The Mac has an option to create multiple users, a feature not many Mac users know about. What do you get? An option for each family member to have their own space, their own account, on the Mac which cannot view, use, or corrupt other accounts. The iPhone and iPad need that multi-user account option, too.
Wait a minute. That’s nuts, right? We can all see the value of a Mac with multiple accounts; even the Guest account has value. And, maybe we can stretch it and understand multiple accounts on an iPad means family members can share the same device. But the iPhone? Who wants to share an iPhone?
Your boss. Your company. Your profession. You.
Hear me out. Multiple user mode on iPhone is an idea whose time has come. No, we’re not going to give our iPhones to children or a spouse or a workmate. iPhones are just too personal for that. I mean, it’s a phone, right? We need our iPhones on our person more than we need a Mac or iPad.
What we need is the ability to segregate work use from personal use and iOS 10 doesn’t do a good job of that. Many iPhone users combine both work and personal on the same device and that gets messy. Many others carry two phones; one for the job (paid for by the company; with company apps and security), and one for personal use.
I’ve done it both ways. Mixed my own iPhone for work and personal. And carried two phones; one for work, one personal. Both are messy compromises. The mixed iPhone– work and personal– means text messages, email, and applications are intermingled with personal information, and keeping track of what’s what takes some nimble effort to avoid a mistake. I’ve gone to the effort of keeping separate email apps– one for work, one for personal, and setting up a separate text message app for personal use because Messages doesn’t segregate SMS text from iMessage texts.
That needs to change and it’s probably a trivial effort for Apple. iOS is built on macOS (formerly OS X) which has multi-user mode– multiple user accounts– built in already.
The iPad could use multiple user mode, too, but it’s unlikely Apple would implement that into any iOS version except perhaps the iPad Pro. After all, Apple is a hardware company and it’s better for Apple to sell more iPads into a family than it is to put multi-user mode into iOS so more customers can use one device.
iPhone is different and needs a multi-user or multiple account option.
Think of it this way. With a single tap to an icon in Settings or on the iPhone’s Widgets, you could switch from work to personal mode. Work would have its own email, its own calendar, contacts, Safari, Reminders, Notes, even Camera or any other application the user wants to segregate from personal mode. The personal side would have the same. The Widget button would act as a toggle between the two.
Or, maybe you just want to hide a certain aspect of your life and keep it away from anyone and everyone. Multiple user account mode– with Touch ID– would do that.
An iPhone with multiple user mode is a good idea and its time has come.