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Apple says lack of multi-user support on iPad is a 'known issue,' 'being investigated'

post #1 of 68
Thread Starter 
Apple has signaled that it is aware of a desire to support multiple users on one iPad, and that the issue is "currently being investigated" by the company's engineering team.

The developer reached out to AppleInsider after they received a reply from Apple after submitting a bug report. Apple's Bug Reporter includes an option to specify that a submission isn't a bug report, but rather a suggestion.

In the suggestion submitted to Apple, the developer simply requested that the company add support for multiple users to the iPad.

"After further investigation it has been determined that this is a known issue, which is currently being investigated by engineering," the official response from Apple Developer Connection's Worldwide Developer Relations team reads.

The developer said they have often used Apple's Bug Reporter to submit requests for new features. However, this standard form letter is the first time that Apple has actually responded to such a submission from this particular developer.

Apple's response is not the first indication that the company may be working on multi-user support for the iPad. In 2010, before the iPad was officially announced, The Wall Street Journal reported that an early prototype of the device was designed to be shared by and customized for multiple family members.

Multi-User


Sharing the iPad was said to have been a major focus for Apple early on in the device's development. One idea the company was said to have experimented with was the ability for users to leave virtual sticky notes on the device for someone else to read once they began using it.

Apple was also said to have considered having the iPad recognize individuals via a built-in forward facing camera. The 2010 report said it was "unclear" whether the features would be included at launch, and it would turn out that none of them would be a part of the first three generations of iPad models.

Facial recognition has also been the key element of Apple's patent applications related to multi-user support on iOS devices. One such filing detailed by AppleInsider in December described a system that would quickly identify a user, and customize the device with their unique applications, settings and wallpaper.
post #2 of 68

Holy cow! A perfectly normal form reply, the one sent out to absolutely everyone for absolutely everything, was sent out for this!


This is almost as embarrassing as not owning up to the false Tim Cook Valve story. But not quite up to the level of reporting a fake Phil Schiller tweet as "information" like some sites did.

Originally Posted by helia

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Originally Posted by helia

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post #3 of 68

Also, a communication that shouldn't be leaked, so as far as we know they have already told lots of people this and this is just the first developer to break his NDA and release the answer. 

Also, brain-dead obvious that Apple would be working on this and putting it in the OS when they can.  

Does anyone really think they aren't?

post #4 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post
Does anyone really think they aren't?

 

Me. Really, the overwhelming majority of people want their own iPad. If multiple accounts are allowed, there'll be a family iPad they expect to share… and then they'll just all get their own. 

 

Apple could certainly allow TEMPORARY logins. "Hey, can I check my mail on your iPad?" And then the guy logs into the proper Mail app instead of the web service.

 

I certainly think Apple is looking into it, but not that they'll be implementing multiple users, OS X style.

Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
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Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
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post #5 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

Also, brain-dead obvious that Apple would be working on this and putting it in the OS when they can.  
Does anyone really think they aren't?

It's an auto form letter that really means nothing other than perhaps more than one person has sent the same suggestion.

And even if they are investigating it doesn't mean they will do it. They probably investigated Flash support and making a 7 inch iPad and neither one has happened.

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A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

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post #6 of 68

I think they are working on it.  It's obvious.  

Whether they implement it or not is another question and my thinking is the same as yours on that.

Like you, I've been wrong enough times that nothing is certain however.  ;)

post #7 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

 

Me. Really, the overwhelming majority of people want their own iPad. If multiple accounts are allowed, there'll be a family iPad they expect to share… and then they'll just all get their own. 

 

Apple could certainly allow TEMPORARY logins. "Hey, can I check my mail on your iPad?" And then the guy logs into the proper Mail app instead of the web service.

 

I certainly think Apple is looking into it, but not that they'll be implementing multiple users, OS X style.


An overwhelming number of people want their own BMWs too, but the price is prohibitive for most people. 

 

User accounts should have been included when the first iPad 1 rolled off the factory line.

post #8 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post
...If multiple accounts are allowed, there'll be a family iPad they expect to share… and then they'll just all get their own.

Yeah, I bet the FAMILY iPad is the biggest thing here. Since the iPad appeals to all ages I bet Apple is trying their very best to invent a login method that both 2 year olds and 82 year olds can handle.

post #9 of 68

This means nothing. I think I got the exact same wording for every enhancement request I've ever submitted.

