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Apple adds support for new, previously-unknown iPad models in iOS 7.1

post #1 of 33
Thread Starter 
Monday's iOS 7.1 update brought a slew of documented changes and two surprise additions -- update bundles customized for iPad models that are not known to have been publicly released.

iPad Air


In addition to updates for the company's latest iPhones and iPads, Apple's download server plays host to iOS 7.1 bundles targeted at iPads with model identifiers iPad4,3 and iPad4,6. As first noted by iClarified, those identifiers have not been seen before in the wild.

The Wi-Fi model of the iPad mini with Retina display is known as iPad4,4, while its cellular data-equipped counterpart bears the designation iPad4,5. iPad Air models are identified as iPad4,1 for Wi-Fi only and iPad4,2 when a cellular radio is added.

The intermediate nature of the iPad4,3 moniker suggests that these new models could simply be evolutionary hardware updates rather than totally new devices. They may be reserved, for instance, for tablets destined for China Mobile's unique TD-LTE network which have not yet received certification.
post #2 of 33
Still several obvious bugs in 7.1
Quote:
The intermediate nature of the iPad4,3 moniker suggests that these new models could simply be evolutionary hardware updates rather than totally new devices. They may be reserved, for instance, for tablets destined for China Mobile's unique TD-LTE network which have not yet received certification.

And.... solved.
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #3 of 33

Interesting. I saw the title and was hoping these were signs of the hypothetical 'iPad Pro', but it does look like they're just minor updates :(

post #4 of 33
According to Everymac.com, the model numbers above are incorrect. The correct model numbers are:

iPad4,1 (iPad Air, WiFi only)
iPad4,2 (iPad Air, WiFi + cellular)
iPad4,3 - no listing
iPad4,4 (iPad mini Retina, WiFi only)
iPad4,5 (iPad mini Retina, WiFi + cellular)
iPad4,6 - no listing

Source: http://www.everymac.com/ultimate-mac-lookup/?search_keywords=iPad4,5

(Update: correction applied to original post.)
Edited by mpantone - 3/10/14 at 12:44pm
post #5 of 33

Satellite communication! :D

post #6 of 33
Presumably it's LTE or worldwide LTE. Or some such.
I wanted dsadsa bit it was taken.
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I wanted dsadsa bit it was taken.
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post #7 of 33
The iPad TV and the iPad Watch
post #8 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Apple adds support for new, previously-unknown iPad models in iOS 7.1

 

Yes! I can finally update to iOS 7.1 on my 12.9" iPad Pro 4,6 prototype.

 

I can't wait to tell Tim about my experience with this device.

post #9 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Monday's iOS 7.1 update brought a slew of documented changes and two surprise additions -- update bundles customized for iPad models that are not known to have been publicly released.

The intermediate nature of the iPad4,3 moniker suggests that these new models could simply be evolutionary hardware updates rather than totally new devices. They may be reserved, for instance, for tablets destined for China Mobile's unique TD-LTE network which have not yet received certification.

 

Still waiting for TouchID enabled iPads, with profiles.  :)

   Apple develops an improved programming language.  Google copied Java.  Everything you need to know, right there.

 

  MA497LL/A FB463LL/A MC572LL/A FC060LL/A MD481LL/A MD388LL/A ME344LL/A

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   Apple develops an improved programming language.  Google copied Java.  Everything you need to know, right there.

 

  MA497LL/A FB463LL/A MC572LL/A FC060LL/A MD481LL/A MD388LL/A ME344LL/A

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post #10 of 33
Originally Posted by DCJ001 View Post

12.9 iPad

Every time I think of this glorious future.gif

Originally posted by Relic

...those little naked weirdos are going to get me investigated.
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Originally posted by Relic

...those little naked weirdos are going to get me investigated.
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post #11 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

The intermediate nature of the iPad4,3 moniker suggests that these new models could simply be evolutionary hardware updates rather than totally new devices. They may be reserved, for instance, for tablets destined for China Mobile's unique TD-LTE network which have not yet received certification.

