I travel on a plane an average of at least once a month and usually take along a tablet, currently my fantastic iPad Mini with Retina display, to watch movies or TV shows I rented for the trip. Patently Apple reports that United Arilines will be rolling out an iOS 7 service in April where passengers can choose from over 150 movies and 200 TV shows to watch for free during the flight.
United flyers will need to download and install the United Airlines app to their iOS 7 iPhone or iPad prior to boarding the airplane. The LA Times reports that laptop owners may also be able to access this content via a browser plug-in that delivers some content. United Airlines has not yet posted the news on its website or made the updated application available to find out all the service particulars.
Android and other mobile operating system users will not be able to access this content. Hawaiian Airlines offers iPad minis for in-flight entertainment and if this service on United is popular and works well maybe we will see them renting iPads to passengers in the future. An iPad is a much more user-friendly device than the rather clunky in-flight entertainment devices I have used on domestic flights in the US.
Media content is provided to iOS owners through the United app via WiFi, but with the content streaming locally on the plane you should be able to experience a steady video stream.