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Australian kids will soon be able to use an Apple Watch without their parents having to buy them an iPhone with the tech giant’s latest watch feature.

Fear not though, Apple says it has designed features specifically for educators.

Apple Product Marketing Director Deidre Caldbeck spoke exclusively to 9News about the new setup feature in the Apple Watch family that allows you to set up an Apple Watch without having to pair it with a specific iPhone.

Family settings bring the Apple Watch experience to the whole family, including children and seniors. (Apple)

Until now, Apple Watch buyers needed to pair the watch with their iPhone, allowing the watch to inherit features from the phone, such as settings, apps, and even your mobile phone number.

However, this month’s launch in Australia Family Setup will allow parents to buy an Apple Watch for their children or even elderly parents who do not have a smartphone but could benefit from being in touch when they are away from home, as well as others. Apple Watch safety and security features.

Caldbeck told 9News that the new feature came from feedback from both users and Apple’s own employees.

“I bought an Apple Watch and I love it. And it’s amazing,” Caldbeck said.

“I’d really like to buy one for my son, but I don’t think they’re ready for an iPhone because, you know, that brings up a lot of other things that you need to consider, like social media, video, things like that.

“Maybe your child, who is from a younger demographic, is not quite ready, or you, as a parent, are not ready for him to have an iPhone, but you want to be able to communicate with him.”

With Family Setup, the location of a family member can be shared with their guardian through the Find People app on Apple Watch. (Apple)

Knowing where their children are and potentially giving them some additional freedom to be away from home was a huge plus for potential users, Caldbeck added.

“You want to be able to check in and make sure they are where they are supposed to be,” he said.

“You also want to have the ability to keep them motivated, stay active and get them out more and allow them to have some independence, but you still have the peace of mind that you know where they are and can communicate with them.”

Given that the average Australian student gets their first phone in high school, you can assume that children without a phone who receive an Apple Watch will be in their elementary school years, which means some additional pressure on our teachers to make sure the watch does not become a distraction.

This same concern is reflected in the “School Hours” function, which allows the clock to be locked during school hours.

Addressing potential teacher concerns, Deidre Caldbeck told 9News that this was an important consideration for Apple during the design process.

A new school time mode means for parents and teachers that access to apps is restricted and Do Not Disturb is turned on. (Apple)

“They (the teachers) need to know that we absolutely think of them when we design the family setup,” Caldbeck said.

“And specifically when we design the school schedule, we talk to other teachers, we have a lot of former teachers who work at Apple. We talk to educators, we absolutely design the school schedule with teachers in mind.”

That design centers on a very obvious yellow circle watch face that is displayed on the watch during set school hours.

“We got the direction to create this recognizable face from the teachers. The teachers said, you know, I don’t want to be responsible for the constant use of technology in school,” Caldbeck said.

“I just want to be able to take a look, see that the watch is in restricted mode, and then allow them to go about their day.”

Importantly, the Family Settings feature also has great benefits for our older generation.

WatchOS 7 offers features optimized for older adults. (Apple)

Those who don’t have or don’t want a smartphone can use an Apple Watch that has been set up by a family member and use the built-in wireless service (available at $ 9.90 per month through the mobile telecommunications company Truphone) to call. and send messages to your family and friends.

Communication was just one important feature for our older Australians, along with significant health benefits such as the watch’s ability to detect a fall.

“Due to the incredible health and safety features of the Apple Watch, we know that there is great benefit to them using this particular product,” Caldbeck said.

“And frankly, we know that there are people of all ages, but certainly older members of your household who may never have had the desire or need to buy their own iPhone.

“They can get in touch with someone if they need help. They can use it to track their walks. And again, with features like fall detection, they have the peace of mind that they can ask for help or can get help if they need it. ..

“So it’s one of those things where we know this could benefit so many people and we just want to make it more available to more people without the added requirement of an iPhone.”

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To use Family Setup, you need an Apple Watch Series 4, Series 5, Series 6, or SE, and only mobile-enabled (4G) watches from those series will benefit from remote communication and location sharing features.

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