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So I got an iPad…

Don’t worry. Taking my cue from Richard Cobbett – who didn’t blog about his iPad on the grounds that there were probably enough reviews of that particular device kicking around already – I’m not going to go on about it other than to ask for one little feature. User accounts.

The iPad is a great family machine – I pick it up and use it for X, Mrs Bigmouth picks it up and uses it for Y, Baby Bigmouth grabs it from us to use the colouring apps – but user accounts would make it even better. At the moment we’re divvying things up, so I get the mail app for my email and Mrs B uses Safari; Mrs B gets the Facebook app and I promise to use the web version, and so on. I have no idea whether multi-user support is in the forthcoming OS update, but I’ll be delighted if it is.

22 replies on “So I got an iPad…”

Thinking about their history with the Iphone, I suspect Apple are keeping this back so that they can announce it as if it’s a truly amazing revolutionary new thing they’ve invented when they finally get around to adding it. I still can’t believe they actually paid for TV adverts to crow about the wonders of copy and paste.

I don’t think it’s absurd, because ultimately it’s an operating system that’s been scaled up from a smartphone. How many of us need user accounts on phones? It’s not being marketed as a multi-user device and there are decent parental controls to stop the kids accessing things they shouldn’t.

I think, too, it’s partly a case of Apple not really knowing who’s going to be using it and in what circumstances. There’s not much point in adding multi-user support if it’s only going to be used by preening hipsters going “look at me! Look at me!” :)

I think it’s a similar situation to the iPhone: Apple’s releasing it with a fairly basic set of features, and as it understands what people want to do with it it’ll add more. So for example you can use it as a photo frame (albeit a pricey one), but unlike standalone frames you can’t make it turn itself on at X o’clock and off again at bedtime. I’m sure adding that is an insignificant task, but why bother if people don’t want that feature? Apple is famous for many things, but feature bloat isn’t one of them.

Oh, of course. And elsewhere you have the likes of Nokia sticking HDMI ports into their mobile phones to widespread shrugs of “why the fuck are they putting HDTV connectors into mobile phones?” :)

You may remember I got Vic that Kodak Z-whatever-it-is pocket camcorder a while back. It’s HD and it has an output so you can plug it into your TV. It’s not an HDMI port, but it would certainly make plenty of sense if it were. Meanwhile, I see some mobiles now have HD cameras.

Nokia have made plenty of mistakes lateley — complacency being the big one — but I’m not sure that’s one of them.

Apple, you may remember, stuck USB ports on their machines back when no-one had heard of USB. And they were right.

In general, I agree with you. In the specific case of allowing the machine to be used by more than one person without them screwing with each other’s settings, this is absurd. Are you seriously claiming that Apple have absolutely no inkling of whether any Ipads will be used by more than one person?

> It’s not being marketed as a multi-user device

Well, no, as that would be lying.

I think it’s the same as original iphone’s lack of cut and paste. People who buy the devices don’t see it as a deal breaker.

It’s definitely not a deal breaker. It never crossed my mind that user accounts might be needed on a device like this. It certainly would be useful – it’s a testament to how good the iPad is that everyone wants to use the damn thing, at every opportunity.

It’s not simply either a deal-breaker or not a deal-breaker. It isn’t for you. It is for me. I couldn’t afford one right now anyway, but, if I could, that one piece of information would have stopped me buying one.

> It’s not simply either a deal-breaker or not a deal-breaker. It isn’t for you. It is for me.

If Sophie were a bit older, the lack of user accounts would probably be a deal-breaker for me too.

The answer to this problem is: “get your own”, or for the kids “don’t use dad’s iPad”, or even “there’s a computer which isn’t being used much these days, try that”.

Maybe I’m just being mean, but making it easy for others to use my iPad would be a bonus, not a mandatory requirement.

I don’t think you’re being mean, but I do think the iPad is shareable in a way laptops, phones aren’t. User accounts would definitely enhance that.

My guess (or hope) is that delays in getting iOS4 on to iPad will give Apple the chance to add some iPad specific software features like user accounts.

I suspect that nobody was really sure how successful iPad would be, how people would be using it or what it might be used for. Now we know more – unexpected uses found and limitations exposed – there’s a clearer path for evolution.

I think so too. It’d be a missed opportunity if iOS 4 didn’t have new goodies when it comes to the iPad.

It’s a good point. I think the others in my household see it as “my” iPad and don’t really even think about the fact that the email account is set up for me alone, but it has crossed my mind that an elegant way to make it multi-user would be nice. But it’s not a computer to most people in that sense. It’s really more about the apps.

I think if you look a few years down the road we’ll have networked storage, cloud storage and multiple tablets in our houses. Front facing camera could recognise you and load your profile automatically whenever you pick up any tablet.

I still don’t see it, but that’s maybe because I put my pics and video on the computer for editing, deleting crap etc. I rarely if ever connect camcorder to the TV, and I’d never even think of hooking up a phone. Maybe I’m in the minority?

I suppose we’ll see what the public think of it soon enough. All the reviews I can find of the N8 say that its camera’s going to be incredible.

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