Apple today announced Family Setup in watchOS 7, bringing the communication, health, fitness, and safety features of Apple Watch to kids and older family members of the household who do not have an iPhone. For the first time, Apple Watch can be set up through a parent’s iPhone, so kids can connect with family and friends through phone calls and Messages, stay motivated with personalized Activity goals, and express their creativity through custom Memoji.
Family Setup makes it possible for the entire family to benefit from the important health and safety features of Apple Watch, like Emergency SOS, while Maps, Siri, Alarms, and the App Store provide greater independence without needing an iPhone. In addition, parents will have peace of mind knowing they can reach their child and identify their location, and that all personal data stays securely encrypted. With watchOS 7, the whole family can also take advantage of optimized features that enhance the overall Apple Watch experience.
“For family members who do not have an iPhone, Apple Watch offers a remarkable set of features that can help them keep in touch with loved ones, be more active, and stay safe,” said Jeff Williams, Apple’s chief operating officer. “With Family Setup, we’re thrilled to extend these features to the entire family, so everyone can gain more independence and live a healthier life.”
With Family Setup, family members without iPhone can take advantage of the many features and apps on Apple Watch, from making and receiving phone and FaceTime audio calls, to sending and receiving messages and emails, and even connecting with other Apple Watch wearers over Walkie-Talkie. The new Memoji app on Apple Watch allows users to customize a Memoji that can be shared while messaging friends or displayed as a watch face. Parents have the ability to approve all contacts, so kids can safely use the communication features of Apple Watch.