Android 4.3 might not be the most monumental update to Google’s operating system, but one of the more notable improvements heading our way in Android 4.3 is the upgraded features available in the user profiles section, which was first introduced for tablets in Android 4.2.
Essentially, restricted profiles will allow the device administrator to control exactly what each profile has access to. Google states that restricted profiles are ideal for “friends and family, guest users, kiosks, point-of-sale devices, and more”, so don’t expect to have unfettered access to store demo devices any more.
But the main benefit is definitely going to be seen by families, especially for those who are concerned that their kids could run up an expensive Play Store bill. Restricted profiles will allow concerned parents to turn off access to the Google Play Store or in-app purchases on their child’s profile, whilst keeping full access available for themselves.
The setup process seems simple enough, and is done in much the same way as setting multiple accounts in the older Android 4.2. Heading on over to Settings, then Users, will take you to the screen where you can add new users and edit the permission of existing ones.
From there, various results can be achieved by toggling the on/off options, such as restricted access to certain applications, and some apps have a wider variety of control available via a familiar settings button. This fine tuning allows you to adjust what Settings options can be seen and which apps can be accessed, which is helping if you want to keep the little tykes from messing around with some of Android’s more advanced features.
But the profiles aren’t just about controlling applications, each profile is granted an isolated space with its own local storage, uniquely customized home screen, widgets, and will store various other settings unique to each user, just like with the old user profiles.
This is certainly going to be one of the more useful feature for day to day use in Android 4.3, so let’s hope that tablet manufacturers roll out the update as quickly as possible.