It could also be a completely silent, CPU change like they did with the iPad 2 with WiFI. It was originally was model 2,1 at 45nm but when they were testing the 32nm HK+MG process they updated it to 2,4 during the iPad (3)'s reign. I could see them do this again to test an LP smaller than 28nm.

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post #12 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by John.B View Post

Still waiting for TouchID enabled iPads, with profiles.  1smile.gif

I wonder if profiles are even remotely feasible with today's technology.

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post #13 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

I wonder if profiles are even remotely feasible with today's technology.

What do you mean?
post #14 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by ClemyNX View Post

What do you mean?

I don't think the performance of the HW is good enough to allow for different user accounts to be placed on a single iDevice. With a Mac or PC you log in and your account is loaded but you tend to use that device for an extended period. With an iPad I'd think the benefit would be from being able to pick it up, used TouchID (or a PIN) to unlock it and have it be ready to use. If you had to wait 1-2 minutes for the other user's account to close down and yours to open up that wouldn't be feasible.

One solution is to simply load all accounts at start up but I don't think the HW can allow for having multiple accounts loaded at once and running in the background due to RAM and CPU requirements, but also because of what it would do to the battery life.

Furthermore, if you have multiple user accounts you then can't simply use a PIN for each user but also then require a unique username because a PIN could be duplicated. This would still be required even if you had TouchID because there are times when you still need to input your PIN.

For these reasons I think multiple user accounts aren't feasible.


PS: I'm wondering now if @John.B meant profiles, like how BB10 offers personal and work profiles. If so, then my apologizes.

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post #15 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


I don't think the performance of the HW is good enough to allow for different user accounts to be placed on a single iDevice. With a Mac or PC you log in and your account is loaded but you tend to use that device for an extended period. With an iPad I'd think the benefit would be from being able to pick it up, used TouchID (or a PIN) to unlock it and have it be ready to use. If you had to wait 1-2 minutes for the other user's account to close down and yours to open up that wouldn't be feasible.

One solution is to simply load all accounts at start up but I don't think the HW can allow for having multiple accounts loaded at once and running in the background due to RAM and CPU requirements, but also because of what it would do to the battery life.

Furthermore, if you have multiple user accounts you then can't simply use a PIN for each user but also then require a unique username because a PIN could be duplicated. This would still be required even if you had TouchID because there are times when you still need to input your PIN.

For these reasons I think multiple user accounts aren't feasible.


PS: I'm wondering now if @John.B meant profiles, like how BB10 offers personal and work profiles. If so, then my apologizes.

 

Piling on in agreement.

 

If the former, I think the key aspect is the base security architecture.  Right now, there appear to be a lot of linkages about one AppleID per Device, while nothing I've read about the TouchID, and the Secure Enclave says it can't, I'm having a hard time seeing 2 or more distinct individuals (appleIDs) sharing the same device in the TouchID enabled case.  And, in (maybe my imagined) theory, I would assume everything would have to be duplicated locally (minimally, all the data spaces for each app... no locally shared music, videos, for example... possibly even each app would have to be duplicated, assuming different AppleIDs are in play).  To your point, the Security enclave itself would have multiple separate storages for PINs and fingerprint hashes, and they would have to search both to find which is which... and some security things would have to be common settings (number of failures to remote wipe.... who's phone is it really in FindMyiPhone), which then requires an 'admin' level user... The problem doesn't scale in the 'end to end' security model.

 

The path appears that the Apple model is one person per device (and multiple devices per person).  Data in the cloud can be shared, but no local data.  And I do think the Security enclave will be base hardware on all 2015 released devices.

 

 

If the latter, even that may be less than doable, given a general purpose (non BES only) requirement of being managed by any of the commercial MDMs on the 'work' side, primarily from the Device/User Security union, in particular apps like Safari, Mail, Phone... If I can't separate browsing my corporate HR database in one Safari window, from other browser windows, where a simple (or poorly placed) paste could expose $Ms of breachable records.

post #16 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheOtherGeoff View Post

Piling on in agreement.

