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I hope Apple fixes this glaring software omission with iPadOS 17

OPINION: We’re mere days away from Apple’s first major event of 2023 and all signs point to next week’s WWDC being an event that will go down in Apple folklore.

Not only have there been suggestions it could be a seriously long event, but WWDC 23 is set to see a whole new product category announced – a rare occurrence for Apple.

If the rumours are to be believed, the highlight of Monday’s event will be the reveal of Apple’s first AR/VR headset and all the software that’ll be launched alongside it. WWDC is predominantly a developer-focussed event (it is called the Worldwide Developers Conference, after all) so we’ll likely see some initial looks at what types of apps and games will run on the headset when it launches.

We’ve covered the headset extensively and there are many people in the Trusted Reviews’ office that are giddy about the reveal – however, I’ll have my eyes firmly placed elsewhere on Monday night.

Logic Pro

WWDC won’t be all about hardware, as we also expect the first details about Apple’s 2023 slate of software updates to be announced at the Keynote address too.

Updates for the iPhone’s iOS, watchOS, and macOS are expected, along with the next version of iPadOS.

I’m here for iPadOS 17

iOS 17 for the iPhone will no doubt get much of the attention, yet as a huge fan (and daily user) of Apple’s iPad it’s the changes coming in the tablet’s version of iOS 17 that have me excited.

final cut on Ipad

The last few big versions of iPadOS have introduced some hefty changes, including Stage Manager multitasking and widgets and while the rumours have so far been slim about what might be included this year, hopefully it will once again improve the usability of the iPad.

A basic request

While there are numerous additions I would love to see, my most requested feature is a very simple one – multi-user support. A basic feature on macOS, Windows and Android tablets, the ability to have separate user profiles on a single device has bizarrely been a feature only available on locked-down education-focussed iPads in the past. I find it hard to understand why.

I can fathom why multiple profiles aren’t found on the iPhone and iOS – a phone is a personal item, used by a single person. Yet, the iPad is much more of a communal tool, often used by multiple people in a single family all with different needs.

My iPad, for example, sits in the lounge and is used equally by myself and my partner. We both use it for different reasons and want different apps with different accounts logged in easily available. This just isn’t really doable with iPadOS how it currently is.

A simple log-in screen, similar to the one found on macOS, that could allow multiple accounts with completely different apps, settings and the like to function on a single tablet would alleviate this issue immediately. Of course, if you don’t want to use the feature then you wouldn’t need to – again, just like how it works on macOS.

The fact that Apple hasn’t added this basic feature in any previous version of iPadOS or iOS implies it isn’t going to, and that’s a real shame. Hopefully, I will be proved wrong, and it’ll finally be added once iPadOS 17 gets its official announcement.

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