Apple did the right thing with iOS and the iPad. Instead of just updating the iPad as always with the latest and greatest iOS version, Apple created iPadOS, that will allow the iPad to be more Mac-like, take on more Mac-like features and functions, but with embarrassing anyone who owns a Mac.
Better windows management? Check. Keyboard and mouse support. Check. Multi-user support? Uh, wait a minute. Where’s that? Macs have multi-user support built-in. Think of it as a good way to share your Mac with family, friends, or co-workers without them mucking up your files.
Where is multi-user support for iPadOS?
It ain’t there. As a mommy with four or five school-age kids– sometimes I lose track of the count; it changes; they may not all be mine– I could save some money if iPads came with the same kind of multi-user support as macOS.
As it is now I’m forced to buy myself a new iPad every year, then hand down last year’s model to one of our kids (or to some neighbor kids who stays over so often they just blend in). That means a new iPad for me, of course, but if Apple had multi-user support I could use one iPad for two kids.
See? That’s math. Save money.
What gets me about Apple’s insistence that a Mac be a Mac and an iPad be something less– no multi-user support– is that tvOS 13 now has multi-user support. Dennis Sellers explains how it works:
tvOS 13 adds multi-user support, which makes it easy to switch between family members so everyone gets their own personalized entertainment experience.
Hello? Good idea, right?
We do the hand-me-down thing with Apple TV, too. We get Apple TV 4K in the family room, and older Apple TV models go to other locations in the house. Personalized settings would make it easier to
control manage what each child has access to view.
Users see their unique Up Next list and receive TV and movie recommendations based on their tastes.
Trust me. What an 8-year-old watches is not the same as a 4-year-old.
You can switch between user accounts to access your personal content in the Apple TV app, Apple Music, and the App Store.
This is not a perfect solution, of course, but it helps to prevent offspring from mucking up mom and dad’s settings.
So, why doesn’t Apple allow multi-user support in iPadOS and iPad?
The Mac and macOS have had multi-user support since the cows left home, and taking it away now would cause the villagers to riot. Nobody who owns an iPhone– except parents with kids too small to have their own iPad (clumsy hands)– wants multi-user mode.
But the iPad is different. Customers want it.
Apple won’t give it because we would buy fewer iPads and purchase less frequently. Face it. Apple is a hardware company. They want us to buy more hardware.