Multiple user accounts coming soon to Android smartphones, will no longer be exclusive to tablets

Jelly Bean 4.3 restricted profiles apps

A little over a year ago, Google took the wraps off of Android 4.3 Jelly Bean and we were pleased to a few new smaller additions making their way into the update. One of the ones we were most excited about was the introduction of multiple user accounts with restricted profiles. This allowed users to set up their Android device with a main account, restricting apps or other usage for secondary accounts on the device (perfect for those of us with kids). There was only one problem: this was exclusively an Android tablet feature, leaving smartphone users out in the cold.

Here we are, quite a few Android updates later and it seems someone at Google has been listening. In a response to a user requesting multiple user accounts make their way to Android smartphones (issue 1017), a Google Project Member chimed in a few hours ago mentioning that the feature will indeed arrive in a future Android update, officially closing the issue. Success!

Unfortunately, the Googler failed to mention whether or not they were talking about a smaller maintenance release, or something a little bigger like Android L. In either case, you can rest assured knowing that multiple user accounts will be soon come baked into Android smartphones — you just gotta wait a bit longer. Let’s hope they figured out a way to make it similar to Apple’s family sharing feature in iOS 8.

[Google Issue Tracker]

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  • http://google.com/+derekross Derek Ross

    As a parent with two little minions, I need this feature. Also, having to buy the same app multiple times to be used on the same device with multiple accounts is kind of silly and has stopped me from using restricted profiles.

    • ianken

      You don’t need to buy it twice. I use restricted potties with my kids N7s and I install the apps on my account and enable it on their restricted account.

      • mcl630

        Yes, that works on tablets now, but not phones. That’s what this is about, adding it to phones.

  • Paul Monroe, Jr.

    I have been waiting for this…The first thing imma do is make a guest account with access to nothing but the dialer for those nosey people who like to ask to use your phone and then try to snoop thru it after being done with the call. That is so annoying.

  • ianken

    Too bad the restricted account solution as implemented is a space sucking mess.

  • Jason Broad

    I have been doing this for years. I have a family Google account that sits on all my devices. All music and app purchases go on this account so everyone can have access to them with one purchase. Everyone also has their own account. Only the adults have the password to the family account

  • dhinged

    Damn, if I could have a “guest” account on my phone, that would eliminate so much worry.

  • Robabobbob

    Hallelujah!