Multi-user finally coming to Android phones with release of Android L?

When it arrived in the fall of 2012, Android 4.2 Jelly Bean delivered a feature users had long asked for: support for multiple user profiles on a single device. Problem was, that mode was only accessible on tablets. Rumors speculated a lot about why that was, initially placing the blame on existing software patents that covered such a mode for phones, but then last summer we finally got an official response, describing it largely as a user interface and technical problem: when you’ve got multiple users, to whom should things like text messages and incoming voice calls be directed? Now with the public release of Android L just around the corner, it sounds like Google has finally undertaken the effort to figure this all out, and could deliver a multi-user mode that works on phones as well as tablets.

An issue report submitted to Google’s tracker earlier today made the latest demand for multi-user on phones, and this time Google responded, with a dev marking the issue closed and noting, “the development team has implemented this feature and it will be available as a part of the next public build.”

Now, that doesn’t necessarily mean that the multi-user support will be identical to what we’ve seen with tablets, nor that it will address all the possible fine-grained account restrictions some Android users are asking for, but this still sounds like a big change in the right direction, and we’re itching for the chance to see just how this will be implemented.

Source: Android Developer Preview issue tracker
Via: 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 bits Read more about Stephen Schenck!