iPad Guest Mode

With the addition of an 11″ MacBook Air to my travel arsenal, my primary use for my iPad is as an around the house machine. Specifically, I find it best to have it hanging around in a living space where I can use it to quickly get information. Sometimes I use an app, sometimes the web, sometimes I just check email, etc. The iPad is often a better device for these items than a laptop or phone is.

The problem is that I don’t want to hand over the iPad to someone else while my business email, etc. is set up on it. I don’t want my toddler tweeting on my Twitter account. But I would love for her to be able to grab it and play games, and I’d like to feel comfortable with anyone picking it up to browse the web, etc.

The iPad hardware (even with the iPad 2) isn’t really powerful enough to have full multiple logins and fast user switching like Max OS X, but I think a simple “guest mode” could solve this problem pretty simply.

It would work as follows:

  1. A different password screen option that would allow access in guest mode.
  2. Settings to specify apps that are disallowed while in guest mode (I would block access to Mail and Twitter).
  3. A different user profile (cookies, history, bookmarks) for MobileSafari while in guest mode.

I think that would basically do it, and would make the iPad a fantastic, sharable, living room machine.