Password protected mail on iPad?

My wife and I just purchased an iPad to share. She will be the main user. I will use it only when I’m acting as projectionist/video operator for my photo club. We need to share the main password for the pad so I can use it when she’s not around, but we want her to have privacy for her email.

We thought we might have different accounts/logins on the same pad, but Apple says that’s not possible.

My wife is very averse to dealing with new operations on the computer so having her access her Gmail account in a browser is unacceptable

On a recent search I saw an app identified as one that could replace Apple’s Mail app, but unlike Mail it can require a password. I’ve forgotten what it was called and can’t seem to find the page where it was discussed again. Do any of you know?

And is there anyway to similarly privatize her Messages app too?

Paul Brians
Bainbridge Island, WA

Outlook for iOS works very well with a Gmail account and can be set to require TouchID (or FaceID for the iPad Pro that uses that) when it is launched. If somebody presents a bad face or fingerprint it will prompt for the device’s passcode.

Messages? I can’t think of a way to password protect the messages app.

Thanks, but the whole point is to avoid using the TouchID feature because I will be using the pad (for non-mail purposes) when separate from her. In addition, she’s very averse to learning to use new apps. The appeal of the one I am forgetting the name of is supposed to look and act just like Mail, which she is used to.

Paul Brians

Well this might help.
I use Proton Mail. ( The best end to end encrypted mail service)
And the free iPad app they have, comes with an option to lock just the app with TouchID.
So all other uses of the iPad are unlocked, but when you launch the ProtonMail app, a touch is needed to view, or create mail.

Sounds promising. The app I was thinking of was Canary Mail, but the user reviews are pretty bad:

Well, the point is that an accidental start of Overlook would show the prompt of TouchID. So long as you avoid touching the home button, it won’t open. But, I see what you want. Unfortunately I do not know which app you are talking about.

One idea, though, is to use Guided Access that will lock just the app that you are using onto the screen. Nothing else can be opened without typing the Guided Access passcode (which can be different from the device passcode.) When you start whichever app that you use for videos or photos you can start Guided Access with a home button triple-click and this would hide everything, including messages, from access until you end Guided Access. Settings / Accessibility / Guided Access to set this feature up.

Another idea is to use Downtime and add only the apps that you want accessed while you are using the iPad in the Allowed Apps list. Turn on Downtime while you are using the iPad to prevent starting the mail app or the messages app, etc. Settings / Screen Time to set these options.

I hope somebody finds that mail app for you.

If you and your wife are to be the only users, and you don’t read your mail on the iPad, can’t she trust you to not read her mail?

Or is there a concern that a third-party might use it (e.g. when you’re using it as projectionist?

If your wife’s mail is GMail, you can install Google’s GMail app. I think you can configure it to not save passwords, forcing you to enter it every time. If you don’t configure Mail for her account, nothing will show up there.

I don’t know of a way to force passwords in Messages.

If your budget permits, maybe it would be best to get a second iPad you can use for your projectionist duties. The least expensive current model (iPad, 32 GB, Wi-Fi) costs $330 from Apple, and you may be able to get better prices if you look for last year’s model or a refurb.

My take on this is that Apple really doesn’t want regular users (non-EDU) sharing iPads. They have shown no signs of reversing on that from what I can tell. If you can somehow afford, I would try to get a second iPad, used or refurbished possibly. Chances are you’ll end up with a solution that aligns much better to your workflow (and is more secure to use) compared to trying to work around how Apple has set up their walled garden.

Truth be told, I know people who have grudgingly bought an Android tablet exactly because of this use case. Personally, if at all possible, I would rather spend a bit more than go that route.

Dagnabbit. And we were just starting to shop for one to share at home.

Thank you for the cautionary information.

If you don’t mind the other person potentially seeing your email…there’s no reason not to share. My wife and I have each other’s passcodes for iPhones and iPads…and have shared one fingerprint each and the alternate appearance for FaceID.

I’ve used Spark for a number of years for my emails. It has several security options on the iPad or iPhone. One combination that would meet your needs would be that you can set up a passkey, but leave TouchID disabled. I don’t remember how complicated the passkey can be (mine is 6 numeric digits), so it may not be as secure as a full password.

Because I use Spark I’m not that familiar with Mail, so can’t comment on how similar the two are.