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Old Aug 1, 2012, 05:56 PM   #1
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Android to be first with multi-user devices

According to the website Android police, miles of code has been written for Android in order to allow multiple user accounts on one mobile device. The boys at Google started about a year ago, but say a lot more needs to be done.
Hopefully, we will see it in Key Lime Pie next year. Android will be the first to implement a multi-account device, thanks to devices like the S3 that has enough RAM and memory to handle more than one account. The GNex2 will most likely be the test bed for such a feature, which tells me it will have at a minimum 2gb RAM, 32gb memory (with an expansion of at least 64 more) and the quad-core cpu and GPU from the Korean only version of the S3. And my guess is it will be the exact same size as the S3 at 4.8 inches. I see Samsung utilizing shared parts to cut down prices.
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Old Aug 1, 2012, 05:59 PM   #2
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I could see it being useful on a Nexus 7 or another tablet, but phones are usually for one person.
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Old Aug 1, 2012, 06:31 PM   #3
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I could see it being useful on a Nexus 7 or another tablet, but phones are usually for one person.
True but it allows you to switch phones with a family members, friends or partner.
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Old Aug 1, 2012, 06:40 PM   #4
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Very much needed feature for tablets.

And iOS will include this feature in... 2015?
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Old Aug 1, 2012, 07:22 PM   #5
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It would be nice to have a work and personal account on my phone.
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Old Aug 1, 2012, 07:41 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Sensamic View Post
Very much needed feature for tablets.

And iOS will include this feature in... 2015?
Never

It's a stupid feature.
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Old Aug 1, 2012, 07:48 PM   #7
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Never

It's a stupid feature.
Maybe for an iPhone or iPod touch, but not only do I share my iPad with family but I have seen other iPad owners do the same on several occasions. Having multiple accounts would help tremendously here. Especially when children are using the iPad. Parents could have an account specifically set up with parental restrictions, instead of having to go into settings and turning them on and off every time.
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Old Aug 1, 2012, 07:55 PM   #8
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I think low cost tablets ($200-$300) will obviate the need for the household tablet.
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Old Aug 1, 2012, 09:36 PM   #9
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Never

It's a stupid feature.
I'm sure if Apple had been able to do it first, you'd be saying how awesome the feature is, that only Apple could have come up with this, blah blah blah

of course, we all know Apple will steal the code off this, throw a patent on it, then proclaim it was invented by them and sue every Android manufacturer that had been using it.
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Old Aug 1, 2012, 09:48 PM   #10
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I'm sure if Apple had been able to do it first, you'd be saying how awesome the feature is, that only Apple could have come up with this, blah blah blah
Consumers barely use multiple accounts on their computer which have supported the feature for decades. On a tablet it makes even less sense.

I'm sure people will trot this out as some amazing feature that iOS doesn't have and they will miss the point entirely.
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Old Aug 1, 2012, 10:06 PM   #11
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I think low cost tablets ($200-$300) will obviate the need for the household tablet.
Even at $200-300 not every household can afford a tablet for every member. Especially since tablets become noticeably obsolete much sooner than computers. Multiple accounts would be far more economical.
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Old Aug 1, 2012, 10:28 PM   #12
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Glad to hear, I've always said that the iPad (or any tablet for that matter) needs multi user functionality.
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Old Aug 1, 2012, 10:42 PM   #13
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This is probably the number one item on the wishlist of people I know with an iPad.

They would love to have separate logins/modes for husband, wife, and even each kid.

Even if they have two tablets, one for the parents and one for the kids, it's still handy in case you want to lend your "adult" iPad to a kid for a while or vice versa.
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Old Aug 1, 2012, 10:51 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by nuckinfutz View Post
Consumers barely use multiple accounts on their computer which have supported the feature for decades. On a tablet it makes even less sense.
consumers barely use multiple accounts? I don't know if you are saying this because you are a single person household or you are the sole user of your devices, but those of us with families know that this is a great idea!

And of course, there are jobs, like say nurses, that could now use a single tablet for multiple people between shifts. Just like a computer that requires multiple log-ons. Or say in warehouses, law firms, etc...

You worship Apple, so I'll forgive your inability to see a bigger picture that involves Google driving innovative features.
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Old Aug 1, 2012, 11:16 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by nuckinfutz View Post
Consumers barely use multiple accounts on their computer which have supported the feature for decades. On a tablet it makes even less sense.

I'm sure people will trot this out as some amazing feature that iOS doesn't have and they will miss the point entirely.
I'd be shocked if IOS ends up never having support for multiuser accounts. Many people do not like allowing other people to use there devices knowing that access to email, text messages, and other private information is readily available on the device.

