iPad Getting Multi-User Support Soon?

    May 7, 2012
    Shaylin Clark
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One of the most requested features of the iPad since its launch in 2010 has been the ability to set up multiple user accounts on it, just like on a computer. Apple, however, has continued to regard the iPad in the same way they regard the iPhone and iPod Touch: as single-user devices. Of course, this makes good sense for an iPhone – you might hand one off to a friend or a child to use for a few minutes at a time, but you’re not likely to share one among members of your household. An iPad, though, is more shareable. It’s both easier and more likely for multiple members of a family to share the same iPad. In that case, multi-user support makes much more sense.

With that in mind, one developer recently used Apple’s bug report tool (which can also be used to request new features) to request multi-user support for the iPad. In a surprising turn of events, Apple responded that they were aware of the “issue” and that Apple’s engineers were currently investigating it. The developer forwarded the email from Apple to AppleInsider, who posted it earlier this afternoon. Check it out below:

iPad Multi-User Support

While this reply may just be the result of some wires getting crossed at Apple – it’s clearly a canned bug report response, after all – it’s still intriguing. It suggests that Apple is looking into bringing multi-user support to the iPad. Of course, there’s no indication at all as to when it might be coming. It could be as soon as iOS 6, or it could come with the next iPad in 2013. Assuming it comes at all, it could still be anywhere from five months to a year away.

What do you think? Would you like to see multi-user support on the iPad? Do you share your iPad among family members, or is it a one-user device? Let us know in the comments.

  • http://www.msbpodcast.com msbpodcast

    The problem is that in OS X users are networks of user objects (including non-interface using process objects like httpd and sqld etc.)

    Its not a trivial problem to implement such systems in a secure manner.

    iOS is secure because its kept simple.

    If you cant afford an iPad, maybe you shouldn’t have an iPad. Go look at Android. The B&H catalog had lots of other tablets for sale.

    Maybe Apple would be better off losing the low-end of the market for an iPad with a retina display, a phone and GPS and instead develop and market a new inexpensive device with WiFi only and the curent iPad ][ display to handle that.

    It would be a much smarter way for Apple to secure sales while securing their devices and possibly get two or three tablets in a household.

  • Kevin

    Oh please, just because a developer was replied to with a form letter saying ‘we’re aware of the issue’ doesn’t mean that multi-user support is on the way.

    It just means that people regularly ask for multi-user support and that Apple is acknowledging the request. Nothing particularly ‘intriguing’ here and it’s exactly the same sort of cut and paste response I’d use if I had to process a few hundred of these a day instead of moving on real issues.