At today’s media event, Apple announced Family Setup, a new feature coming tomorrow as part of watchOS 7 that will allow kids, elderly relatives, and others take advantage of many of the capabilities of the Apple Watch without the need for their own paired iPhone.
Compatible with Apple Watch Series 4 and later and the Apple Watch SE, Family Setup requires a cellular Apple Watch model and an active carrier plan for the watch. The primary user can then use the Watch app on their iPhone to set up an Apple Watch for another family member, managing access to various features and capabilities and receiving reports on activity.
One interesting feature of Family Setup is “Apple Cash Family,” which lets a parent securely load money onto their child’s Apple Watch and allows the child to then purchase items wherever Apple Pay is accepted.
With the new Apple Cash Family, parents can securely send their kids money to spend on their watch using Apple Pay. Parents can choose to receive notifications when their kids pay, and view their child’s purchases right in Wallet on their own iPhone.
Apple Cash Family helps parents give kids a limited amount of funds to spend at their discretion without needing to worry about cash that can be easily lost or stolen.
Apple Cash Family can be enabled for up to five family members, and oversight can be shared with another adult in your Family Sharing group. Parents can not only view activity and receive notifications of purchases and person-to-person payments, but also restrict access to Apple Cash balances if needed and limit who money can be sent to.
Family Setup offers other helpful tools for parents and kids, with Schooltime and Downtime features that offer controls over when and what kids can do with their Apple Watch, kid-focused Activity rings, and more. And for older adults, Family Setup helps deliver key tools like fall detection, automatic emergency calling, and health features without the need for them to have an iPhone.