United Airlines to Debut In-Flight Movie Service for iPad and iPhone in April

Discussion in 'iOS Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Mar 12, 2014.

  1. macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    United Airlines will be introducing a new in-flight movie service for both iPhone and iPad this April, allowing flyers to watch over 150 movies and 200 TV shows on their device, according to PatentlyApple.
    The free-of-charge service will only require flyers to download the latest version of the United Airlines app, although United will also let people download the app without the purchase of its Wi-Fi plan.

    Users will have full control of the service's content, having the ability to stop, pause, rewind, and switch between movies and TV shows at any time. In addition, flyers will be able to access the service on their laptops, although a browser plug-in will be required. Once on their flight, flyers need to only open the app to be presented with their entertainment options.

    United Airlines is a universal app that can be downloaded from the App Store for free. [Direct Link]

    Article Link: United Airlines to Debut In-Flight Movie Service for iPad and iPhone in April
  2. macrumors member


    Nov 20, 2011
    Richmond, VA
    wow~~~, OK, CarPlay first, and we have PlanePlay now. :D
  3. macrumors 6502


    Sep 21, 2007
    Gold Coast, Australia
    Nice. If it's anything like Virgin Airline's inflight app, it's a great idea.
  4. macrumors 6502a

    Mar 21, 2010
    This is the way to do it. Provide the content and let the consumer worry about accessing it. Keeps costs down and makes the product more adaptable to whatever new technologies come out.

    Just provide power and content and get out of the consumer's way :D
  5. macrumors 68020

    Cuban Missles

    Dec 6, 2012
    My heart is in Camagüey, the rest in the USA
    I fly almost exclusively on united and have the united app on my phone. I will install the app on my ipad now to see how this works. But on many of my flights now I still don't get wifi.
  6. macrumors 6502

    Sep 13, 2012
    I imagine they have just purchased the same Lufthansa system that Virgin are using.

    The Virgin system is awesome, although they need to provide USB ports to power/charge devices - especially on Coast-to-Coast & International flights.
  7. macrumors 6502a


    Feb 17, 2013
    New York, New York
    I still prefer seat back video. Love Virgin America's RED entertainment system. Also, on any flight, my favorite channel is the moving map......
  8. macrumors newbie

    Jun 27, 2010
    Such a smart idea. I wish all airlines would do this. Let the consumer worry about providing the electronics, just provide the content.
  9. macrumors newbie

    Oct 21, 2012
    Official link.

  10. macrumors 68040


    Jun 16, 2008
    That's nice and all..

    but since the merger with COA, they still need to retrofit all of the COA metal with UAL's IFE, which includes Channel 9 (from the Flight Deck). Some COA metal may not have any IFE ready yet (haven't flown on COA metal since the merger, so I'm unsure).

    Though, if this is with wifi, they may not mind people connecting to LiveATC.net either way.. ;)

    Anywho, I wonder with them doing this if they are blocking Netflix/Hulu/Amazon Prime.. I mean, competition and all..

  11. macrumors G4

    Oct 23, 2010
    Southwest's deal with a Dish gets you several TV stations for free, though movies are still $5. My issue with United is that a lot of their fleet still doesn't even have wifi.
  12. macrumors 603


    Nov 5, 2009
    show off :p :apple:
  13. macrumors 6502a


    Mar 14, 2012
    Let the consumer worry about the electronics? Huh? There's a huge bit of elitism included here. Soon, I will be watching the inflight entertainment on my iPad, while the guy next to me who can't afford one will be bored.

    Finally, airlines had started to integrate 10 inch screens into seats also in economy class, and now we take a step back? And people like it, because for some reason, the airline should only provide the content, and the passenger should worry about the device?

    How about bringing your own food onto the flight? Your own cup and plate? Your own seat cushion perhaps? What do you say? It's too heavy? Well, guess what, not everybody likes carrying an iPad either. And yes, of course, cheap airlines already charge you for every extra service, but I didn't realize United was a cheap airline.

    Airlines have found another way how not to provide a service, and people are actually cheering. Please watch the South Park episode "The Entity". You guys would be prime customers for the device invented by Mr. Garrison.
  14. macrumors 6502

    Aug 4, 2004
    Just flew today on United and the complimentary wifi is a joke. Yes, you get a selection of movies, but they're all old. Not a single new movie to be found.
  15. macrumors 6502

    Aug 26, 2013
    London, UK

    Makes sense...because what if you owned a jail broken iPad? There are tweaks/hacks that can download the same movie while you're streaming.
  16. macrumors 65816

    Oct 22, 2009
    Good grief! What do people expect for free? I think it would be great if older films are free and newer films cost a few dollars to watch.
  17. Makosuke, Mar 13, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2014

    macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2001
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    If they were buying Boeing 787s and 777s specifically outfitted without the seat-back screens in economy and relying on customer devices, there'd be a legitimate complaint. But indications are they're using it as a way to provide additional services on planes that don't have built-in screens (like the 747-400); I'm guessing the "select 777-200s" might be the few that haven't been upgraded to their newer seat configurations yet.

    So far as I know, all of the new 777s and 787s United is getting have seat-back screens in economy, so it's not like they're buying cheaper planes and planning on using this to compensate, and I don't think they had any plans to retrofit their 747-400 fleet with new seats, either, so it's not in place of better seats in older aircraft, either.

