Android L Likely to Bring Multi-User Support for Smartphones

Android L Likely to Bring Multi-User Support for Smartphones
If a new post on Google's Android issue tracker and its official reply are to be given full credence, then Android L smartphones will feature multiple user support.

The issue post, titled "Enable multi-user on phone type devices", was filed in the Android Developer Preview public project on Tuesday, and referred to the lack of multi-user account support on Android-powered smartphones.

(Also see: Android L: 8 New Features in the Next Major Android Release)

The post said, "Tablets are able to have multiple accounts for multiple users, allowing the users to install an app only for themselves. Storage space of phones is growing, 32GB or even 64GB. For example, some families are sharing their phones with their kids for gaming. On a tablet, you can set up an account for your kids and restrict the access on your own apps. My idea is to enable the multi-user feature on phone type devices, with adding an extra restricted account type for kids."

The above Android issue tracker post was closed by a Project member (Google employee) on Wednesday, who replied, "The development team has implemented this feature and it will be available as a part of the next public build."

Considering that Android L is due to launch later this year, the "next public build" mention by the Project member clearly hints that the feature can be expected to debut once the final build is released.

The post on the Android issue tracker (which in the past has been a source of numerous unintentional leaks) was first reported by Android Police.

Notably, Google had rolled-out multi-user profile support for tablets with its Android 4.2 Jelly Bean release, while the feature was further updated with the launch of Android 4.3 Jelly Bean.

Multi-user profile support currently helps in restricting app usage and content consumption on an Android tablet. Users were allowed to set profiles for each user of the device in case of multiple users. For instance, parents could control what apps or games their kids had access to on their tablets.

Google announced the next major build of Android, currently codenamed Android L, for smartphones and tablets at the I/O event. Google also detailed some of the features and confirmed that Android L will be released later this year without revealing an exact time frame.


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Further reading: Android, Android L, Google, Mobiles
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