iPad no flight risk says Federal Aviation Authority" --- care to provide a quote, Mr. Sharwood? That seems quite a daft thing for the FAA to say.
"Being asked to switch off your electronic devices during the takeoff and landing phases of a flight now looks even more anachronistic" --- No it does not. There are human factor reasons why people are asked to put their toys away at the phases of flight where they are most likely to get hurt / massively scared, which have nothing to do with the electronic nature of such devices.
But aside from that, there is a difference between one or two low-power RF devices here and there, and hundreds of them operating at the same time (possibly at high power all hunting around for a signal, as in the case of mobile phones). To the limited extent of my knowledge, it is not known with certainty whether that causes a problem or not with avionics, but why take the risk? Especially when, as pointed out above, there are other factors that make it advisable to switch them things off and stow them away in any case.
"A nicer win may come from the fact that if the FAA thinks it is safe for an iPad to operate and emit electromagnetic radiation in the computer-packed confines of a cockpit, surely it becomes harder to justify the order to turn off other machines further back inside the plane."
This is utter nonsense, Mr. Sharwood.
"Commercial airline pilot and blogger Patrick Smith has noted that the ban on using electronics is more about preventing them becoming projectiles if a plane hits turbulence."
Congratulations, so you know how to use Google to discover a well-known blog. At least you got lucky in your search: Mr. Smith does a wonderful job of writing about aviation things in layman's terms. It is a shame that you do not seem to have bothered to contact him and ask him to offer his opinion on the embarrassing drivel you wrote here.
"The airline is also testing fondlesabs for cabin crew" --- and if they are, in regulatory terms that is an entirely separate matter from what happens at the cockpit.
So basically, what is this article about? That pilots use iPads? Why yes, most do nowadays--next time you're at the airport café have a look at what the uniformed boys and girls have on their laps (the latter not so much, come to think of it).