Owning an Apple device does have its advantages. United Airlines announced that it will issue a new update to its iOS app, which will allow passengers with iDevices to stream hundreds of videos for free on their iPads or iPhones.
The new version of the app will arrive in April on the App store for all iOS users to download. Passengers who download the new version of the app will have access to 200 TV shows and 150 different movies. Talk about taking in-flight entertainment to a whole new level!
United says that the service will be available only on select flights at first, but that it intends to make the free video streaming possible on most flights. The first airplanes to receive the service will be the Airbus A319, Airbus A320, Boeing 747-400 and some 777-200 aircraft. Initially, United intends for the service to work on domestic flights only. The roll-out should be pretty seamless, as United's fleet of airplanes already have most of the basic infrastructure needed installed to make this service work.
Users will be able to check and see if their flight will have the free video streaming 48 hours prior to their flight's departure. All you have to do is check your flight's amenities. United warns that sometimes this is not accurate, though.
The video content will be streamed over the aircraft's Wi-Fi signal, so you better hope that it's a strong one. If you want to stream the content on your MacBook, you may do so as well, but chances are you will need to download a plugin for it to work. Your iOS devices, like the iPad, iPad Mini and iPhone will only need the app downloaded before the flight starts for video streaming to work. United says that you can download the app in flight as well, but who needs the hassle? Just make sure your device is charged before take off. You know how rare good outlets are.
Like any video streaming app, United Airlines' app will allow you to pause, stop, rewind and watch the video of your choice. It's unknown if United will add more movies and TV shows to the app, but offering 150 movies and 200 TV shows should be more than enough to keep you happy on your flight from JFK to SFO or LAX. United did say that other videos will be available on the United Portal, too.