Boeing had selected Google’s Android operating system to provide music, video and airliner-specific apps for its next generation 787 Dreamliner.
That’s a big win for Android, effectively locking out competitors Apple and Microsoft. Boeing is reporting that orders for the much-delayed airliner have already surpassed 800.
Until now, Apple’s iPad was the popular choice in both the cockpit and the cabin. Pilots at major airlines like Alaska Airlines and United Airlines ditched their paper charts in favor of the iPad, and just recently, Australia’s Qantas Airways started experimenting with the iPad as an in-flight entertainment device.
Panasonic has been tapped to make the first 787-certified touchscreens, which will have a wider viewing angle and will be less reflective. Larger screens, normally available in business and first class, will be non-touch because they’ll be out of a passenger’s reach. Instead, Boeing plans to bring simple hand gestures as a mode of interaction for these devices.
More computing enhancements are also on deck: Boeing is adding laptop power sockets and USB ports to every economy seat.