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At its September event today, Apple announced Family Setup (opens in new tab), a new feature in watchOS 7 that will bring many of the features of Apple Watch to those in the household who do not have an iPhone.
Apple says that Family Setup is designed to bring the health and safety features of Apple Watch to those who many be without an iPhone in your household, like a child or older family member. Even without an iPhone, these family members will still be able to use features like messaging, Emergency SOS, Find My, and more.
Jeff Williams, Apple's chief operating officer, says that Family Sharing was built to help families "keep in touch with loved ones, be more active, and stay safe."
According to Apple, parents will have full control in approving what contacts their kids can add to their Apple Watch, ensuring that they are communicating with known friends and family.
Each person using an Apple Watch through Family Setup will have to have their own cellular plan, so check with your carrier to see how much adding an Apple Watch is. Apple is also rolling out a new service called Apple Cash Family that will allow parents to send their kids money to spend on their Apple Watch.
Apple is also changing how Activity Rings are closed for kids on their Apple Watches. The watch will track Move minutes instead of burned calories, and the different exercises have also be optimized for kids.
The new feature also introduces a new mode called Schooltime that will block certain apps and turn on Do Not Disturb when the child is supposed to be focused at school.
Apple also notes features for older adults in the household like fall detection, the X-Large watch face, and the Health Checklist in the Health app.
Family Setup will launch with watchOS 7 tomorrow, September 16.
Joe Wituschek is a Contributor at iMore. With over ten years in the technology industry, one of them being at Apple, Joe now covers the company for the website. In addition to covering breaking news, Joe also writes editorials and reviews for a range of products. He fell in love with Apple products when he got an iPod nano for Christmas almost twenty years ago. Despite being considered a "heavy" user, he has always preferred the consumer-focused products like the MacBook Air, iPad mini, and iPhone 13 mini. He will fight to the death to keep a mini iPhone in the lineup. In his free time, Joe enjoys video games, movies, photography, running, and basically everything outdoors.
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