If the former, I think the key aspect is the base security architecture.  Right now, there appear to be a lot of linkages about one AppleID per Device, while nothing I've read about the TouchID, and the Secure Enclave says it can't, I'm having a hard time seeing 2 or more distinct individuals (appleIDs) sharing the same device in the TouchID enabled case.  And, in (maybe my imagined) theory, I would assume everything would have to be duplicated locally (minimally, all the data spaces for each app... no locally shared music, videos, for example... possibly even each app would have to be duplicated, assuming different AppleIDs are in play).  To your point, the Security enclave itself would have multiple separate storages for PINs and fingerprint hashes, and they would have to search both to find which is which... and some security things would have to be common settings (number of failures to remote wipe.... who's phone is it really in FindMyiPhone), which then requires an 'admin' level user... The problem doesn't scale in the 'end to end' security model.


The path appears that the Apple model is one person per device (and multiple devices per person).  
Data in the cloud can be shared, but no local data.  And I do think the Security enclave will be base hardware on all 2015 released devices.



If the latter, even that may be less than doable, given a general purpose (non BES only) requirement of being managed by any of the commercial MDMs on the 'work' side, primarily from the Device/User Security union, in particular apps like Safari, Mail, Phone... If I can't separate browsing my corporate HR database in one Safari window, from other browser windows, where a simple (or poorly placed) paste could expose $Ms of breachable records.

I wasn't going to go down that rabbit hole but since we're there… you're correct.

I think Apple could use it's Mac OS experience to make an application repository that looks like each installed app is not each Home Screen if the user wants it. This would mean that a user could go to the App Store and download, say, Threes!* at 36MiB but it would appear instantly if another user on the device already had it installed.

I think. like on the Mac, they could use a segregated PLIST files and storage, but that would take a change to the app setup as it currently stands. I think all the Mac App Store apps that use iCloud for storage don't have an issue with this. The problem I see is getting all developers to update their apps or for Apple to create an intermediary layer where the app is stored in a clean state and then your data is "side loaded" each time by the system and then removed and saved again before it quits. Both of these seem like a problem to me.

I think the secure enclave could be grown substanitally to accommodate more prints without affecting TouchID performance so I'd say this would be the easiest of the options**. I also think Find My iPhone could simply work with multiple accounts on a single device but I wonder if multiple accounts for a single phone number is reasonable.

Bottom line, it's a nice wish but I'd be surprised if ever actually happens without a lot of changes across the board.



* Threes! is my number one game for going number two.
** Is TouchID's 1 in 50,000 reference to each finger so having 5 fingers is 1 in in 10,000, like a 4-digit PIN? If so, then having 5 user accounts with 5 fingers each puts TouchID at 1 in 2,000 chance of a random finger working.

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post #17 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

I don't think the performance of the HW is good enough to allow for different user accounts to be placed on a single iDevice. With a Mac or PC you log in and your account is loaded but you tend to use that device for an extended period. With an iPad I'd think the benefit would be from being able to pick it up, used TouchID (or a PIN) to unlock it and have it be ready to use. If you had to wait 1-2 minutes for the other user's account to close down and yours to open up that wouldn't be feasible.

One solution is to simply load all accounts at start up but I don't think the HW can allow for having multiple accounts loaded at once and running in the background due to RAM and CPU requirements, but also because of what it would do to the battery life.

Furthermore, if you have multiple user accounts you then can't simply use a PIN for each user but also then require a unique username because a PIN could be duplicated. This would still be required even if you had TouchID because there are times when you still need to input your PIN.

For these reasons I think multiple user accounts aren't feasible.


PS: I'm wondering now if @John.B meant profiles, like how BB10 offers personal and work profiles. If so, then my apologizes.

You don't need to change much between accounts. Have iOS connect to two different icloud accounts at once for mail, pictures and everything that is synced. Display the necessary content for each account. Mail can already display several accounts at once. Just hide those that are not necessary in that session. Do the same for pictures and favorites and some other stuff to begin with. I don't think it would use more resources than now.
post #18 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by ClemyNX View Post

You don't need to change much between accounts. Have iOS connect to two different icloud accounts at once for mail, pictures and everything that is synced. Display the necessary content for each account. Mail can already display several accounts at once. Just hide those that are not necessary in that session. Do the same for pictures and favorites and some other stuff to begin with. I don't think it would use more resources than now.

