United Airlines Announces Apple Watch App

By Paul Riegler on 24 April 2015
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DSC_0573United Airlines announced its Apple Watch app and provided details into the research that led to the creation of the app.

The airline’s app will provide features that include the ability to view reservations and check on flight status.  It also supports flight alerts and allows the traveler to access his boarding pass via integration with the iPhone’s Passbook functionality.

Chris MacGregory, a user experience architect at the airline, said that the research focused on what it called “key use patterns” that it felt would make the most sense on a smart watch, namely the flight’s status and any necessary alerts.  The airline said that it learnt that “wearables work best for limited interactions that take only a few seconds,” noting that it’s better to do more complex interactions on a smartphone with a larger screen.

The United app design team spent time observing smartphone usage by travelers at airports, according MacGregor.  The result of this research told MacGregor and his colleagues that travelers use their phones most often for “information management” such as checking a flight’s status and the aircraft’s location.

As a result, the United Apple Watch app is focused on these information management tasks.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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