Google’s quietly testing the much-needed ability to sign into multiple user accounts within a single browser session, according to the folks at the unofficial Google Operating System blog.
The multiple sign-in feature applies to Google Docs, Calendar, Reader, Code, Sites and Gmail. Other services will default to the account that signed in first, and using multiple accounts will disable offline mode. There’s no indication of when multiple sign-ins will roll out to everyone; a Google representative told Lifehacker that there’s nothing to announce at this time.
Surely I’m not the only one who would love multiple sign-ins for Google services. If you’ve got separate Gmail or Docs accounts for work and personal matters, switching back and forth is a hassle. Aside from manually signing out of one account to access another, your options are to use a private or incognito session in browsers that allow it, open different web browsers for each account or install a Greasemonkey script in Firefox.
And none of those solutions nix the nuisance I’ve been running into lately: My wife and I share an iPad, and every time she checks her e-mail on the device, I’ve got to sign her out once it’s my turn. Switching between browsers is too bothersome, and enabling private browsing in Atomic Web doesn’t allow for multiple log-ins. I hope Google extends multiple sign-ins to its mobile sites, or else I’m still out of luck.