Starting in October, Australian carrier Qantas will be the world's first airline offer in-flight iPads, loading the tablets with movies, shows, music and more as a stand-in for more pedestrian in-flight entertainment options.
The airline says there will be one iPad for every seat, plus spares, meaning more than 254 tablets will be on board when the trail aircraft takes off next month.
Unfortunately for geeks, the trial will only be available to passengers on a single Boeing 767-300 that will hopscotch Australia as well as make transcontinental trips.
The airline says it will be the first in the world to offer the service, which relies on a central server on board to stream content to the specially configured iPads.
Qantas hopes to eventually offer streaming movies to passengers' own devices, a feature that would let flyers finish watching a movie or show after they've touched down, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.
Qantas says a software fix has made the iPads less enticing than they'd normally be. "If anyone decides they want to 'borrow' one it won't have any capability off the aircraft," spokeswoman Alison Webster tells Australian Business Traveller.
If the six-week trial is a success, Qantas plans to expand the in-flight service to Android and other tablet devices soon.
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