United To Launch Personal In-Flight Entertainment For iOS Devices Next Month

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Starting next month, United will offer an in-flight personal entertainment system that will allow passengers to pick from 150 movies and about 200 TV shows through their laptop’s browser or United’s iOS app.

The airline announced the program in early February, but mentioned the program again in last month’s frequent flier statements, which were just sent out. United told TechCrunch that they plan to expand the system to Android devices later this year.

The system will be installed on most domestic aircraft by the end of 2014, starting with Airbus A319, Airbus A320, Boeing 747-400 and some 777-200 aircraft, says United. The app and browser plug-in, which is required to watch certain content, can be downloaded during flights without the purchase of United Wi-Fi. Other programs can be watched through the United Portal on a laptop without a plug-in or app.

Of course, many passengers already load their mobile devices and laptops with TV shows, movies, and e-books before flights, but United’s library of on-demand content might help it standout as Wi-Fi becomes more common on airlines. According to airline-ranking site Routehappy.com, 38% of U.S. flights now offer Internet access and more carriers are adding Wi-Fi to international routes as well.