Christmas is just a few weeks away. And for many kids, the Apple Watch is at the top of their wish list. But this certainly isn’t a toy. It’s a high-end piece of technology and it comes with a hefty price tag. So, before splashing out on such an expensive present, you want to make sure it’s right.
Is the Apple Watch suitable for kids? Or should you save your money and opt for a cheaper version?
Here we take a closer look and make your job as ‘Santa’ that little bit easier.
Extending the ‘Apple Watch’ experience to the whole family
The latest operating system for Apple Watch – watchOS 7 – was released in September 2020, and it has changed everything. Thanks to the introduction of a new feature called ‘Family Setup’, for the first time ever, family members (i.e. children) without an iPhone can now use an Apple Watch.
Essentially, this allows parents to buy an Apple Watch for kids and pair it to their own smartphone. As the adult, you’re in control and can manage the device from the ‘Apple Watch App’ on your iPhone. But your child gets a personal number and can enjoy all of the watch’s popular features.
So, is it a good idea?
With an Apple Watch, kids can stay connected with their family and friends at all times. They can make phone calls, send messages, even contact people via ‘walkie-talkie’. And to ensure these communication features are used safely, you’re given the ability to approve contacts.
Your child’s location can be shared via the ‘Find People App’ on your iPhone. You can check their whereabouts whenever you like or choose to receive recurring time-based notifications. Either way, all personal data stays securely encrypted and it’s a great way to put your mind at rest.
Using the side button, kids can easily access emergency services and you’ll be automatically notified. Information on medical conditions, allergies and medications can also be stored in the device.
Activity rings have been optimised for kids, tracking their ‘move minutes’ rather than calories burned. What’s more, outdoor walk, run and cycle workouts have been specifically tuned to make them suitable for younger users – offering appropriate credit and tailoring notifications to their reading level. It could be the encouragement they need to leave the TV and get active.
Thanks to the new ‘Apple Cash Family’ feature, you can send pocket money for them to spend using their Apple Watch. This is 100% secure. And the best bit? You can choose to receive notifications whenever they pay for something and view all of their purchases in the Wallet of your iPhone.
Children can download third-party apps directly onto their device, many of which promote learning, development and mental health. But again, thanks to content restrictions and ‘Ask to Buy’ Support, you’re in control and can manage exactly what is available for them to download.
To ensure they stay focused in the classroom, the Apple Watch for kids can be put into schooltime mode. A yellow circle displays on the watch face, signifying that access to apps is restricted and ‘Do not Disturb’ is turned on. This can be scheduled to automatically activate at certain times of the day.
Apple Watch Straps
Apple Watch Straps now come in a wide range of styles and sizes, ensuring ultimate comfort for all users – including both adults and children. You can even use Apple’s printable tool, to accurately measure your child’s wrist and select a strap that is perfectly sized and suitable for their age.
To buy or not to buy an Apple Watch for kids
Admittedly, an Apple Watch is an expensive and generous Christmas gift to buy for the kids. And, of course, there’s a chance it will get scratched in the playground! But thanks to the introduction of ‘Family Setup’, the Apple Watch is now more suitable for children than ever before. It boasts a wide range of parental controls, ensuring its safety, and can offer many day-to-day practical benefits.
If you do purchase an Apple watch for the kids this Christmas, be sure to check out our full range of Apple Watch Straps. We have a selection of leather bands, sports bands, rubber bands, and luxury straps to choose from, in various designs and sizes. And whether you’re shopping for yourself, your 8 year old daughter, or your moody teenage son, we have just the thing.