We have an iPad that we all share in our house and sometimes it gets fairly annoying when the screens are clogged up with kids games and also as annoying when you miss emails because someone has marked them read by accident when they were using the iPad. So do you agree that Apple should bring in multi-user support so as a user you can have your own apps and email account registered to that one user?
Answer by jah600 · Jan 05, 2013 at 09:10 PM
With the iPad, absolutely. We also have a family iPad, and we'd all like to have our privacy with messaging, email, our own contacts, etc. Backgrounds and application folders is another issue. We don't have any email accounts being used on our iPad because we all share itâ€”a shame, because I really want to use the iPad's email interface. It would be nice to have different users who can input their own iCloud settings separate from everyone else, with your own organization of applications and the ability to hide installed apps you don't want to see that other people have installed on the iPad.
I can image why Apple hasn't done it yetâ€”it's difficult to do it easily. iPads have a lot less space on them compared to Windows PCs and Macs, so having three users with their own separate music libraries and game files could cause space issues. That ruins the simplicity of the iPad and iOS, and Apple doesn't want that. Apple and app developers will have to find ways to share files where possible to save space. For example, if Jack and Susie both have 50 songs, but their libraries share ten of those songs, then the iPad can recognize and intelligently only have one copy of those ten songs and share them between the two users. App developers could do the same with game files and other info. Apps, in general, would be easy. All apps get installed on the iPad, but each user gets to decide whether or not they want to hide the app from their homescreen, but only the person who installed the app can choose to delete it. However, I'd image that there'd be some problems with store accounts. If Jack and Susie have different iTunes store accounts, and Susie buys a paid app and installs it, will Jack be forced to buy it on his account as well if he wants to use it? Will it be grayed out until he either buys it or hides it? That sounds like something Apple would do. This won't be so much of a problem with people who have shared store accounts but use separate iCloud accounts, but I can see it being an issue for people who have different store accounts. I wonder how Android tablets manage these things; unfortunately, I've never owned one. I'm actually pretty curious, though.
If Apple were to implement support for multiple users, then I think that they'll make exclusive to higher capacity iPads at first. They might introduce a 128GB model and only allow shared user accounts on that model and on the 64GB model with a limit on how many users. That seems like the Apple thing to do in this situation. I'd love to see multi-user support, thoughâ€”I might even pay a premium for it in the form of a higher capacity device.