Apple “Investigating” Multiuser Support for iPad

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One iPad, Many Users

Apple responded to a developer’s suggestion for multi-user support for the iPad with an e-mail saying it is a “known issue, which is currently being investigated by engineering.” The implication is that Apple could be working on adding support for multiple users in a future iOS update.


An unnamed app developer turned in a report using the Apple Bug Reporter, as he or she had done many times before. The system allows such submissions to be identified as suggestions rather than a true bug report. The developer simply encouraged Apple to make it possible for multiple individuals to use the same iPad with separate accounts.

The developer got a form letter response (and shared it with AppleInsider) that indicated that Apple is aware of the issue and could even be in the process of addressing it. This was the first time the developer had gotten a response from the Apple Developer Connection’s Worldwide Developer Relations team.

That letter:

Apple’s Response to a suggestion that iPads should support multiple users
Source: AppleInsider

Apple has indicated in the past its awareness of the desire for multiple-user support on the iPad. The Wall Street Journal reported back in 2010 that an early prototype was setup for sharing between family members where each person’s customizations would be saved. There was even talk of virtual sticky notes that could be left by one user for another.

Another report, based on a patent filing, had the iPad using the forward-facing camera for facial recognition to identify users. Once identified, the iPad would unlock and the individual’s customizations would be displayed including apps, wallpapers, sounds, and other settings.

To date, none of these features have made it into production iPads. The devices are currently designed as a one-account, and therefore one-user, device.



Seems like it would be easy to do, but would they want to make it easier for people not to buy an iPad for everyone in the family? smile

Dave Hamilton

Clearly this is something that many users want, and for that reason alone I’m glad we’re promoting the idea, but it’s good for all of us to remember that this response from Apple is a *very* canned response which (essentially) just indicates that you’ve submitted a duplicate bug or feature request, that’s all.

Doesn’t mean it’s *not* going to happen, of course, but it also doesn’t mean that it will.


As an advertisement said ‘once bitten, forever smitten’  even with multiple users possible on an iPad there’d still be a ‘fight’ over the two iPads in my house.  The iPad is so useful as an all-purpose content access device that two between four is just not enough grin


I agree with Dave. I would not take the response as any indication that the capability might be forthcoming. That is how they respond to pretty much every bug report.


Yes, yes, yes. This is a suggestion I’ve been making to Apple for over a year. An iPad is NOT a big iPhone. Of course there is no need for multiple user accounts on an iPhone, an iPad is altogether different and would benefit greatly from multiple user accounts. If Apple is indeed moving towards a future where desktops and laptops also use the iOS, then multiple accounts are a necessity. So why not sooner than later?


They’ll roll that feature out as soon as everyone has their own. raspberry

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