 

Plus, I doubt Apple is hard at work to add a feature that could actually sell fewer devices.

post #10 of 68

Multi user account on an iPad is cool.  I would think that an iPad 16GB would fill up rather fast with two or three account's.  Pictures email and etc.  I would rather have my own iPad instead of sharing one.

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An Apple man since 1977
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post #11 of 68

I think adding passcode locks to apps would solve half the problems. I'd like to protect Mail and Facebook and a few other apps from being accessed when I let someone borrow my pad to play games or surf the web. It would also be better than forcing the entire device to be locked for security, and unlocked just to check the weather.

 

Multiple accounts gets sticky, with multiple mail accounts, music playlists, movies, and apps. Who allocates space?

 

Heck, you're over halfway there with Parental Controls...

post #12 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post


It's an auto form letter that really means nothing other than perhaps more than one person has sent the same suggestion.
And even if they are investigating it doesn't mean they will do it. They probably investigated Flash support and making a 7 inch iPad and neither one has happened.

This is the only person making sense in this thread. 

The entire response from Apple is just an automated reply that tells us nothing about the company's future plans about adding a new feature. It just means that someone at Apple filed the cheapskate customer's "bug report" away so Tim Cook can enjoy a laugh during lunch.

 

post #13 of 68

This was a feature that has been sorely lacking since iPad 1 from a user's perspective... Kids having access to more adult games, husbands/wives accessing each others' Facebook... but really, what is the motivation for Apple to add such a thing?  Its an iPad, not a WePad.  Doing so would stop some folks from buying their own iPad?

post #14 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

Also, a communication that shouldn't be leaked, so as far as we know they have already told lots of people this and this is just the first developer to break his NDA and release the answer. 

Also, brain-dead obvious that Apple would be working on this and putting it in the OS when they can.  

Does anyone really think they aren't?

I think they aren't.

 

My wife needed an iPad for her work (she's a golf pro), so we bought her an iPad 3 and decided we could share that, so I sold my iPad 1 to pay for it.

 

It's been a disaster.  We can't share it at all, mostly because we have two separate iTunes accounts, so as far as I can tell, I can't get all my old paid for apps onto "her" iPad.

 

The solution I had planned was to buy myself my own iPad.  I'm sure Apple would prefer I do that, but if they add multi-users, I won't need to, and they'll lose an additional sale.

post #15 of 68
I wonder if this is the same engineering team that has been trying to figure out how to do a 'select all' in email when deleting messages?
post #16 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulMJohnson View Post

Quote:
 

 

It's been a disaster.  We can't share it at all, mostly because we have two separate iTunes accounts, so as far as I can tell, I can't get all my old paid for apps onto "her" iPad.

 

 

 

 

iOS is very limited in its capabilities.  It may be good enough for a phone, but for a computer, it is weak.

post #17 of 68
Unfortunatly if you want that feature your going to have to use an Android tablet. There are two really great programs; SwitchMe and Toggle. Out of the two Toggle is my favorite and I use it everday, I have a work profile and a home profile for my Samsung 7.7". SwitchMe is a little more radical as it actually installs two versions of the same OS on your phone/tablet so your going to need some space. When you start your phone up you just simply choose which user you want to use.

I know, I know Andoid sucks and all of that jazz but if you want advanced features that the big boys won't give you because they want to make more money off of you, Android/Ubuntu Mobile/MeeGo/Titzen are the only platforms that are going to provide them. Why, because their open source and programming communties don't stop because someone say's no. You should see some of the fantastic apps that come out of XDA. Another great project is called CornerStonem it allows you to see more then one program at a time, so you can have your email client and Facebook Messenger opened up on the right in two small windows while surfing in the big window to the right.
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post #18 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Apple could certainly allow TEMPORARY logins. "Hey, can I check my mail on your iPad?" And then the guy logs into the proper Mail app instead of the web service.

 

Maybe. Then again, I don't know that many people who would be able to setup a temporary computer's email system with the proper usernames, passwords, server URLs and IMAP/SMTP ports.

post #19 of 68

While I believe that Apple deliberately chose not enable multi-user accounts with the attitude that people should just buy two or more I believe that they are actually losing sales as a result.

