Beta testing new IFE devices

Old Aug 24, 14, 9:26 pm
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Ann Arbor Area
Programs: UA Million Miler, BonVoyLifetime Platinum, UA Platinum, President's Club,
Posts: 1,479
Beta testing new IFE devices

My flight from HNL to LAX tomorrow night was originally an AVOD flight. But when I checked today, I got this message:" A beta test of our new personal device entertainment is available on this flight. Watch popular movies and TV shows on most Wi-Fi enabled laptops and Apple® devices. Before takeoff, customers with Apple devices should download the latest version of the United app. Wi-Fi is not currently available on this flight, but will be coming soon."

Has anyone dealt with this yet, and if so, WHAT do we do if we have Apple laptops? I can't download the UA app to my laptop. I've tried. I have it in my iTunes and of course the website is bookmarked, but that requires wifi.

I have a Kindle Fire with me but THAT just won't allow the UA app for some reason, and yes, I have the new version on my iPhone, but does that mean I have to watch movies on my little phone?

I have 3 flights Monday night-Tuesday and the 777 from HNL was the only one I could count on for IFE. I admit it- I have NO idea what Beta Testing is, or whether they're saying they're providing movies if we have the devices, or what.

I APOLOGIZE if this has already been asked. I couldn't find an answer.

Anyone know if my Apple laptop should be okay for this? Thanks!
thaliajen is offline  
Old Aug 24, 14, 9:31 pm
  #2  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: GVA (Greater Vancouver Area)
Programs: DREAD Gold; UA 1.021MM; Bonvoy Au-197; PCC Elite+; CWC Au-197; CCC Elite*; WoH Dis
Posts: 49,983
Originally Posted by thaliajen View Post
WHAT do we do if we have Apple laptops?
Use your own IFE or your phone. United's solution will not work with a laptop.

Originally Posted by thaliajen View Post
I have NO idea what Beta Testing is
It means the software is not ready for public consumption, and you have volunteered to be a guinea pig to test their software for free.
mahasamatman is offline  
Old Aug 24, 14, 9:46 pm
  #3  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Houston
Programs: UA Gold, Marriott Gold
Posts: 11,326
Originally Posted by mahasamatman View Post
United's solution will not work with a laptop.
United says otherwise, per the OP's post:

Watch popular movies and TV shows on most Wi-Fi enabled laptops and Apple® devices.

And further clarifies:

Laptops do not require an app.
mduell is offline  
Old Aug 24, 14, 9:50 pm
  #4  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Los Angeles
Programs: UA Plat 2MM. DL Plat, AS MVP
Posts: 12,334
I used the wifi entertainment yesterday SFO-FRA on my iphone/iPad. Didn't need to pay for connection. It worked flawlessly.
zrs70 is offline  
Old Aug 24, 14, 9:52 pm
  #5  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: GVA (Greater Vancouver Area)
Programs: DREAD Gold; UA 1.021MM; Bonvoy Au-197; PCC Elite+; CWC Au-197; CCC Elite*; WoH Dis
Posts: 49,983
Originally Posted by mduell View Post
United says otherwise, per the OP's post:
I guess you missed this part:
Wi-Fi is not currently available on this flight, but will be coming soon."
mahasamatman is offline  
Old Aug 24, 14, 9:58 pm
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Amsterdam
Posts: 1,600
Originally Posted by mahasamatman View Post
Use your own IFE or your phone. United's solution will not work with a laptop.
Yes it will. See united.com/pde > laptop requirements. With a laptop, there should be no pre-flight setup needed, unless you don't have a supported browser.

Originally Posted by mahasamatman View Post
I guess you missed this part:
Wi-Fi is not currently available on this flight, but will be coming soon."
The service streams over a local wifi network, regardless of whether one is using a phone, tablet, or laptop. The wifi network exists on equipped aircraft, even if a satellite link has not yet been installed. An additional piece of DRM software is required for laptop browsers for some content items, which is available via free download from the local network; since browser downloads and software installs are not available on most phones/tablets, the app must be downloaded via an internet connection.
akonradi is offline  
Old Aug 24, 14, 10:06 pm
  #7  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: GVA (Greater Vancouver Area)
Programs: DREAD Gold; UA 1.021MM; Bonvoy Au-197; PCC Elite+; CWC Au-197; CCC Elite*; WoH Dis
Posts: 49,983
Apologies. It appears I misinterpreted the OP, and all you need is a web browser.
mahasamatman is offline  
Old Aug 24, 14, 10:17 pm
  #8  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Houston
Programs: UA Gold, Marriott Gold
Posts: 11,326
Originally Posted by mahasamatman View Post
I guess you missed this part:
That's what they use to mean internet over wifi, not streaming content over wifi. Very confusing messaging, and most people don't understand wifi/networking anyway.
mduell is offline  
Old Aug 24, 14, 10:19 pm
  #9  
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: MDE
Programs: AA EP, CM PP, AV GM, UA Silver, SPG Gold, Hilton Diamond, Hyatt Plat, Marriott Plat, Accor Plat
Posts: 999
Thumbs down Who Writes This Stuff???

