Sharing the iPad

Love the iPad. Here’s my biggest feature request for version 2:

I’d like to be able to share it. 

OS X has separate accounts, so that different members of a family or office can log in, sync their email, sync their iTunes, photos, and content. They can save their documents in different spaces, and they can arrange their desktop and their applications to their liking. The iPhone lacked this ability, as there was only one user space. This was completely acceptable however, because people generally carry their own phone, and don’t necessarily care about sharing a phone with their spouse or children.

The iPad on the other hand seems like a device that is meant to be shared. It’s to be used around the house not only as an entertainment center, but also as a newspaper, an e-book reader, and a social media hub. However right now it’s restricted to only one user space. If I sync my email with iPad mail, then my wife can’t sync hers. If I sync it with my iTunes and kindle account, then we can only access my content and not hers. If I sync it with my twitter and facebook, then it’s useless to her in interacting with social media. Sure some of these programs support multiple accounts, but then you get into complexities around usability and privacy.

I’ve heard a lot of talk about people clamoring for background processes, or a built in camera, or flash support in future versions, but I’d just like to put multi-user support on the radar as well. A family of 4 shouldn’t need 4 iPads just so that everybody can check their email.