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.”
Availability and Activation
Family Setup will be available on Wednesday, September 16, as a free software update and requires cellular models of Apple Watch Series 4 or later or Apple Watch SE running watchOS 7, paired with iPhone 6s or later running iOS 14.