United to give free in-flight movies, TV for laptops and iOS while Android is grounded

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Got an upcoming flight on United in April or beyond? Make sure you pack your iPad, iPhone, iPod touch or laptop in a carry-on because you’ll have access to free movies and TV shows over Wi-Fi during the flight, according to PatentlyApple. And you’ll be able to pause or rewind content you might missed when paying attention to the drink cart, notes the LA Times.

Airplane Sunset

United Airlines will offer 150 movies and nearly 200 television programs to compatible devices. Not only is the content available at no charge; you won’t even have to pay for the Wi-Fi connection since you’ll be using an on-board network.¬†Flyers that want to browse the web and access sites back on the ground will still have to pay for in-flight access as that will use satellite service for the connection.

The content will stream directly through United’s iOS app although laptop users will have to install a browser plug-in to watch movies or television programs. But if you have an Android phone or tablet, you’re out of luck for now.

I strongly suspect the reason for that is because there are so many different Android device models as well as various versions of Android running on them. There’s simply no way that United can guarantee a good experience on every Android device and it wouldn’t want its flight attendants to play the role of I.T. support personnel in that case.

Although the new system will be in place by next month on some United planes, it will take all year before the majority of aircraft have the necessary equipment installed for the service.

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