Today, picking up an iOS device and logging in with a separate Apple ID account for each family member, will see each family member able to purchase content from Apple’s digital content stores for download to one or more devices linked to that Apple ID account.
But, this system does not allow for each family member to have their own preferences, (or indeed store their own data on the device), separate to that of another family member.
This is where the concept of user accounts comes in. Just like on a desktop computer, user accounts are designed to store the respective settings, data, and other personal information that is relative to the user who is signed in – and while both iOS and the Apple ID system don’t yet support this implementation, there are many out there who would like to see this functionality added to the mobile operating system in the future.
Taking their own stab at visualising the ways the system feature could end up looking like for users, if Apple ever does choose to implement it, designers Tim Nikischin and Marc Philip Haesen this week share a new “multiple user” concept, that would see each family member able to login to the same iOS device with their own account details.
Each account user could then switch the account that they’re currently logged-in to by pulling down the iOS ‘Notification Center’ from the top of the screen, and selecting their profile badge.
Speculation as to why Apple is yet to implement this type of feature, varies. However one possible reason is the issue of cannibalising sales. In theory, allowing the same iOS device to display the user settings and data for more than one person could see one group of people choose to purchase one device between them, rather than choosing to buy one iOS device per person, (as Apple’s current system would seem to imply is the best way to go about things).