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United Airlines working with Apple and IBM to deliver enterprise apps to over 50,000 employee iPhones and iPads

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United Airlines is the latest company to work with IBM through their MobileFirst partnership with Apple to develop a suite of enterprise iOS apps. IBM says the enterprise iOS apps will be analytics-driven and run on over 50,000 iPhones and iPads used by “front-line employees” of United Airlines.



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United Airlines is deploying the iPhone 6 Plus to over 6,000 customer service reps

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United Airlines announced today that it will deploy some 6,000 iPhone 6 Plus smartphones to its customer service representatives based in the United States. United, which is the largest airline in the world based on locations served, says the iPhone 6 Plus will mobilize important services and allow staff to print customer boarding passes and baggage tags throughout airports.

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United Airlines buys iPhone 6 Plus for all its flight attendants to handle payments, manuals & more

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United Airlines announced today that its more than 23,000 flight attendants will soon be carrying the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus for company use and servicing customers. The airline says it will be rolling out Apple’s phablet to its flight attendants starting next year during the second quarter and be used for onboard retail transactions, accessing company email and the airline’s website and internal network, and viewing airline manuals for policies and procedures.

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Uber introduces API for integrating the transportation service into other apps

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The popular transportation service Uber has quickly been growing this year with new features like adding your destination right on the smartphone app when requesting a ride and poaching long time Apple engineering manager Chris Blumenberg who managed the Maps team. The service is even integrated into the Google Maps app on iPhone and Android, and check out the Uber care package the company sends new employees.

Today Uber is taking a major step toward integrating its service into even more apps and services as it introduces an API for developers to use in their own apps and a list of partners already planning to take advantage of it.

As of today, we officially open—to all developers—access to many of the primitives that power Uber’s magical experience. Apps can pass a destination address to the Uber app, display pickup times, provide fare estimates, access trip history and more.



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United Airlines adds passport scanning for international flights to mobile app

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The immigration authorities of most countries require airlines to check the passports of their passengers before they are allowed to fly, so if you are making your first international flight with an airline, you have to queue up at check-in instead of downloading your own boarding pass at home. United Airlines is aiming to end this by adding the ability to scan and verify your passport using its mobile app, then head straight to Departures at the airport.

Once you’ve scanned your passport with your iPhone’s camera, the app sends the details to credentials management company Jumio Inc, who verify that your passport is valid which then allows you to download your boarding pass.

If your passport is already registered with United from a previous international flight, you don’t need to scan it again, it is verified automatically.

The bad news is that the system can’t yet verify visas, so if you need a visa for the country you’re visiting, you’ll still need to check-in the old-fashioned way.

You can download the free United Airlines app from iTunes.

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United Airlines preparing iOS-exclusive in-flight movie service, rolling out next month

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United Airlines is preparing to launch a brand-new service for in-flight movies that will be exclusive to Apple’s iOS devices. The service will allow customers to stream around 150 movies and 200 TV shows to their devices completely free while mid-flight.

The airline plans to start rolling this service as soon as next month for some flights. The hardware to support the system needs to be installed in each plane individually, but United is hopeful that its entire domestic fleet will be outfitted with the technology by the end of the year…



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Airlines begin integrating Passbook for mobile boarding passes ahead of iOS 6 launch

While we expect a ton of businesses to soon start integrating iOS 6’s Passbook feature for storing boarding passes, loyalty cards, coupons, etc., it appears one airline has already done so. Australian Business Traveler reported that a reader was recently able to load a boarding pass into Passbook while checking in to a Virgin Australia flight by simply using his iPhone running iOS 6:

AusBT reader Shaun Lorrain checked in for a Virgin Australia flight using the airline’s mobile website on his iPhone, which is running a developer preview edition of iOS 6 – and this is what he saw…. Yes, iOS 6 detected the mobile checkin and offered to save the boarding pass into Shaun’s Passbook account…Passbook also offers live updates to these e-passes, such as flight delays and changes to the airport boarding gate…United Airlines has already committed to supporting Passbook with its own mobile boarding passes, and other airlines won’t be slow to jump onto that bandwagon.

Interestingly, this popup message is not actually coming from iOS itself, but rather from the airline’s website, which has detected iOS 6 as the phone’s operating system. This means, at any time over the next few days, other airlines and businesses could start adding Passbook support to their websites too. The web is not curated like the App Store, so these updates can roll out without approval from Apple.

If you spot other websites updating to support Passbook, be sure to tip us at tips@9to5mac.com.