When Will Apple Catch Up To Its Rivals And Offer Multiuser Support?

By Jimmie Geddes email: j.geddes@mobilenapps.com | Dec 26, 2012 09:08 PM EST

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iPad Comparison (Credit: Apple)
iPad Comparison (Credit: Apple)

There is no question that Apple is usually ahead of the competition when it comes to innovating and showing off new features in their devices. Unfortunately, the folks in Cupertino have not received the memo on multiuser support when it comes to the iPad.

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Multiuser support allows more than one user to have the ability to login to a device and have access to their apps, email accounts, messaging, Web browsing, etc. on a single device. Though Apple as the first company to make the tablet popular in the living room and these days, more and more families are purchasing a single tablet to be used by the whole family, Apple has failed to keep up with its competitors when it comes to multiuser support. The company is surely engaging in some wishful thinking if it thinks families are going to purchase an iPad for each family member to use, while its competitors already offer some sort of multiuser support.

Google and Microsoft currently offer multiuser support on the Nexus 7, Nexus 10, and the Surface. Amazon's Kindle Fire HD and the Barnes & Noble Nook HD also allow more than one account on their tablets. With multiuser support, you never have to worry about a family member accidentally accessing something you don't want them to have access to. It follows the same idea of a computer having different login accounts; would you really consider buying a computer for every member of your household so they could have access to it? Probably not, but that is how households are currently using the iPad and iPad mini which don't offer any type of multiuser support.

Apple still has time and will probably add this feature in iOS 7 as both Google and Microsoft have not fully ironed out the kinks in their offering of multiuser support. For instance, if you buy an app from either platform's store, only the user who purchased the app can use it. If your child wants to play a game you had purchased, it will need to be re-purchased under their account to play it. Amazon's Kindle Fire HD and the Barnes & Noble Nook HD have addressed this issue and allow any purchased game, book, or video to be accessible by all users of the tablet. Don't be surprised to see Apple iron out the kinks and highlight multiuser support as a major feature of iOS 7 and finally bring it to the iPad family.

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