You're talking about the network resources, but what about the accounts themselves. Have you tried running multiple accounts on a Mac or WinPC? How long does it take to load that desktop. Have you simply switched (not logged out) to another account and not noticed it was slower simply from having additional resources utilized?

Consider what's happening for the network to keep being polled for additional mail accounts, for additional iMessage accounts, for additional Find My Friend, accounts, and on and on and on… These have to be running in some form. Now I do think Apple could create a separate "sys admin" account that could run these services as one account and then move data to the proper locations efficiently, but we're still talking additional resources to do this.

But all that is beside the point when you consider how the Home Screens and apps currently work. How would they implement this? Would Infinity Blade III need to be in each account or only installed once? At 1.8GiB it's already a beast. If only once then how is the data for the game accessed when for 6 years of the App Store it's been saved in the game? You either need Apple to create some complex service that can place and pull user app specific data in each game when needed or you need Apple to change the way the SDK works and what they expect from developers. Neither of these seem like a simple task to me.

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post #19 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


You're talking about the network resources, but what about the accounts themselves. Have you tried running multiple accounts on a Mac or WinPC? How long does it take to load that desktop. Have you simply switched (not logged out) to another account and not noticed it was slower simply from having additional resources utilized?

Consider what's happening for the network to keep being polled for additional mail accounts, for additional iMessage accounts, for additional Find My Friend, accounts, and on and on and on… These have to be running in some form. Now I do think Apple could create a separate "sys admin" account that could run these services as one account and then move data to the proper locations efficiently, but we're still talking additional resources to do this.
 

 

There's an important distinction between the implementation of multiple accounts on the Mac vs multiple accounts on tablets like the Nexus 7. Whereas desktop operating systems allow multiple applications to run truly concurrently, most applications for Android or iOS only run when visible. When you go to the home screen, lock the screen, or switch to another application, the current application saves its state, pauses, and ceases to consume CPU cycles; at this point, the application is ready to be killed at any time by the OS to free up memory. Therefore, the overhead of multiple user profiles on a tablet should be quite low. As you can see here (http://youtu.be/Ra27gat-u_Y?t=3m), switching users is pretty quick on a Nexus 7, and should be even faster on the beefier hardware of the iPad. A multiuser implementation for iOS might be simpler than Android's current implementation since iOS does not have to deal with third-party background services. 

 

With regard to your example regarding network services, keep in mind that many of those services use push notifications, not active polling.

Quote:
 I think Apple could use it's Mac OS experience to make an application repository that looks like each installed app is not each Home Screen if the user wants it. This would mean that a user could go to the App Store and download, say, Threes!* at 36MiB but it would appear instantly if another user on the device already had it installed

 

I think this is basically how Android's implementation works.  "Luckily, apps that have been downloaded for one user don't take up extra storage space when downloaded by a second user. According to Google's documentation, the tablet simulates downloading and installing the app, but doesn't actually keep a second copy of the APK file." (http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2012/11/hands-on-multiple-users-lock-screen-widgets-round-out-android-4-2/)


Edited by d4NjvRzf - 3/17/14 at 8:00pm
post #20 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by d4NjvRzf View Post

There's an important distinction between the implementation of multiple accounts on the Mac vs multiple accounts on tablets like the Nexus 7. Whereas desktop operating systems allow multiple applications to run truly concurrently, most applications for Android or iOS only run when visible. When you go to the home screen, lock the screen, or switch to another application, the current application saves its state, pauses, and ceases to consume CPU cycles; at this point, the application is ready to be killed at any time by the OS to free up memory. Therefore, the overhead of multiple user profiles on a tablet should be quite low. As you can see here (http://youtu.be/Ra27gat-u_Y?t=3m), switching users is pretty quick on a Nexus 7, and should be even faster on the beefier hardware of the iPad. A multiuser implementation for iOS could actually be simpler than Android's current implementation since iOS does not have to deal with third-party background services. 

I think this is basically how Android's implementation works.