 

Our family doesn't own an iPad.  I would like to have one but any purchase of such a product would end up being a "coffee table" item.  It would be for a quick "do something" when sitting down.  Kids do some educational apps or games, my wife and I check out mail/facebook etc.  There is no way on earth we would buy multiple tablets to do this; its just cost prohibitive for a typical family.  We need one device the with ability to contain separate accounts; like we do with our macbook today.

 

Because there is no practical way to use the ipad the way we would like - as a family consuming content within out own accounts - we have not bought one.

 

If Apple were to add this, then it would be a lot simpler decision to purchase one.


Edited by kerryn - 5/7/12 at 4:07pm
post #20 of 68

"Known issues" are for features not working as designed. This is an "enhancement request". There is no "issue" with the current multi-user support. There isn't any. lol.gif

post #21 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChuckD View Post

This is the only person making sense in this thread. 

The entire response from Apple is just an automated reply that tells us nothing about the company's future plans about adding a new feature. It just means that someone at Apple filed the cheapskate customer's "bug report" away so Tim Cook can enjoy a laugh during lunch.

 

 

really? I've filed several bugs (real, legit bugs) on behalf of my company and I only got this form letter for a known bug. The one I filed when we were the first report was a different form letter.

 

they do send form letters, but a human must review them before they decide which one to send. 

post #22 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post

It's an auto form letter that really means nothing other than perhaps more than one person has sent the same suggestion.

No, it doesn't mean that at all. That's the standard form letter they send out to everyone. Someone would get the same letter regardless of whether they were the only one who make that suggestion or 1,000 people did it.

Of course, if only one person made that suggestion, the developer involved is in for a big surprise.
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post #23 of 68

Nice!  That will really help and with parental controls to keep the children from naughty sites when they are on their profile would be nice too.  I cannot see myself having more than one iPad for the foreseeable future so the kids need to share with mommy.

post #24 of 68

Some solution is badly needed. Not by everyone, but by a LOT of people. Simple actions like checking your email on your family iPad—if you’re not the single “owner”—are a pretty poor user experience at present. Or a friend/guest—my friends are always checking their email on my iPad, and they have to use webmail to do it. Some of them are frequent users and I would give them REAL email if it were only possible.

 

Apple has all the pieces to make an elegant, simple and useful solution. Sooner or later, it will happen. Even if just for email it would be terrific. (And optional passcode lock each person’s “set” of email accounts, for privacy and to avoid mistakes like sending from someone else’s email. Also great for friends/guests.)

post #25 of 68

I'd take a simple 2nd user like a "guest" account and the ability to hide any app and the ability to control the apps that appear on the guest user springboard from iTunes or the main user.  

post #26 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Relic View Post

Unfortunatly if you want that feature your going to have to use an Android tablet. There are two really great programs; SwitchMe and Toggle. Out of the two Toggle is my favorite and I use it everday, I have a work profile and a home profile for my Samsung 7.7". SwitchMe is a little more radical as it actually installs two versions of the same OS on your phone/tablet so your going to need some space. When you start your phone up you just simply choose which user you want to use.

Is it password protected or do you just choose a profile? I think the point that some have made is that they want to lock the kids out of sensitive data like mail. Kids also need their own iTunes library etc.

 

The super easy login for kids is one challenge. One way I proposed awhile back was to have a few pictures on the lock screen. You choose the picture that is yours and it enlarges full screen. You then have to touch a series of locations on the picture in the right sequence. For ultra simple login you would only need to touch the photo once in the proper location. For adults you could make it as complex as you wanted. For a child, let's say their picture is a zebra. They touch the photo then touch it again on the head. For your login you might have a sports car photo and you have to touch it several times in a precise locations in the correct order.

 

Just a thought. The duplicate iTunes and Mail apps are a bit complicated though.

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post #27 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulMJohnson View Post

I think they aren't.

 

My wife needed an iPad for her work (she's a golf pro), so we bought her an iPad 3 and decided we could share that, so I sold my iPad 1 to pay for it.

 

It's been a disaster.  We can't share it at all, mostly because we have two separate iTunes accounts, so as far as I can tell, I can't get all my old paid for apps onto "her" iPad.

 

The solution I had planned was to buy myself my own iPad.  I'm sure Apple would prefer I do that, but if they add multi-users, I won't need to, and they'll lose an additional sale.

