If you have one iPad but several people in your household then the fact that you can’t switch user IDs like you can on an Apple Mac or Windows PC is a frequent cause of frustration. It makes it harder to personalise your device with bookmarks, saved searches, memorised passwords and so on. That problem may be solved soon.
If you have children, there’s also the issue of trying to keep them off dodgy parts of the internet or making loads of App Store purchases on your account. There are parental controls on the iPad but it’s more cumbersome to turn those on or off than it would be to simply logout and login under another ID.
Now it seems that Apple may be working on a solution. According to AppleInsider, a resourceful developer submitted a “bug report” on the matter (apparently you can use this procedure to make a more general suggestion too).
Rather surprisingly the Apple Worldwide Developer Relations team acknowledged in its response that, “after further investigation it has been determined that this is a known issue, which is currently being investigated by engineering.”
AppleInsider says that this developer had 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.”
The article also says how an early prototype of the iPad had a feature to make it easier for multiple family members to share and customise the device. The more cynical among you could come to the conclusion that Apple dropped this idea so that if family members really wanted to personalise an iPad they should all buy one each.
More recently there has been a patent filing by Apple relating to using the front camera in iOS devices for facial recognition to identify a user and change the settings and apps accordingly. This could be similar to the “face unlock” mode in Android’s Ice Cream Sandwich OS.
At least it looks like there’s a chance of an update, which would be a much less expensive way of fixing the issue.