- Apple introduced a new feature called Family Setup in watchOS 7
- The new feature lets users setup several Apple Watches using just one iPhone
- The feature will help parents provide added security for their loved ones
Aside from introducing new features and improvements to the Apple Watch experience via watchOS 7, Apple also introduced a new feature called Family Setup, which allows users to set up several Apple Watches using only one iPhone.
The new Family Setup feature is designed to let family members who don’t have iPhones enjoy the health benefits of the Apple Watch.
Parents, for example, will be able to give their kids or aging seniors the Apple wearable without having to buy them an Apple smartphone. They’ll also be able to enjoy other features they previously weren’t able to enjoy, such as managing their kids’ Screen Time or who gets to message them.
Here’s what consumers should know about the new feature.
Family Setup requirements
The new feature works with Apple Watch Series 4 models and newer, as well as the new Apple Watch SE, as long as models are Cellular-enabled. The Apple Watch doesn’t need to have a cellular plan to be activated via Family Setup. The feature also requires an iPhone 6s or newer, provided that it runs on iOS 14 or newer versions.
Family Setup will require all users, such as the iPhone owner and the owner of the Apple Watch being set up, to have an Apple ID that has two-factor authentication (2FA) turned on. The iPhone owner will need to take the role of “parent/guardian” or “organizer” in the Family Sharing setup.
It’s easy to setup an Apple Watch using Family Setup. The entire setup process will take about nine to ten steps from start to finish. It will require users, however, to erase an Apple Watch if it’s not new or has already been in use. This is because the feature needs the wearable to be setup from scratch.
The Family Setup process is similar to how an Apple Watch is setup for the first time, but with some additions. It requires the iPhone and the wearable to be near each other – within 10 meters – to be set up.
The Family Setup feature allows parents to manage the Apple Watch and keep track of the user’s whereabouts. It also lets parents set Communication Limits so that their kids are protected from unwanted people, set Screen Time limits so that their children will not be distracted while they’re supposed to be studying, prevent them from accessing certain types of content, and more.
The feature will also let parents stay aware of their family member’s health conditions, such as their heart rate, receive important emergency notifications such as when they take a hard fall and more.