"A beta test of our new personal device entertainment is available on this flight. Watch popular movies and TV shows on most Wi-Fi enabled laptops and Apple® devices. Before takeoff, customers with Apple devices should download the latest version of the United app. Wi-Fi is not currently available on this flight, but will be coming soon."

Could have so easily been written for any level user to understand.

"Although Wi-Fi is not currently available on this aircraft, a beta test of our new personal device entertainment is available on this flight. Our local onboard network will allow you to watch popular movies and TV shows on most Wi-Fi enabled laptops and Apple® devices. Before takeoff, customers with Apple devices should download the latest version of the United app. Laptop users: Be sure to update to the latest version of your compatible browser. For a list of compatible browsers, click here."

I wrote that is less than one minute. Do they seriously not have someone capable of clear communication in charge of communicating with their customers?
KenInEscazu is offline  
Old Aug 24, 14, 10:22 pm
  #10  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: GVA (Greater Vancouver Area)
Programs: DREAD Gold; UA 1.021MM; Bonvoy Au-197; PCC Elite+; CWC Au-197; CCC Elite*; WoH Dis
Posts: 49,983
Originally Posted by KenInEscazu View Post
Could have so easily been written for any level user to understand.
Ultimately, this is the problem:
Originally Posted by mduell View Post
That's what they use to mean internet over wifi, not streaming content over wifi.
For those of us who do know the difference, what they said makes no actual sense.
mahasamatman is offline  
Old Aug 24, 14, 10:24 pm
  #11  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Houston
Programs: UA Gold, Marriott Gold
Posts: 11,326
Originally Posted by KenInEscazu View Post
Could have so easily been written for any level user to understand.

"Although Wi-Fi is not currently available on this aircraft, a beta test of our new personal device entertainment is available on this flight.
Except for the part where Wi-Fi is available on the flight: that's how they're distributing the streaming content!
mduell is offline  
Old Aug 24, 14, 10:27 pm
  #12  
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: MDE
Programs: AA EP, CM PP, AV GM, UA Silver, SPG Gold, Hilton Diamond, Hyatt Plat, Marriott Plat, Accor Plat
Posts: 999
Originally Posted by mduell View Post
Except for the part where Wi-Fi is available on the flight: that's how they're distributing the streaming content!
OK....

"Although internet connection via Wi-Fi is not available on this flight...."

Happy now? Two minutes. I was writing to make a point. They were actually distributing information. Communications fail.
KenInEscazu is offline  
Old Aug 24, 14, 11:54 pm
  #13  
sb3
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: SFO
Programs: UA-1K
Posts: 308
Originally Posted by thaliajen View Post
....

Has anyone dealt with this yet, and if so, WHAT do we do if we have Apple laptops? I can't download the UA app to my laptop. I've tried. I have it in my iTunes and of course the website is bookmarked, but that requires wifi.

I have a Kindle Fire with me but THAT just won't allow the UA app for some reason, and yes, I have the new version on my iPhone, but does that mean I have to watch movies on my little phone?
!
I had this on a flight in May. I got the same email so fortunately downloaded the updated app before boarding, others weren't so lucky. I tried on my Android tablet just to test it out and it didn't work, so watched on my iphone 4. Most of the time I like having a smaller phone, that was not one of those times.

It worked fine but there were fewer options than you typically find with the AVOD system.
sb3 is offline  
Old Aug 25, 14, 12:02 am
  #14  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Ann Arbor Area
Programs: UA Million Miler, BonVoyLifetime Platinum, UA Platinum, President's Club,
Posts: 1,479
LMAO! Well I certainly don't get it. I'm a writer and completely useless with devices. You want a brochure written about your hotel's new convention center, I'm your girl. Figuring UA's message about IFE tomorrow, not so much.

So I'm gathering that my laptop will be okay. And that UA is providing the movies/tv shows. Or have I completely bungled it again? I don't understand why they can't just leave the IFE alone and give us AVOD or Direct TV. Either of those works just fine for me. I booked this particular flight home b/c 777s usually have AVOD. I even looked up the aircraft specifications. I could've gone earlier on a 737-900 but after my flights here I learned that I can't count on those anymore either. There was an aircraft change and we got a 737-900 without ANY IFE.

Come to think of it, last time I got a message about this beta testing, we ended up getting a plane with DTV. Last minute aircraft change, maybe? Oh well, I'll hope for the best. I have a movie on iTunes if I need it.

Sb3- thanks for the warning. I'm going to keep trying with the Kindle Fire. I don't know WHY it won't download the app!
thaliajen is offline  
Old Aug 25, 14, 12:14 am
  #15  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Houston
Programs: UA Gold, Marriott Gold
Posts: 11,326
Originally Posted by thaliajen View Post
I don't understand why they can't just leave the IFE alone and give us AVOD or Direct TV.
Pick two of: expensive to buy, expensive to operate, and meager usage.
mduell is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search Engine: