One of the features iPad users have been consistently calling for since the device made its debut back in 2010 is multi-user support, which would allow families and small businesses to share one device between a group of people who all have their own account, with their own wallpaper, their own apps, and their own settings.
According to one iOS developer who recently contacted Apple about this feature, the Cupertino company is aware of the issue, and it is currently being “investigated by engineering.”
According to AppleInsider, the request, which was submitted via Apple’s Bug Reporter, simply called for “support for multiple users” on the iPad. The response from Apple read:
This is a follow up to Bug ID# [redacted]. After further investigation it has been determined that this is a known issue, which is currently being investigated by engineering. The issue has been filed in our bug database under the original Bug ID# [redacted]. The original bug number being used to track this duplicate issue can be found in the State column, in this format: Duplicate/OrigBug#.
Thank you for submitting this bug report. We truly appreciate your assistance in helping us discover and isolate bugs.
Apple Developer Connection
Worldwide Developer Relations
What makes this response a little questionable to us is that it refers to the feedback as a bug report, rather than a feature request. And it seems to be a standard response that is sent to all who report an issue already reported by another user before. Is Apple’s engineering really investigating this?
However, there has been talk of multi-user support for the iPad in the past. Back in 2010, before Apple’s tablet made its debut, The Wall Street Journal reported that an early prototype of the original iPad was designed to be shared between groups and families, with customizations for each user.
Apple has reportedly been developing the feature for many years, experimenting with the ability for users to leave sticky notes for other users, and login using the iPad’s front-facing camera — just like the Face Unlock feature in Android Ice Cream Sandwich.