As latest discoveries show, a long awaited feature known as multiple user access, may soon arrive on Android platforms. It seems that Google has added throughout the years a number of coding sequences that strongly indicate towards the adaptation of this service, which can already be found on other competitors. Moreover, in the past few months, these changes have been spotted by several users, including one member from Android Police who had the time to share and explain its findings.
Multiple users access coming to Android
Multiple user access will allow the Android device to be used by several persons, without the fear of leaking information or any other privacy concerns. Basically, the mobile platform will set up a different menu for each user, one that can only be reached by passing the lock-screen menu tailored with customized passwords. This way, a tablet can be shared amongst several members of the family, each one having its settings synced at any time without annoying the rest.
At the moment, the Android platform lacks such a service and as an example, if two people want to use the same smartphone they can only access one database for contacts, because syncing a new account will overlap existing data.
Bits and pieces indicating the feature
The first hint that made us believe that Android will have multiple access in the upcoming versions is the implementation of a new method, called onUserChanged(int userId). Basically, this line of code makes sure that whenever the user is switched the lockscreen will automatically reload with the customized specification for the user in question.
Secondly, Google changed the default location for saving the user data from ‘/data/data’ to ‘/data/user/0’, making plenty of room for the new option. This change can already be experienced on the latest Android versions, such as 4.1 Jelly Bean.
Moreover, a way of switching the user right from the power menu was discovered, as well as package restrictions for multiple account which should work just like user rights in Windows, allowing the admin to disable specific applications for each user.
A new option, already found on competitors
When taking a peak on the other side, Apple has these means of connectivity since ages and Microsoft is strongly coming from the back of the pack, with the upcoming Windows Phone 8 version. Besides allowing multiple user access on the so called Apollo, Microsoft will also permit ‘discussions’ between mobile devices and desktops.
zanderman112, a developer on XDA-dev forum has posted this video showing how to create a secondary account using a terminal emulator.