The iPad is the hottest, fastest growing IT device on the planet right now. Students, business workers, and parents are using the iPad in a wide range of ways. As the software gets better and better, people are using the iPads as teaching tools for youngsters, some as young as 1. Personally I have been using my iPad(s) with my son for reading, counting, overall education and even entertainment since he was about 1 year old. Now as he is approaching 4 and can navigate the entire device, a large gap in the iOS methodology is beginning to be exposed and Apple needs to address it.
As Apple’s approach to the iPad’s marketing is everyone can use it. The whole family, there is an app for everyone. However, the iOS doesn’t take this usage into consideration when it comes to security. The iPad wants to be used by everyone but Apple wants each person to have their own, not share a single device. This is not practical in an average household. If you are a parent, you need to have close supervision to watch a child make sure they are only using apps that are intended for them and not open your financial management apps, an adult rated game, Netflix to watch that R rated movie in your queue. The iOS has nothing in it to block individual use, its a all for one, one for all mentality and this is the gap and the biggest complaint I get from family users on how to fix it. Unfortunately I cannot.
This is the greatest leap that Apple can make to accommodate how iPads are being used. I am not recommending implementing a login feature and turn the iPad into a laptop, but expand the password blocks farther out into the iOS itself. Today the apps can prompt you for your iTunes password if you are going to make a purchase, but this is after you are in the app. Apple needs the ability to set a code for individual apps and/or app folders. This way parents, roommates, spouses, can place their apps into locked folders to prevent others from accessing those apps. As a parent I no longer have to worry about 3 year old quitting out of Elmo’s ABC and opening Infinity Blade 2 or the sniper because he wants to see the big scary monsters and shoot the gun. As an iPad owners I am not going to spend another $700 for a 3 year old to have his own iPad and I shouldn’t have to delete apps I don’t want the child to see.
A simple solution to the iOS would make a massive difference on how the iPad’s are consumed and perhaps would encourage parents to let their kids use them if they could be reassured they could only access the children apps.
Why Apple has not made a mention on this I do not know, but I do know that there are many people out there, myself included, who would applaud Apple if they put this in place.
Sometimes the easiest things make the biggest differences. Apple has always been about easy, simple, smooth. That’s the main reason I dumped my PCs and started to replace them with iMacs at home. Apple gets it, I just hope they see and hear this request and get this too.
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Binary Blogger has spent 20 years in the Information Security space currently providing security solutions and evangelism to clients. From early web application programming, system administration, senior management to enterprise consulting I provide practical security analysis and solutions to help companies and individuals figure out HOW to be secure every day.