That assumes Apple would do it the same way and that Android's way is secure. Is there any evidence that the user data on each account is not accessible from another account?

I don't think it's impossible but that video doesn't show something that looks like something Apple would release. That said, I'm all for it since it doesn't impede my usability in any way.

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post #21 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


That assumes Apple would do it the same way and that Android's way is secure. Is there any evidence that the user data on each account is not accessible from another account?
 

From the same Arstechnica article that I ninja-edited into my previous post:

 

"Users also can't share data directly with one another; if you want to transfer a picture to another user's account, you'll have to e-mail it to them or share it through some other third-party service. Even if you plug the device into a PC or Mac, you can only view the media files of the tablet's current user. Switching users with the tablet connected to a computer will unmount the tablet and then remount it to give you access to the other user's files. This is a little annoying from a usability perspective, though from a security perspective it's definitely a nice touch."

 

The security architecture is quite similar to that of OS X or any other unix-like system, and is a solved problem. Each user has his own UID. User-specific application data are stored in each user's home directory, which is kept private using standard unix access controls.

 

"As an app developer, there’s nothing different you need to do in order for your app to work properly with multiple users on a single device. Regardless of how many users may exist on a device, the data your app saves for a given user is kept separate from the data your app saves for other users. The system keeps track of which user data belongs to the user process in which your app is running and provides your app access to only that user’s data and does not allow access to other users’ data." (http://developer.android.com/about/versions/android-4.2.html)


Edited by d4NjvRzf - 3/17/14 at 8:11pm
post #22 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by d4NjvRzf View Post

From the same Arstechnica article that I ninja-edited into my previous post:

"Users also can't share data directly with one another; if you want to transfer a picture to another user's account, you'll have to e-mail it to them or share it through some other third-party service. Even if you plug the device into a PC or Mac, you can only view the media files of the tablet's current user. Switching users with the tablet connected to a computer will unmount the tablet and then remount it to give you access to the other user's files. This is a little annoying from a usability perspective, though from a security perspective it's definitely a nice touch."

I agree it's a nice touch but it's still proof of actual security. From the video it doesn't appear the same level of user space is being built up and torn down every time the device is locked and unlocked. To me that means the accounts are loaded at login and then held in RAM with some services running. They could cut some corners on security to speed it up and have it use less power. In either case it's likely insecure or using too much power to keep an entire family worth of accounts running at launch. And we still haven't addressed how having more than 2 account loaded at once or if you a family's worth of Touch ID accounts that need to be matched.

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post #23 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


I agree it's a nice touch but it's still proof of actual security. From the video it doesn't appear the same level of user space is being built up and torn down every time the device is locked and unlocked. To me that means the accounts are loaded at login and then held in RAM with some services running. They could cut some corners on security to speed it up and have it use less power. In either case it's likely insecure or using too much power to keep an entire family worth of accounts running at launch. And we still haven't addressed how having more than 2 account loaded at once or if you a family's worth of Touch ID accounts that need to be matched.

 

What's wrong with holding accounts in RAM? Unix was designed from the outset to support multiple users running concurrently on the same machine. Could you give some examples of security risks?

post #24 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by d4NjvRzf View Post

What's wrong with holding accounts in RAM? Unix was designed from the outset to support multiple users running concurrently on the same machine. Could you give some examples of security risks?

1) Can reduce performance, especially since iOS doesn't use a swap partition.

2) Can use more power, which is especially troubling on a device you don't want to plug in frequently.

3) As for security risks what exactly are you looking for? Aren't risks to the security of your device and personal data without your permission enough of an issue that it should be considered?

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post #25 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


1) Can reduce performance, especially since iOS doesn't use a swap partition.

2) Can use more power, which is especially troubling on a device you don't want to plug in frequently.

3) As for security risks what exactly are you looking for? Aren't risks to the security of your device and personal data without your permission enough of an issue that it should be considered?

Of course security risks should be considered, but my point was that this problem was solved long ago by Dennis Ritchie and Ken Thompson. Unix was designed specifically for this use case.