Apple knew this with computers and is why they allow for a guest account in OSX.
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Old Aug 1, 2012, 11:18 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by nuckinfutz View Post
Consumers barely use multiple accounts on their computer which have supported the feature for decades. On a tablet it makes even less sense.

I'm sure people will trot this out as some amazing feature that iOS doesn't have and they will miss the point entirely.
You don't get out much, do you?
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Old Aug 1, 2012, 11:21 PM   #17
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One word: innovation
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Old Aug 2, 2012, 12:58 AM   #18
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I'm really looking forward to this happening personally. To have all of my mail, contacts, apps and medis synced to my login and the wife with hers will make tablet use in a multi-user household great.

Count me in for looking forward to it.
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Old Aug 2, 2012, 01:04 AM   #19
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Many people do not like allowing other people to use there devices knowing that access to email, text messages, and other private information is readily available on the device.
Tell me about it, I just don't feel comfortable lending my iPhone to anyone (even a family member) even if it is to make a simple phone call. They have access to everything, your photos, email, twitter, messages, browsing history, etc. I get really distressed whenever someone is using my iPhone, even if they just want to play with it a bit to see how it is and if they like it.

Multi user is a must.
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Old Aug 2, 2012, 02:13 AM   #20
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Never

It's a stupid feature.
Actually, it would be very useful for my kids. Especially if I could lock down certain features or apps e.g. making calls, youtube, web browser etc.
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Old Aug 2, 2012, 02:23 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by nuckinfutz View Post
Consumers barely use multiple accounts on their computer which have supported the feature for decades. On a tablet it makes even less sense.

I'm sure people will trot this out as some amazing feature that iOS doesn't have and they will miss the point entirely.
I strongly disagree. I'm only 14 years old and I have a 11 year old brother, I have my own iPad but he shares one with my parents and him and them would LOVE to have user accounts on the iPad.

As for the computers comment, we each have an account on both of our macs and even when I get my own I will have one account for home/personal use and one for school
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Old Aug 2, 2012, 07:55 AM   #22
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Let's get this thread back on track people. Just ignore the people trying to bash Android at all costs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mac.World View Post
Hopefully, we will see it in Key Lime Pie next year. Android will be the first to implement a multi-account device, thanks to devices like the S3 that has enough RAM and memory to handle more than one account.
I wonder about this. We had multi-user systems with much less RAM than the first iPhone had, much less storage too. What are they planning that RAM and storage would be a limiting factor in a multi-user driven system ?

I can understand storage if these things are also used as MP3 players/video playback devices without streaming, as having 2 music/video collections on 1 device will fill up available storage quick. Android's support for SD cards should help with this though.

As for RAM, heck, even back in the days we had multi-user systems that ran multiple concurrent connections on less RAM than the first iPhone had. Considering the nature of these devices, it's not like users are going to be using them concurrently either, it's going to be on a turn based basis. I wonder what's Google's plan.

I don't think hardware is an issue though. Reading other articles on the subject, it just seems that the frameworks and support is slowly being added, probably not to break any existing code that relies on hard coded paths :

http://www.neowin.net/news/android-i...multiple-users
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One of the major commits to the source code was a commit titled "Plumbing in PackageManager and installd for multi-user support." done in April 2011. This commit meant that all application was no longer saved in /data/data, but instead in /data/user/0. This change is already visible on devices with recent Android versions. To retain compatibility /data/data now points to /data/user/0 (using a symlink).
This is the problem Microsoft faced when going to Windows NT. Developers had for years been used to writing directly to system level locations/registry keys rather than the user's home profile and own registry.
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Old Aug 2, 2012, 08:29 AM   #23
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I'm not sure that allowing multiple user accounts would be good for the business model. Tablets are aimed at individual users.
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Old Aug 2, 2012, 08:53 AM   #24
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I'm not sure that allowing multiple user accounts would be good for the business model. Tablets are aimed at individual users.
The OS and underlying software supporting a multi-user model doesn't change what you can aim a device at. OS X laptops work fine for the single home user yet Mac OS X is a fully multi-user system.

Options, nothing bad about them.
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Old Aug 2, 2012, 08:54 AM   #25
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I'm not sure that allowing multiple user accounts would be good for the business model. Tablets are aimed at individual users.
True, it will be the tablet makers who care more about their users than their profits, who will implement it.

Wouldn't affect sales in some cases, anyway. For example, I have a half dozen tablets of various sizes and OSes around the house, and everyone in the family swaps between them depending on where they are and/or what they're doing.

So in my case, at least, I'd still own multiple tablets and yet could still use the ability to instantly switch users on any of them at any time.
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