What’s really missing from the iPad.

by Greg Maletic

There is, of course, endless speculation about what the iPad should have had, and why it will be an abject failure because of [your favorite feature]‘s absence. “Video camera” seems to be the #1 cited omission. No doubt videoconferencing via iPad would be nice, but hey, I don’t even know that many people that video chat, so I’m not sure how something used by so few people could be considered essential.

There’s one feature omission that everyone seems to have forgotten about: multi-user.

Without multi-user capability, whose bookmarks are going to be in Safari, mine, or my wife’s? Whose usernames and passwords will get saved? Whose schedule will be in the calendar app? Contacts in the Address Book? You get the idea. Without multi-user, most of the built-in apps will be, by necessity, useless, filled with data that’s not yours.

The good news is that multi-user requires just a software upgrade; maybe we’ll see it when iPhone 4.0 comes along. Until then, my iPad will be used about 50% less than it should be.

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