 

I interpreted your comment about holding accounts in RAM as a ding against security, when it was actually about resource utilisation. Ars shared your concerns when multiuser first came out for android. Here are their findings:

 

"A brand-new user account with no e-mails, apps, or other configured settings takes up just 12.78MB on our Nexus 7 tablet, though this will quickly increase as other users start to download stuff. Other users' background services also take up a small amount of RAM—though your mileage may vary, we observed usage between 20 and 60 megabytes on our Nexus 7—a fraction of the 1GB or 2GB of RAM in most shipping Android tablets today." (http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2012/11/hands-on-multiple-users-lock-screen-widgets-round-out-android-4-2/)

 

Keep in mind that the part about background services is Android-specific; iOS doesn't allow third-party background services.

post #26 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by d4NjvRzf View Post

Of course security risks should be considered, but my point was that this problem was solved long ago by Dennis Richie and Ken Thompson. 

I interpreted your comment about holding accounts in RAM as a ding against security, when it was actually about resource utilisation. Ars shared your concerns when multiuser first came out for android. Here are their findings:

"A brand-new user account with no e-mails, apps, or other configured settings takes up just 12.78MB on our Nexus 7 tablet, though this will quickly increase as other users start to download stuff. Other users' background services also take up a small amount of RAM—though your mileage may vary, we observed usage between 20 and 60 megabytes on our Nexus 7—a fraction of the 1GB or 2GB of RAM in most shipping Android tablets today." (http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2012/11/hands-on-multiple-users-lock-screen-widgets-round-out-android-4-2/)

1) My comments were about the feasibility or creating hardened, unique user accounts within iOS that would be secure, not affect performance, or longevity of use. I have seen no testing on Android that proves that is a reasonable assumption.

2) That's a lot of RAM for still doing nothing. What about the many apps each user has suspended? How much power is that using? How much of a performance hit is it? Where are is the charts showing a variety of scenarios?

3) Again, what if we're talking about a family of 5 and each are playing Kingdom Rush. That's 309MB for the game? How many times is it loaded into RAM? Five times or just once? If 5 times how is that not affecting the device negatively? If only once then how are the user's credentials loaded into the game each time the user logs in when this isn't a part of how iOS apps work? Where are the YouTube videos proving how this is so seamless, perfect and wonderful on Android?

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post #27 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


1) My comments were about the feasibility or creating hardened, unique user accounts within iOS that would be secure, not affect performance, or longevity of use. I have seen no testing on Android that proves that is a reasonable assumption.

2) That's a lot of RAM for still doing nothing. What about the many apps each user has suspended? How much power is that using? How much of a performance hit is it? Where are is the charts showing a variety of scenarios?

3) Again, what if we're talking about a family of 5 and each are playing Kingdom Rush. That's 309MB for the game? How many times is it loaded into RAM? Five times or just once? If 5 times how is that not affecting the device negatively? If only once then how are the user's credentials loaded into the game each time the user logs in when this isn't a part of how iOS apps work? Where are the YouTube videos proving how this is so seamless, perfect and wonderful on Android?

 

1) If you are looking for extensive testing, I cannot provide you with the answers. All my responses have been based on publicly available information for Android as well as general knowledge of how unix works. So far, there is no reason a priori why Android's implementation shouldn't work. It should be trivial for someone to verify whether it does indeed work (anyone here have a nexus 7?).

 

2) Have you heard the saying that unused RAM is wasted RAM? It probably takes more power to wake up permanent storage and relaunch an app completely than to keep suspended apps in memory so that they can be recalled instantly. Again, you are correct to demand hard numbers, but I cannot help you there.

 

3) It would only be logical for each user to have his own instance of Kingdom Rush. This is the only possibility given how the unix privilege system works. My instance of Kingdom Rush would not able to write to your private storage. The fact that each instance requires several hundred MB of RAM merely means that when another user fires up Kingdom Rush, my suspended instance will probably be booted from memory. The user experience should be no different from what you already experience now if you try to juggle several memory-heavy apps on an iPad; when memory runs low, the system starts removing apps from memory.


