or Connect
AppleInsider › Forums › Mobile › iPhone › United Airlines updates iOS app to support exclusive, free in-flight video content
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

United Airlines updates iOS app to support exclusive, free in-flight video content

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
In an update to its iOS app on Wednesday, United Airlines added an anticipated in-flight entertainment service that harnesses onboard Wi-Fi to stream movies and TV shows to users for free.

United


First announced in March, the new United app adds the required software to browse and watch video content when connected to the airline's in-flight Wi-Fi service.

With United Airlines version 2.0.13, users will be able to stream more than 150 movies and nearly 200 TV shows for free while in flight. At launch, the system is reportedly limited to iOS devices and laptops, though Android support is expected sometime in the future.

According to a source, the hardware backbone necessary for in-flight video viewing via Wi-Fi is already installed on a large number of Airbus A319, Airbus A320, Boeing 747-400 and certain 777-200 aircraft fleets. For now, the service will be limited to those aircraft.

Users planning on flying with United in the near future can download the app for free from the iOS App Store. Prior to boarding, fliers can check the Inflight Amenities tab on United.com's Flight Status & Information webpage to confirm that their flight offers the new personal device entertainment system.
post #2 of 17

Eric Schmidt said that developers would be Android first and iOS second or not at all within six months. He said that three years ago. So what happened?

post #3 of 17
He was wrong. I'm sure you've been wrong before.

censored

Reply

censored

Reply
post #4 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post

Eric Schmidt said that developers would be Android first and iOS second or not at all within six months. He said that three years ago. So what happened?

He was trying out his standup comic material in front of a room full of developers... brought the house down!
"That (the) world is moving so quickly that iOS is already amongst the older mobile operating systems in active development today." — The Verge
Reply
"That (the) world is moving so quickly that iOS is already amongst the older mobile operating systems in active development today." — The Verge
Reply
post #5 of 17
iOS... obviously United Airlines knows who fills their seats and who fills their wheel wells.
"That (the) world is moving so quickly that iOS is already amongst the older mobile operating systems in active development today." — The Verge
Reply
"That (the) world is moving so quickly that iOS is already amongst the older mobile operating systems in active development today." — The Verge
Reply
post #6 of 17
I know when I am on a flight that the majority of devices are Apple; iPhones, iPads, MacBooks, etc. A couple of times I saw an Android tablet, but literally... It was just a couple.
post #7 of 17
Smart move by United for several reasons.
- High value, business travelers skew heavily to mobile technology, specifically iOS devices.
- Some companies lock down their employees' apps, but do permit travel apps. By pushing content directly through United's offering, they may be able to service customers who could not access Netflix, etc. Keeping business travelers happy is how airlines make money.
- A happy business traveller could use this service as a differentiator when booking travel for a family vacation; it's now even easier to give the kids an iPad and keep them occupied on the plane.
- This will spur adoption of the United app, and the associated cost benefits it brings (paper boarding passes are a surprising cost sink).
- Each aircraft's reliance on seat back TVs will decrease dramatically. These systems are very expensive, relatively heavy, and difficult to maintain. Flight crews hate having to try and troubleshoot them too and when a unit fails, it is a terrible customer experience. By eliminating televisions and adopting a BYOD model, United can shift the entertainment burden to their passengers, and perhaps focus on just providing power to each seat.
- Encouraging passengers to connect to the plane's Wi-Fi may open future revenue streams. Perhaps a business traveller will go ahead and buy a data package and get some work done once he/she is already connected.
- Once customers get used to streaming free content through the United app, it creates opportunity to up-charge for premium content. Sure, 150 movies are free, but would you pay $5 to watch a very recent theater release? (I would, especially if I could iTunes/iWallet/TouchID the transaction.)
- I assume United found a way to host of the content locally and stream it over Wi-Fi. Current bandwidth to airplanes is very limited, so each passenger streaming data is unlikely to be a good experience. Each plane's content can be refreshed once a month, similar to what is practiced now.
- Lastly, by routing viewer traffic through United's app, the airline can gather hyper-detailed data on passenger behavior. This has tremendous value to the airline's marketing partners and is not currently possible with seat-back systems. United will be able to link gender, age, time of day, content preferences, email addresses...you name it. (Let's hope they're good stewards of this info.)
All in all, congratulations to United...this feels big and I hope everyone copies it.
post #8 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Masteric View Post

I know when I am on a flight that the majority of devices are Apple; iPhones, iPads, MacBooks, etc. A couple of times I saw an Android tablet, but literally... It was just a couple.

Most Android owners know better then to pull their plastic phones out among their betters...
"That (the) world is moving so quickly that iOS is already amongst the older mobile operating systems in active development today." — The Verge
Reply
"That (the) world is moving so quickly that iOS is already amongst the older mobile operating systems in active development today." — The Verge
Reply
post #9 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crowley View Post

He was wrong. I'm sure you've been wrong before.

 

It's not often that I'm wrong, but even in the rare cases that I am, I'd never be as wrong as the Fandroids and other morons who are continuously dead wrong about Apple. 

 

I'm talking about the technologically handicapped individuals who laughed at the iPhone. I'm talking about the nearsighted fools who dismissed the iPad. I'm talking about certain people who think that they know something about tech, but in reality, their tech knowledge and their foresight is like something straight out of the dark ages.

