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Multi-User App Share Enables Users to Share Apps Through Android 4.2′s Multi-User Feature

Tablet owners that are running Android 4.2 have the ability to take advantage of the all new multi-user feature, which allows for multiple user accounts on one device. To save people space, a developer has created Multi-User App Share, which allows for applications and their data to be shared between users, so no duplicate downloading and installing is needed. Root is required and the app, if used improperly, could potentially harm your device’s data if you accidentally misplace it. So, if you’re thinking about giving it a try, please use caution.

As another note, applications that use Market license checks could potentially not work as well, given there is another email tied to accounts. App Share is still in beta, so expect plenty of updates to come to improve functionality.

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Cheers Brian!

  • Kevin McDole

    And here I thought this would be the default behavior…

  • fiveHellions

    Slight correction:

    It doesn’t share data between users. That is still separate per user. So it doesn’t save any space.

    It is no different then if the second user went to the play store and re downloaded all the apps (only has 1 copy of app but different data directory for each user). This app just makes it easier to give the second user apps instead of them having to go get each one of them from the play store.

    • Ivon Liu

      Hi, I really want to try it. It says that the app isn’t compatible with my GNex, probably because most GNex’s don’t have multi-user. However, my ROM, Paranoid Android, DOES support multi-user, so could I either have an apk or have the app available to phones as well? Thanks.

      • fiveHellions

        here is a link to the apk. i will have to think about making it available in the play store for phones as well. not sure if it will confuse alot of people that dont have a rom with multiple users.. https://dl.dropbox.com/u/43302928/MultiUserAppShare.apk

        let me know how it works on your gnex

  • ddevito

    android is full of win

  • Michael McAfoos

    No duplicate download and installing is needed with the stock implementation. I think a lot of people have misunderstood how multi-user works. If I install the facebook app, and then the 2nd user goes to install the facebook app, it doesn’t really re-download the apk and isn’t taking up double the space. It instead just “unlocks” it for the 2nd user so to speak.

    So maybe this application could allow you to share paid apps across accounts without requiring both accounts to have purchased it, but for free apps, I don’t believe it serves any purpose at all.

    • Michael McAfoos

      After I re-read the article I realized it also claims to let users share the data for an app. This isn’t possible in the stock implementation I suppose.

      I’m not completely clear on WHY you’d want to do that. Isn’t that the same situation as just not having separate users at all? Not having separate saves for games, not having separate logins for social networking applications, etc etc. I could do that by sharing my tablet with someone and just not having a second user set up.

      • JasonIvers

        That’s an easy answer… because you only want to share data for a limited subset of apps. You might want to share data for some game or other, but not GMail (or whatever other apps).

  • Jason Hansen

    I don’t think it shares data, it just makes it so that other user has it installed.

  • Bill Anderson

    When user A has an app installed, and then user B installs the same app, a second copy is not downloaded. They both use the same APK file, so this Multi-User App Share will save no space there. Allowing them to share the same data space, however, is a feature.

  • Raven

    Too bad that it requires root, although I technically understand why. I really wish that Android 4.2 included some easy way of sharing data between users. I have not even figured out how to share movie and music files between users without resorting to some root trickery. And, ironically, my Nexus 7 is the only one of my 5 Android devices that I do not have rooted yet.

    So, has anyone figured out a way of rooting a Nexus 7 without unlocking it and wiping all of the data? Now that my wife and I are sharing it really don’t want to wipe the data. I have never had any trouble rooting any of my other devices without wiping so it sucks that the supposedly easily hackable Nexus isn’t easily rootable without wiping.

    • Evan T

      You could just sign into your wifes partition with your Google account. Or create a third account for both of you and make all movie and media purchases through it, then you could have it as a secondary account on both. No root required.

    • Kie

      From what I understand it is not rooting that wipes the data, it is the unlocking process. Chances are most phones you have rooted in the past you didn’t have to unlock. It is possible to back up your data without root through ADB. Search around a google for it, there are some good guides out there.

  • http://www.webmaxtorhosting.com/ Scott Szymczak

    This is something that I was disappointed to learn wasn’t a part of the new features in 4.2. I would like to give my kids access to my tablets, but don’t want to lose the progress they have already made on the games they play and do not want to give them access to the Play store.

    • JoshGroff

      You could just password protect your play store.

    • Raven

      I have dealt with this too. Thankfully, at least for all of the Rovio games like Angry Birds there are Angry Birds Backup apps available that let you copy the progress to other devices or users without even being rooted. So, for whatever games that you are concerned about, you may want to check if someone has made a Backup app for them.

    • Kurtis Tamez

      There are numerous ways to protect data, and your bank account.

      Lock Apps like the Play Store (PIN to open designated Apps) to keep little one’s from messing things up:
      https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.domobile.applock

      Titanium Backup obviously can backup and restore the game data (progress) as well.

      As mentioned You can put a PIN on App purchases as well.

      Lots of options out there. I have my gmail connected to my 9 year old Son’s phone in just this way.