Edited by d4NjvRzf - 3/17/14 at 9:26pm
post #28 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by d4NjvRzf View Post

1) If you are looking for extensive testing, I cannot provide you with the answers. All my responses have been based on publicly available information for Android as well as general knowledge of how unix works. It should be trivial for someone to verify whether Android's implementation does indeed work well (anyone here have a nexus 7?). If it does work, then there should be no technical barrier for iOS to implement a similar system.

2) Have you heard the saying that unused RAM is wasted RAM? It probably takes more power to wake up permanent storage and relaunch an app completely than to keep suspended apps in memory so that they can be recalled instantly. Again, you are correct to demand hard numbers, but I cannot help you there.

3) It would only be logical for each user to have his own instance of Kingdom Rush. The fact that each instance requires several hundred MB of RAM merely means that when another user fires up Kingdom Rush, your instance will probably be booted from memory. You would face a similar situation if you try to juggle several memory-heavy apps on the iPad; when memory runs low, the system starts removing apps from memory.

1) All my experience with *nix systems with GUIs have secure user accounts taking much too long to log in and logout than what would be reasonable on a phone or tablet.

2) I use my RAM and I am trying to support a large family of user accounts on my devices.

3) So if each user has their own set of apps (which isn't the way it works on desktop OSes) then you using a lot more storage. And what about videos and music? Those at least are stored within a user account.

4) If the device is dumping things from memory frequently because it doesn't have enough to support a family worth of users which then have to be loaded again as a different user takes over you issues I've been talking about. This isn't a good user experience.

5) The only way I can user profiles being added to iOS are in the Apple TV so that when a particular user picks up the remote control it senses (perhaps via a form of Touch ID) that the user is a particular family member and then changes the Apple TV UI to match their settings, favourites, history, and recorded videos. These settings typically aren't private as the DVR is still mostly a community device for a family and it gets rid of the clunky nature of this community device, which an iDevice typically isn't.

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post #29 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


1) All my experience with *nix systems with GUIs have secure user accounts taking much too long to log in and logout than what would be reasonable on a phone or tablet.

2) I use my RAM and I am trying to support a large family of user accounts on my devices.

3) So if each user has their own set of apps (which isn't the way it works on desktop OSes) then you using a lot more storage. And what about videos and music? Those at least are stored within a user account.

4) If the device is dumping things from memory frequently because it doesn't have enough to support a family worth of users which then have to be loaded again as a different user takes over you issues I've been talking about. This isn't a good user experience.

5) The only way I can user profiles being added to iOS are in the Apple TV so that when a particular user picks up the remote control it senses (perhaps via a form of Touch ID) that the user is a particular family member and then changes the Apple TV UI to match their settings, favourites, history, and recorded videos. These settings typically aren't private as the DVR is still mostly a community device for a family and it gets rid of the clunky nature of this community device, which an iDevice typically isn't.

1) I don't think multiuser is to blame. Desktop environments are much more complex than what you would find on a tablet or smartphone. Logging into a single user on a desktop already takes much longer than on a tablet.

 

2) I agree that multi-user environments benefit from more RAM. Maybe the 1GB on the iPad is on the low side, but it's not inconceivable that this number will go up soon. 2GB or 3GB ought to be quite generous for two users with average workloads, such as internet browsing or emailing. No one is suggesting that a tablet should support five users running heavy games simultaneously. 

 

3) I should have been more clear. There is a central application storage area which holds one copy of each application binary, similar to the /Applications folder in OS X. What the user sees however is something analogous to the OS X dock, which contains links to the main applications folder. If you install Facebook and another user then "installs" facebook, the system merely creates a link to that other user's application launcher. There is only one copy of the application binary. User-specific data is stored in the user's home directory just like in OS X. Music and videos would presumably not be shared between users (although one might use a checksumming system like what Dropbox uses to avoid storing multiple copies of the same file), and this could be a problem if four or five users each want to store multiple HD movies on the same iPad. But again, no one is suggesting that tablets handle these rather extreme use cases. 

 

4) See my response to 2). That said, would you be really be passing your iPad from one user to another on a short time scale? Back when people used to share a single computer among the whole family, were people constantly kicking each other off? Macs have long had a full-blown multiuser OS even though it wasn't that long ago that they had only 2GB of RAM; further, swapping was far slower than reloading an application in modern tablets. Did the multiuser capability of OS X detract from the user experience back then?


Edited by d4NjvRzf - 3/17/14 at 10:20pm
post #30 of 33
1) @d4NjvRzf, I was just reading about the WhatsApp security issue. If all app data is saved to the general file system — not a secure home directory — then why wouldn't another user be able to access those files for various users since it's all stored on the same SD card? I'm simply not seeing this robust, secure system that you seem to be eluding to exist on Android.

2) The time frame is irrelevant for Apple. If I pick up an iDevice I want my apps to be ready for me. I don't want to wait 20 seconds every time I run certain apps because it had to be dropped from RAM because the previous user had to run their own set of apps. This hurts the user experience, not helps it.

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post #31 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

1) @d4NjvRzf, I was just reading about the WhatsApp security issue. If all app data is saved to the general file system — not a secure home directory — then why wouldn't another user be able to access those files for various users since it's all stored on the same SD card? I'm simply not seeing this robust, secure system that you seem to be eluding to exist on Android.

2) The time frame is irrelevant for Apple. If I pick up an iDevice I want my apps to be ready for me. I don't want to wait 20 seconds every time I run certain apps because it had to be dropped from RAM because the previous user had to run their own set of apps. This hurts the user experience, not helps it.

1) Google's documentation (http://developer.android.com/guide/topics/data/data-storage.html) explains this in detail, but the gist of it is the following. Apps on Android have two options for storage. Every app has a private sandboxed storage area that only they can access, just like on iOS. The docs refer to this as "Internal Storage", and this is where apps are supposed to store all data that's not intended to be accessed by other apps. Where Android differs from iOS is that Android also provides a common public storage area (misleading called "External Storage") that all apps can read and write to provided that they declare the appropriate permissions at install time. This public storage area would be appropriate for files that are likely to be accessed by more than one app, such as videos or files downloaded from the internet. Whatsapp made a mistake by storing its private files in public storage instead of in its sandbox. 

 

In the context of multiple users, Google states that in its specifications that "Each user must have their own isolated primary external storage, and must not have access to the primary external storage of other users." (http://source.android.com/devices/tech/storage/) Note that "primary external storage" refers to the public storage area on internal memory, while "secondary" storage refers to actual SD cards. I guess "external" here means external to apps. 

 

One can perhaps understand this system better by looking at how OS X implements sandboxing in post-Snow Leopard releases, since the overall designs are quite similar. Every sandboxed app has its own "container" in your Library Directory that is accessible by only that app. If an app declares the appropriate "entitlements" (the direct analog of Android permissions), it can read and write to your home directory as well as certain other public directories. Under no circumstances however can an app launched by you access the home directory of another user. (https://developer.apple.com/library/mac/documentation/Security/Conceptual/AppSandboxDesignGuide/AppSandboxInDepth/AppSandboxInDepth.html#//apple_ref/doc/uid/TP40011183-CH3-SW6)

 

2) One would only experience a delay when switching to another user. If you merely lock your screen, you should not encounter a delay the next time you unlock your screen unless someone else has used the tablet in the intervening period. As you can see from the Nexus 7 video above, it takes more like two seconds to switch to a different user, not twenty. If you find that too long,  well, no one is going to force you to enable multiuser on your tablet.


Edited by d4NjvRzf - 3/18/14 at 7:56pm
post #32 of 33
@d4NjvRzf, it looks like you need 4.4 for the improved security, which account for less than 3% of Google Play devices.

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post #33 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

@d4NjvRzf, it looks like you need 4.4 for the improved security, which account for less than 3% of Google Play devices.
 

The SD card has always been used as "External storage", which means that apps treat it as public storage. There is no real security content in the changes described in the link, as apps with the appropriate permissions can still read anything on the SD card. It's not clear to me what is Google's long-term plan for SD cards. Apps have always had secure areas for storing sensitive data, and it was dumb of Whatsapp to store its databases in the open.


Edited by d4NjvRzf - 3/18/14 at 7:57pm
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