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Apple unveils Family Setup, making Apple Watch kids-friendly

Apple’s big September event has shown off a range of new features and devices coming to its family of Apple Watches, not least the new Series 6 and SE models, but it also threw a spotlight on a new setting aimed at families.

The new Family Setup mode will let parents control more than one Apple Watch from their iPhone, aimed at letting them safely give their kids an Apple Watch to use day-to-day.

It lets parents set up the watch easily, but puts the devices in a new category to give them a range of parental controls. These include control over what contacts from the address book the watch can access, and location notifications so that they can know where their kids are. 

A schooltime mode also looks really useful – giving the watch a distinctive yellow face and turning it to “Do Not Disturb” to ensure that kids can concentrate. 

The mode is part of WatchOS 7, and will be available on cellular models of the Apple Watch from Series 4 models and newer, including on both the SE and Series 6. However, that does mean that the most affordable model, the still-available S3 does miss out on the feature, a slight bummer for parents who don’t yet have a watch for their kid.

We’ll have more details on how exactly to activate and set up Family Setup soon, so check back to find out more details soon. However, we do already know that in the UK the plan will be exclusive to EE at launch, marking another step in the network’s partnership with Apple. 

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