 

 

You can get your apps on "her" iPad.  Go to Settings -> Store and login with your Apple ID.  Then go to the App Store, navigate to your purchased apps and reinstall them.  When you're done, you can go back into settings and login with your wife's Apple ID.  When it comes time to update the apps, just be mindful of which account it's asking the password for and you should be fine.

post #28 of 68

I work as a computer technician for a K-12 school district and I can tell you that we have a definite need for multiple users on iOS devices.

post #29 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by NodNarb012 View Post
I work as a computer technician for a K-12 school district and I can tell you that we have a definite need for multiple users on iOS devices.

 

Interesting, a workspace application. For what purpose would you use multi-user iPads?

Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
Reply

Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
Reply
post #30 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by NodNarb012 View Post

 

You can get your apps on "her" iPad.  Go to Settings -> Store and login with your Apple ID.  Then go to the App Store, navigate to your purchased apps and reinstall them.  When you're done, you can go back into settings and login with your wife's Apple ID.  When it comes time to update the apps, just be mindful of which account it's asking the password for and you should be fine.

Cool, thank you very much!

post #31 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

 

Interesting, a workspace application. For what purpose would you use multi-user iPads?

 

For different access levels.  Students shouldn't always see the same things as the teachers.

 

Also, I hope that a multi-user iOS environment would provide a better way to handle VPP purchased apps wherein the school district would retain ownership of the apps rather than Apple's preferred method of buying them for the students; the current methods for retaining ownership are not ideal.

post #32 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by NodNarb012 View Post

For different access levels.  Students shouldn't always see the same things as the teachers.

It would also be useful when the school isn't buying one iPad per student. Allowing more than one student to use an iPad without seeing each others' work might have some applications.
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post #33 of 68

Instead of selling one to each family member they could just sell one per family.  I am sure they are making this a top priority! ;)  Seriously though it would be nice for parents to restrict what apps the kids see when they let them use it.

post #34 of 68

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.

post #35 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

Is it password protected or do you just choose a profile? I think the point that some have made is that they want to lock the kids out of sensitive data like mail. Kids also need their own iTunes library etc.

 

The super easy login for kids is one challenge. One way I proposed awhile back was to have a few pictures on the lock screen. You choose the picture that is yours and it enlarges full screen. You then have to touch a series of locations on the picture in the right sequence. For ultra simple login you would only need to touch the photo once in the proper location. For adults you could make it as complex as you wanted. For a child, let's say their picture is a zebra. They touch the photo then touch it again on the head. For your login you might have a sports car photo and you have to touch it several times in a precise locations in the correct order.

 

Just a thought. The duplicate iTunes and Mail apps are a bit complicated though.

Yes both solutions are  password protected, with password or pattern or face lock. My kids don't use iTunes anymore. We found it cheaper just to get them each a subscription to spotify then let them buy music.


Edited by Relic - 5/7/12 at 5:15pm
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post #36 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Banana Bonanza View Post

This means nothing. I think I got the exact same wording for every enhancement request I've ever submitted.

 

Plus, I doubt Apple is hard at work to add a feature that could actually sell fewer devices.

 

Yep.   The admins have to say something when the close out a bug report.  This is just the standard form letter saying ~your bug report has been closed~ with the between the lines ~don't submit it again~.   

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post #37 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hiro View Post

Yep.   The admins have to say something when the close out a bug report.  This is just the standard form letter saying ~your bug report has been closed~ with the between the lines ~don't submit it again~.   

Please don't make up stories. That message says that the suggestion is NOT closed and remains under active investigation.
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post #38 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Conrail View Post



User accounts should have been included when the first iPad 1 rolled off the factory line.

I disagree. That they are going to ever do it or that they SHOULD HAVE.

Regardless of what the WSJ claims about Apple was playing around with at some point. their report full of 'sources' was just the same hit fodder gossip that everyone tosses around. Not fact

Quote:
Originally Posted by I am a Zither Zather Zuzz View Post


iOS is very limited in its capabilities.  It may be good enough for a phone, but for a computer, it is weak.

While the iPad does a number of the same things as a computer, it is not one. Folks need to remember that and get off this mental track that Apple is going to make it one just because they think it's a nifty thought.

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A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

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post #39 of 68

If a feature request is "acknowledged" as a known issue via a generic response that means shit in terms of "acknowledging" it... I can imagine how "acknowledged" the tons of know issues in icloud, ios, os x and os x server are within apple...

post #40 of 68

A guest account with limited privileges would be a step in the right direction.

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