At its “Time flies” virtual event, Apple announced Family Setup, a new feature as part of watchOS 7. Keeping kids and older family members in mind, the new feature allows users to manage multiple Apple Watches from one iPhone.
Family Setup works with Apple Watch Series 4 or later or the new Apple Watch SE. It requires a cellular Apple Watch model with an active carrier plan. Users can use the Watch app on their iPhone to set up an Apple Watch for another family member.
In Family Setup, there’s a new feature called Apple Cash Family. It allows users to load money in their child’s Apple Watch and then allows the child to purchase items with Apple Pay. They can choose to receive notifications when their kids pay, and view their purchases on iPhone. They can also restrict access to Apple Cash balances and even limit the users for payment.
The Find People app on Apple Watch lets users know the location of their family members whose watch is paired with their iPhone. Notifications for location are more customizable, with recurring or time-based scheduled notification updates over the air.
With Schooltime and Downtime features, parents can restrict or set time limits for specific apps for their kids through their iPhone. When Schooltime is active, a distinctive yellow circle is displayed on the watch screen to signify that access to apps is restricted and DND is turned on. Screen Time’s Downtime feature extends to Apple Watch, too. For older adults, features like fall detection, automatic emergency calling don’t require them to have an iPhone.
Family Setup will be available on Wednesday, September 16 as a free update with watchOS 7.