What you need to know
- Google will make it easier to switch between multiple profiles on the lock screen in Android 13.
- This feature is under development, and it is likely to make its way to smartphones and tablets.
- Android 13 will also allow users to install apps while setting up their guest profile without compromising privacy.
A few days ago, Google unveiled the first developer preview of Android 13, the next version of its mobile operating system that zeroes in on privacy and security. That's nowhere more evident than in the features promised by the upcoming Android version, including one that makes it a lot easier to switch between user profiles even before unlocking the screen.
According to Esper, an Android development platform, the next version of the OS will include a keyguard profile switcher, which will allow multiple users to log in to a device directly from the lock screen (via XDA Developers). When tapped, the switcher displays a drop-down menu with a list of the device's user profiles.
The profile switcher first popped up a few weeks ago in a pre-release build, along with a QR code scanner on the lock screen. It comes in handy when you hand over your device to someone you trust, such as a family member or a colleague.
In addition to the profile switcher, Android 13 will greatly improve the usability of guest mode on the best Android phones. When creating a new guest profile in Android 13 DP1, you can already install apps. You'll see a list of apps installed on the device during this process, and you can choose which ones to preload for the guest profile.
Previously, there was no way to share installed apps with guest profiles. To ensure your privacy, new users must log in to the installed apps with their own credentials. This means that they will not have access to your information.
These features may seem minor, but they improve accessibility and convenience for users who share the same device.
Jay Bonggolto always keeps a nose for news. He is a tech journalist based in the Philippines who has been writing about consumer tech for the past six years and has been using various Android phones since falling in love with Jelly Bean. When he's not writing, he likes to spend time outside, stealing scenes with his phone camera.
This is something I'd insist on before taking advantage of digital IDs, driver's license, COVID card, etc. Before ever unlocking, you could switch to a 'user' that only has access to what they need.
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