 

These people wouldn't know a technological innovation if it came and landed smack on their fat, ignorant heads. And those are the types of people that are usually Apple haters. Complete ignoramuses who suffer from severe delusional thoughts, because almost nothing they predict comes true.  

post #10 of 17
Nothing on a United flight is free. I believe the catch here is that WiFi isn't free.
post #11 of 17
Actually dh87, you don't need to purchase the wifi to view the content. Just as you don't need to purchase wifi to use the United App in flight. Any wifi enabled IOS device will get the content free of charge. Will it always be that way? Who knows. But for the immediate future, the streaming content does NOT require you to purchase wifi.... or anything else for that matter
post #12 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by dh87 View Post

Nothing on a United flight is free. I believe the catch here is that WiFi isn't free.

It isn't on Delta from what I can gather (flying to Vancouver and back soon and it says optional extra when I checked). These bozos need to realize they are saving money with these systems and share some of the savings with the passengers they torture and extort daily.
From Apple ][ - to new Mac Pro I've used them all.
Long on AAPL so biased
"Google doesn't sell you anything, they just sell you!"
Reply
From Apple ][ - to new Mac Pro I've used them all.
Long on AAPL so biased
"Google doesn't sell you anything, they just sell you!"
Reply
post #13 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by dh87 View Post

Nothing on a United flight is free. I believe the catch here is that WiFi isn't free.

 

mm767 cap got it right ... 

the WiFi signal and the planes "local network" will be available for free... you will have to pay to access the internet.

 

That said, good luck finding an airplane that has it installed and working. The largest/newest fleet United has is the 737 (or the newest additions: 787) ... suspiciously absent from that list.

From out there on the moon, international politics look so petty. You want to grab a politician by the scruff of the neck and drag him a quarter of a million miles out and say, "Look at that!" -...
Reply
From out there on the moon, international politics look so petty. You want to grab a politician by the scruff of the neck and drag him a quarter of a million miles out and say, "Look at that!" -...
Reply
post #14 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post

Eric Schmidt said that developers would be Android first and iOS second or not at all within six months. He said that three years ago. So what happened?

The plane left without him.
"If the young are not initiated into the village, they will burn it down just to feel its warmth."
- African proverb
Reply
"If the young are not initiated into the village, they will burn it down just to feel its warmth."
- African proverb
Reply
post #15 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crowley View Post

He was wrong. I'm sure you've been wrong before.

Now if you'd just said, “He was wrong,” I’d have given you a thumbs-up. I'm sure you’ll be kicking yourself for the rest of your life.
"If the young are not initiated into the village, they will burn it down just to feel its warmth."
- African proverb
Reply
"If the young are not initiated into the village, they will burn it down just to feel its warmth."
- African proverb
Reply
post #16 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Masteric View Post

I know when I am on a flight that the majority of devices are Apple; iPhones, iPads, MacBooks, etc. A couple of times I saw an Android tablet, but literally... It was just a couple.

Devices and desires...the Apple mile-high club.
"If the young are not initiated into the village, they will burn it down just to feel its warmth."
- African proverb
Reply
"If the young are not initiated into the village, they will burn it down just to feel its warmth."
- African proverb
Reply
post #17 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by ExDL View Post

Smart move by United for several reasons.
- High value, business travelers skew heavily to mobile technology, specifically iOS devices.
- Some companies lock down their employees' apps, but do permit travel apps. By pushing content directly through United's offering, they may be able to service customers who could not access Netflix, etc. Keeping business travelers happy is how airlines make money.
- A happy business traveller could use this service as a differentiator when booking travel for a family vacation; it's now even easier to give the kids an iPad and keep them occupied on the plane.
- This will spur adoption of the United app, and the associated cost benefits it brings (paper boarding passes are a surprising cost sink).
- Each aircraft's reliance on seat back TVs will decrease dramatically. These systems are very expensive, relatively heavy, and difficult to maintain. Flight crews hate having to try and troubleshoot them too and when a unit fails, it is a terrible customer experience. By eliminating televisions and adopting a BYOD model, United can shift the entertainment burden to their passengers, and perhaps focus on just providing power to each seat.
- Encouraging passengers to connect to the plane's Wi-Fi may open future revenue streams. Perhaps a business traveller will go ahead and buy a data package and get some work done once he/she is already connected.
- Once customers get used to streaming free content through the United app, it creates opportunity to up-charge for premium content. Sure, 150 movies are free, but would you pay $5 to watch a very recent theater release? (I would, especially if I could iTunes/iWallet/TouchID the transaction.)
- I assume United found a way to host of the content locally and stream it over Wi-Fi. Current bandwidth to airplanes is very limited, so each passenger streaming data is unlikely to be a good experience. Each plane's content can be refreshed once a month, similar to what is practiced now.
- Lastly, by routing viewer traffic through United's app, the airline can gather hyper-detailed data on passenger behavior. This has tremendous value to the airline's marketing partners and is not currently possible with seat-back systems. United will be able to link gender, age, time of day, content preferences, email addresses...you name it. (Let's hope they're good stewards of this info.)
All in all, congratulations to United...this feels big and I hope everyone copies it.

Fine comment.
"If the young are not initiated into the village, they will burn it down just to feel its warmth."
- African proverb
Reply
"If the young are not initiated into the village, they will burn it down just to feel its warmth."
- African proverb
Reply
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: iPhone
  • United Airlines updates iOS app to support exclusive, free in-flight video content
AppleInsider › Forums › Mobile › iPhone › United Airlines updates iOS app to support exclusive, free in-flight video content