    Now, what seems like it would make a lot of sense (and I seem to remember a news bit about an airline either doing or planning on doing this) would be to have seats with no built-in entertainment at all but supply any passenger who didn't already have one and asked an iPad (or other tablet) for the duration of the flight to use for entertainment, as well as a USB port in the seat for power. It seems like that would be substantially lighter and cheaper than the cost of in-seat entertainment system hardware and wiring, there would be no elitism involved (although BYOD passengers could opt to use their own if they wanted), and you'd end up with a better experience than the in-flight entertainment system on top of it (my experience with an A380's economy in-seat screens was excruciating). Plus, it would be comparatively easy and cheap to upgrade down the line.

    Me too. Although the external cameras on an A380 are in the running, particularly if you don't have a window seat and/or are flying directly over something interesting.
  18. macrumors 6502a

    Mar 25, 2009
    WiFi? No Thanks

    Sounds like an awesome idea, but in practice I doubt if it'll be worthwhile. WiFi generally sucks, PUBLIC WiFi almost ALWAYS suck and they are delivering video over it as well? No thanks. That's an exercise in frustration waiting to happen. Again, I love the idea of it and reserving judgment until I see how its executed.


    If they could get away with removing seats and making people pay $50 - $100 extra for the privilege of sitting they would.
  19. macrumors 6502

    Dec 29, 2003
    Really? I am yet to encounter a back of the seat video program that in any way, shape or form approach the quality of a 9.7" retina iPad. And the moving map can play on your iPad as well, and if properly done, with far higher quality mapping detail.
  20. macrumors 68020

    Dec 30, 2010
    Some big assumptions here with people using wifi but meaning internet access.

    You can have wifi on the plane, but no internet. That content might be loaded on the plane and available onboard only, via local wifi.

    Or, they can have that content via internet, but not make the internet available to customers. Lots of ways to do this stuff.

    And, they do not need to install the extensive IFE.
  21. macrumors 6502

    Dec 29, 2003
    Anyone who can afford to fly can afford an iPad. You don't need the latest and greatest -- even a used 16GB, WiFi only iPad 1 will do just fine. How much can one possibly cost? People who are bored on flights are bored because they choose to be bored or are completely incapable of planning 5 minutes into the future. They couldn't afford a used paperback novel? A cheap iPod to listen to podcasts or audio books? Come on.

    I agree that airlines constantly taking away stuff that we used to take for granted (check your bag for free, get economy seats of your choice on a first come basis, food, etc.) but seat-back entertainment in its present form I wish they would take away. The quality sucks, turning off the thing, which gets used to bombard you with advertising is often next to impossible, and often your seat-back gets shoved throughout the flight because there is a badly working touch screen behind you.

    I remember my first transatlantic flight in 1968 (I was about to turn 6 years old). It was a Boeing 707, after food service with actual china and metal utensils was over, they pulled down a genuinely large screen in the from of the main cabin and with a movie projector showed some gangster film. It was a cool experience. Unreliable 4" seat-back displays that show you which version of Linux they are running when they have to reboot the entertainment system yet again will not give any future 6 year old a memorable experience.
  22. macrumors 6502a


    Dec 13, 2010
    Houston, TX
    Feeling entitled much? People sure do love complaining about airlines. It used to be everyone complained about the quality of the food on board. Until they took it away, then suddenly everyone was very angry that they no longer got their roast beef sandwich that was so dry you felt like you just walked through the Sahara after eating it.

    Take a step back and look at what United would be taking away here. Every domestic flight I've been on with United that even had IFE was DirecTV, which they charge for. Now they're saying they're going to give me an alternative that I don't have to pay for? Yeah, let's complain about that. :rolleyes:
  23. macrumors 6502


    Oct 28, 2007
    Denver, CO
    Something to remember..

    This could conceivably be done by putting a server on the plane (yes with the 200 movies on it). That would NOT require Internet access. If that were the case you may be provided access to the movies free, but not Hulu/NetFlix/etc.. for free. Nor would I expect it. United pays for Internet access from the plane, so I would EXPECT that price to be passed on to the user.

    So in short, you may get access to inflight movies for free (or with ads, which would cause me NOT to use them), but you may not be provided free access to a competitor. If you are using Internet access, but Hulu/NetFlix/etc... were blocked, THAT would be an issue.


    Since you're obviously altruistic you should loan him your iPad. In fact let him keep it since he couldn't afford one. Then, since you have SOOOOO much, you can go out and buy another one, right?

    Or, we could just allow someone to be responsible for their own entertainment?

    Let me help you out. Integration comes at a price. The cost is passed on to... THE PERSON BUYING THE TICKET. I'm NOT paying airlines to be a flying cinema. I know you don't seem to consider this a reality, but I (me, the person writing this) would prefer more room in a seat than all the extra technocrap that I can bring myself. Why NOT let me be responsible for myself?

    I already do bring my own food on a flight. The rest of what you say is called... Slippery Slope. Kind of a cheap argument really...

    Airlines have found a way not to charge for things people don't want, and ARE providing a service. The service is the set of movies you get to watch.
  24. macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

    Jul 16, 2002
    So passengers are now "flyers" according to MR? I think the real flyers on the flight deck might find that to be a new and very amusing distinction.
  25. Consultant, Mar 13, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2014

    macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    Another iOS first (or exclusive) product... Apple is totally losing!!!

    UA site calls passengers "flyers." The words probably came from the press release

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