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I share my precious iPad with three other members of my family, and with occasional guests who drop by from time to time. Each user has his or her own e-mail and Facebook accounts, which typically means they have to log out of my accounts to access theirs. This is not a huge problem, but since Apple has already established a multiple sign-in accounts feature for Macs, it only makes sense to have something similar for iOS devices.
Perhaps Apple hasn’t added this feature because secretly it would like to have each member of the family own their own iPad. Well, until that happens, the developers at Ghori Networks have created a workable solution, called Our Pad. The name might not be exciting, but the features this application offers may very be useful to those of us who share their iPad with other people.
How It Works
With Our Pad, you and other members of your family or group can set up separate accounts for signing into e-mail and social networking sites, including Facebook, Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo Mail, and Twitter.
As Ghori Networks states :
Passwords for your accounts are not transferred anywhere and are strictly managed within the device using the Apple Keychain lockbox.
This setup simply saves users the trouble of having to sign out of and into similar accounts.
You sign out of a user account by pressing the Home button or by tapping your name. If you forget to sign out, Our Pad will automatically sign you out when your iPad is idle or when it goes to sleep.
Adding accounts in Our Pad is pretty easy. When you launch the application, it asks you for the name of a user. You could also simply add an alternate account for say work related sites.
In the next screen you draw what is called a long pattern to unlock the account. You should make that pattern as easy or as difficult as it needs to be depending upon the user and the level of security needed. This lock pattern feature is what many iPad users would probably like to see used for logging into the iPad itself.
If you forget your lock pattern, you will need to delete the user account in question and set it up again.
After clicking the next button, you simply add the accounts that you want to log into. The username and password for each account will be saved so that you do not have to type them in again.
Once you’re set up, you can easily switch between your established email and social networking accounts. In my test of the application, I find Our Pad to be amazingly fast and intuitive.
Fortunately, you can also change the name of and/or reset the log-in pattern for existing accounts, as well delete them altogether.
I’m not a big fan of the app’s design, but I’m very hopeful about the future potential of this iPad-only application.
Ghori Networks has already said that future updates of this application will include other sites. The developers invite you to let them know about different web-based services you would like to see added.
It would be great if Apple added the ability to access multiple user accounts on iPad so that each user has their own set of applications and user settings. No doubt this will occur in future versions of the iPad, but for now Ghori Networks provides a practical solution that many of us iPad owners will want to use.
Let us know what you think of Our Pad, which is free for a limited time.