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

Posted:
in iPad edited January 2014
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.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 68
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member


    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.

  • Reply 2 of 68
    gazoobeegazoobee Posts: 3,754member


    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?

  • Reply 3 of 68
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member

    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.

  • Reply 4 of 68
    gadgetcanadagadgetcanada Posts: 423member


    Hmmmm, May 7, 2012 at 9:00am RE Multiple User Support on iPad.


     


    If the developer had an NDA with Apple and he disclosed the above information, I don't think it will be too hard for Apple to track him down with that email header and the exact time the email was sent out.

  • Reply 5 of 68
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,205member
    gazoobee wrote: »
    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.
  • Reply 6 of 68
    gazoobeegazoobee Posts: 3,754member


    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.  ;)

  • Reply 7 of 68
    conrailconrail Posts: 489member

    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.

  • Reply 8 of 68
    palegolaspalegolas Posts: 1,274member

    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.

  • Reply 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.

  • Reply 10 of 68
    tylerk36tylerk36 Posts: 1,037member


    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.

  • Reply 11 of 68
    ahmlcoahmlco Posts: 432member


    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...

  • Reply 12 of 68
    chuckdchuckd Posts: 34member

    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.



     

  • Reply 13 of 68
    brian wardbrian ward Posts: 47member


    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?

  • Reply 14 of 68
    paulmjohnsonpaulmjohnson Posts: 1,380member

    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.

  • Reply 15 of 68
    sunrasunra Posts: 3member
    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?
  • Reply 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.

  • Reply 17 of 68
    relicrelic Posts: 4,735member
    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.
  • Reply 18 of 68
    ahmlcoahmlco Posts: 432member

    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.

  • Reply 19 of 68
    kerrynkerryn Posts: 87member


    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.

  • Reply 20 of 68
    tikimantikiman Posts: 68member


    "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. image

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