Announced just a couple of months ago along with the latest Apple Watch Series 6 and Apple Watch SE was a feature called Family Setup, allowing you to give you child a watch without them needing an iPhone. That feature launches in Australia in December.
I know plenty of kids (my own included) who would love to have an Apple Watch, I even know some who saved up for one only to realise you also needed to have an Apple iPhone to set it up and link to.
From Friday, that dream comes true for Aussie kids with Family Setup becoming available on all Apple Watches from the Series 4 onward.
This feature allows kids to wear a watch, to have a mobile phone number they can be contacted on, but to not own or use an iPhone.
It’s all eSIM based, and today’s announcement from Apple of Australian availability notes that eSIM services will be provided in Australia by “TruPhone”.
An Apple Watch in Family setup mode allows kids and parents to communicate via text or call, as well as allowing parents to get notifications of location changes or alerts, and allows kids to use Maps for directions and more.
We’re yet to see just how complete the Family Setup feature availability will be for Aussie users where Apple Cash is not available – a feature which allows parents in other countries to add “pocket money” to kids watches for tap and go payments.
Aussie Teachers will need to keep an eye out for the YELLOW “School Time” watch face which restricts usage and notifications when kids are at school. If the kids aren’t using that feature, perhaps they’ll get in trouble in class:)
Kids with fitness trackers like Fitbit or Garmin will be looking closely at Apple Watch with the Activity Rings being a popular semi-competitive benchmark.
But it’s not just kids, your elderly parents or grandparents could benefit too, with SOS emergency features, fall detection and more, for someone who doesn’t have a Smartphone this is an all-new opportunity for peace of mind.
We’ll dig more deeply into the features of Apple Watch Family Setup in a full review soon.