Jelly Bean Includes Multi-User Android Support Framework

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A little earlier this summer, our Michael Fisher was wondering about the state of multi-user support on tablets, and looked into a couple solutions available for iOS and Android users. Especially with tablets, arguably more so than smartphones, the likelihood that they’ll be shared among multiple family members makes having separate settings for each all the more useful. While there’s still no official support for this kind of user switching on the major platforms, it turns out that Android is quite a long way towards seeing that goal realized, with some major revisions for multi-user support already in place.

Probably the most substantial change that’s happened under the radar has been the creation of support for multiple app data directories. That way, every user will have his or her own copy of stored data for any apps on the phone or tablet, extending across everything from saved games to stored bookmarks. In Jelly Bean, this system appears to already be in place, but there’s no way to add or change users; instead, the current user’s app data is permanently configured as the primary data directory.

There are also signs of this coming support in other parts of the OS, like how code for the Android lockscreen now features hooks for “onUserChanged” events.

It may still be some time before everything get fleshed-out and we’re quickly and painlessly jumping between user profiles on Android, but it’s clear that’s where things are heading.

Source: Android Police

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About The Author
Stephen Schenck
Stephen has been writing about electronics since 2008, which only serves to frustrate him that he waited so long to combine his love of gadgets and his degree in writing. In his spare time, he collects console and arcade game hardware, is a motorcycle enthusiast, and enjoys trapping blue crabs. Stephen's first mobile device was a 624 MHz Dell Axim X30, which he's convinced is still a viable platform. Stephen longs for a market where phones are sold independently of service, and bandwidth is cheap and plentiful; he's not holding his breath. In the meantime, he devours smartphone news and tries to sort out the juicy bitsRead more about Stephen Schenck!