Monday, March 05, 2012

No Multi-User for You- The Limitations of the IPad

When we lived in a world without the IPad some saw it as a dark and sad place.   You had to use these dark and heavy things called Laptops to carry all your data and games.  Happily those days are far behind us, but there is one small problem, and the problem is starting to get aggravating. The IPad is expensive, no getting around that, they hover around $600 and that doesn’t include the data plans and the phone companies charges.  So for many they live in a one IPad home. This should be a completely satisfactory. The person who bought the damn thing has dibs when it comes to work and fun time. But when American Idol’s on it can be passed on to a spouse or a child of the main user.

Here is when the rub comes in.  Main user’s configuration, Facebook, Email, and Twitter account can not be logged out of in favor of some one who’s more interested in having a Justin Bieber background. This is a frustration that is not only frustrating but is also unfair. This seems to be a bit of a signal from Apple that they don’t want you to share your IPad. Something that cost the down payment on a Prius should be willing to share the wealth.  

Apple’s half-hearted argument is that the program that runs IPad is made for phones, which does not have a multi-users either.  Which is dumb, don’t come out with a product like this unless you want everyone to be able to have their own area on it. Recently tablets have been falling all over themselves to tell people about how their stuff is “child-friendly”. Which means that if someone touches it with ketchup on their hands it won’t explode.  But if it was truly family friendly it would have the ability to let others play their games and you not have to worry about duckies being drawn all over your presentation.  

But this also brings up an interesting question of what is the IPad for. Is it made for everyone to have their own, so that you can all sit silently apart playing monopoly hotels at different levels. Or is something that the family can use together, like the TV or light sabers? Hopefully Apple will smell what the consumer is cooking and decide that the next upgrades will include multi-users. Because the family that doesn’t beat my high score on angry birds stay together.