United Airlines to Equip 6,000 Customer Service Representatives With the iPhone 6 Plus

United Airlines today announced a plan to equip its customer service representatives in each United States-based hub with Apple’s iPhone 6 Plus. The airline said that the plan will allow each rep to assist passengers’ needs faster while giving them access to „additional operational information“ without needing to search for outside help.

„Our employees told us they needed better tools to serve our customers, especially during severe weather and busier travel times,“ said Jon Roitman, United’s senior vice president of airport operations. „We have seen great success with the custom-made tools on the iPhone 6 Plus and believe expanding the use of a smart phone device with other applications is a great investment in our employees.“

Estimated to begin in 2016, United will distribute an iPhone 6 Plus – 2014’s 5.5-inch display iPhone – to more than 6,000 of its representatives across the United States. The new initiative will let the company’s reps print boarding passes and baggage tags before departure, and even help customers find alternative flight options. Future enhancements to the program will bring fully-realized check-in opportunities and enough well-rounded features to give customers „much of the same functionality as traditional airport kiosks.“

Previously in June, United distributed iPhones to its flight attendants in an effort to provide better customer service in-flight to passengers. That initiative was announced a year ago, so today’s customer service representative program will probably see a similar six month gestation period before launching.

Tag: United Airlines
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iOS 9 Beta 5 Tidbits: New Wallpapers, WIFi Calling for AT&T Users, and More

Apple today released the fifth beta of iOS 9, and as with the previous iOS 9 betas, there are a few new features and tweaks bundled into the release. WiFi calling for AT&T users has been introduced and is coming soon, Apple’s debuted several new wallpapers, and there are tweaks to CarPlay and the iPhone 6 keyboard.

Several bugs have been fixed in iOS 9 beta 5, and features like News and Siri Suggestions are working more smoothly than ever. With approximately a month and a half to go until release, iOS 9 is feeling faster, more polished, and more full featured. For those eager to know all about what’s coming in iOS 9 ahead of its release, we’ve rounded up a complete list of the changes introduced with iOS 9 beta 5 below.

You can also check out all of the changes, large and small, that have been made in previous betas: iOS 9 beta 1, iOS 9 beta 2, iOS 9 beta 3, iOS 9 beta 4.

Wallpapers – Today’s update includes a wide selection of new wallpapers, introducing images featuring close ups of feathers, flowers, plants, and more. Many older wallpapers have been removed, so people running iOS 8.4 should save their favorites now before they’re deleted with the launch of iOS 9.

WiFi Calling for AT&T – Beta 5 adds WiFi calling options for AT&T subscribers, but attempting to turn the option on results in a message saying WiFi calling is not yet available. The addition of the setting heralds the imminent release of the feature for AT&T users. Previously, WiFi calling was limited to T-Mobile. There’s also a new WiFi Assist feature that will „automatically use cellular data when Wi-Fi connectivity is poor.“

Apple Music – There’s a new „Shuffle All“ option at the top of My Music when in Song, Album, or Genre view. It’ll play all songs in a music library on shuffle mode.

Keyboard tweaks – On the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, the keyboard has been tweaked and simplified with new shift and backspace keys.

Handoff – Handoff functionality has been changed in iOS 9 beta 5. Previously, Handoff had an option that would allow users to see lock screen suggestions for Apps in the App Store for a relevant location, but now only installed apps will be displayed. In the Settings app, Handoff options under General -> Handoff & Suggested Apps, the option to display App Store apps has been removed.

Regulatory info – The General portion of the Settings app has a new „Regulatory“ section that displays regulatory information for iOS devices. This was information was previously hidden (and is still located) in General –> About –> Legal.

CarPlay – The CarPlay interface has been updated, changing the way images are displayed behind music controls and adding the ability to heart songs that are playing through Beats 1 radio or Apple Music.

Siri Suggestions – The Siri Suggestions interface has been tweaked slightly, removing the labels for calling and messaging a contact. Only icons are displayed now.

Text Replacements – In the Settings app, the section where you can create shortcuts for keys has been renamed „Text Replacements.“

WiFi animation – There’s a new animation that’s used when WiFi is turned off. Instead of the bars disappearing one by one, the WiFi symbol now fades to gray before disappearing.

Additional feature updates in iOS 9 beta 5 will be added here as they are discovered. Apple is expected to release at least one or two more update to iOS 9 before the operating system’s official launch. iOS 9 is expected to be released to the public in the fall alongside new iPhones.



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12-Inch MacBook Now Available in Apple Retail Stores via Personal Pickup

Nearly four months after release, the new 12-inch MacBook is starting to become available for personal pickup in Apple Stores in the United States. Previously, some stores have had sporadic stock for walk-in customers, but it now appears that stock is substantial enough for Apple to offer personal pickup.

The personal pickup option isn’t universal yet however, with only select configurations at select stores being available. For example, the 256 GB Silver MacBook is not available for personal pickup in New York, NY while the 256 GB Space Gray is widely available.

While some Apple Stores and Best Buys have had sporadic stock for walk-ins, most Apple Stores around the world have only had the unit on display. In the MacRumors’ forums, users have been reporting which stores around the world have had the new MacBook on display, whether they were available to purchase or not and how many units they had left in stock.

The MacBook is currently showing shipping estimates of at least 1 – 2 weeks when ordered online. Comparatively, both the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro are showing shipping estimates of at least 1 business day.

Pricing for the 12-inch MacBook starts at $1,299 for the entry-level model with 256 GB of storage while the higher-end model starts at $1,599 with 512 GB of storage and a slightly faster dual-core Intel Core M processor.



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AT&T makes it more expensive to upgrade your smartphone

The carrier that’s built up quite an army of discontent from its customers over the years probably didn’t win over anyone with its latest announcement. AT&T is raising its upgrade fees for postpaid customers and tacking on a weird, unnecessary activation…Read more ›

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Misfit Unveils $20 Flash Link Activity Tracker and Link App, Drops Prices on Shine and Flash

Misfit today announced the debut of Misfit Link, a new app that’s designed to add new capabilities to the Misfit Flash, which is the company’s inexpensive activity and sleep tracker.

With the Misfit Link app, a Misfit Flash can be morphed into a multi-function Bluetooth-connected smart button that can perform tasks like controlling music or activating the camera button on the iPhone for selfies.

The new Misfit Link app lets you use any Flash to take a selfie with your phone camera app or Snapchat; control your music with Spotify, Pandora, and more; or advance slides in a presentation. Additional functionality is coming soon, including IFTTT and Logitech Harmony integrations. The iOS app is available for download now; an Android version will be released next month.

Misfit is also debuting the Misfit Flash Link, an even less expensive activity tracker and smart button that’s able to work with the Misfit Link app, much like the Misfit Flash. The company is also lowering its prices on the Misfit Shine and the Misfit Flash, which are now available for $70 and $30, respectively. Previously the two devices were priced at $100 and $50.

Both the Misfit Shine and the Misfit Flash look similar, but where the Shine uses aluminum, the Flash uses a cheaper plastic. The Misfit Flash is lighter, but the Shine has better water resistance. The even cheaper Flash Link has the same circular design as the Shine and the Flash, and it includes the same activity and sleep tracking functions, but it comes with a clip rather than a bracelet.

All three products can be purchased from the Misfit website. The Misfit Shine is priced at $69.99, the Misfit Flash is priced at $29.99, and the Misfit Link is priced at $19.99.

The new Misfit Link app is available from the App Store for free and will work with both new and existing Misfit Flash devices.



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