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Creating Multiple User Profiles on Nexus Tablets

Last month when Google announced the release of the Nexus 10 tablet I wrote about the option for having multiple user profiles on it possibly making it a great tablet for classrooms. At the time of that writing it was unclear if that was a feature exclusive to the Nexus 10 or if that would be rolled out to all devices running Android 4.2. Well this morning I got some clarity on that question as my Nexus 7 automatically updated to Android 4.2.

Now that my Nexus 7 tablet has Android 4.2 I can create multiple user profiles on it. To create a profile open the “settings” menu then select “users” under the “device” menu. From there select “add user” to create a new profile. Users can customize the apps and appearance of the device within their accounts without touching any other user’s settings. The one thing that users can do that could affect others is accept app updates for the whole device.

Creating multiple user profiles on a Nexus 7, Nexus 10, or other device running Android 4.2 could prove to be very useful in settings in which there are not enough devices to have a true 1:1 experience.

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  • Molly Schroeder

    Our experience with this was not as successful as we thought it would be, because we found out it is more like creating multiple users on Chrome – it doesn’t log out the other user, but just adds a user. If the students have email on their device, and then another user is added, can’t they get back into the first users email? Thoughts?

    • MeganO

      Creating users on the device is separate from associating those users with Gmail accounts, or other email accounts. If you want to have different people use the device, then set up each as a separate user with a secure login (pin, swipe pattern, etc.). Then in each person can associate their user account with one or more email accounts or other IDs. If a person chooses to have the device automatically sync with one or more email accounts, then they can set that up when logged into the device under their user id.

      On the negative side, you must separately install all of the applications for each user under their userid. However, the applications really aren’t copied to the device multiple times, as far as I understand.

      • http://totallycovered.net/ Derek Schaefer

        It is unacceptable that paid apps need to be paid for again for each user of the device. I couldn’t believe it until I tested it on my own Nexus 10. Unlike Windows, Linux, Mac where installed programs appear for each user on the computer, on Android they don’t.

      • Mechmaniac85

        Not pleased with the fact that I cannot even load the “free” aps to the new user I created. seems like a useless feature if I have to root the device to actually use it!

  • CD IT

    It seems the natives apps have to be logged out of each time before switching to a new user. Gmail, Gtalk etc…

  • disqusidentity

    HELP! I accidentally downloaded a paid app to my personal profile, not the family profile. Is there any way I can ‘shift’ the app along to the correct profile. I don’t want to root it unless I have to.

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