✦ Sharing an iPad
On his (always excellent) Cocoanetics weblog, Oliver Drobnik shared his Radar feature request for app and folder locking support. This would allow people to lock arbitrary apps - or folders containing apps - on their iPad.
Multiple reasons are given for this feature request, all of which are worth solving. Most notably:
- Children (often handed an iPad by their parents) can easily exit apps and begin poking around in places they shouldn’t be poking.
- Keeping track of multiple passwords results in a lousy, uneven user experience.
- 3rd party developers often work around this by creating app-specific locking mechanisms. This is insecure and inelegant for a number of reasons, not to mention a huge duplication of effort for something that could be handled by iOS.
While app/folder-specific locks would technically solve the above problems, I think such a feature risks complicating things. Having to worry about changing lock/unlock states for apps and folders entails extra cognitive load. What happens if you lock a folder and move an app into or out of it - does it keep the lock? Will there be an indication of when an unlock will time out?
Worst of all, it burdens the primary user of the device with having to enter passcodes on a regular basis - even during periods of time when their child isn’t using the iPad. It’s bad enough having to enter a passcode when waking up one’s iPad - prompting for additional passcodes during regular usage sounds like a recipe for aggravation.