For all the Apple Watch’s popularity, the company hasn’t made any effort to appeal to a wider audience, specifically kids. That doesn’t stop the young ones from wanting an Apple Watch, of course, but the systems Apple has built up around the wearable aren’t exactly conducive to that use case. That may finally be changing when iOS 14 comes around along with a watchOS 7 with a few new features designed to address exactly that.
The biggest technical hurdle in giving Apple Watch to kids is device management. While an iPhone can pair with and activate multiple Apple Watches, only one Apple Watch can be active at a time. Apparently, a new kid mode in watchOS 7 will do away with that restriction, allowing parents to manage an Apple Watch handed over to a child without requiring another iPhone or iPad just to manage that smartwatch.
Not all Apple Watch features are for kids, though, even its most touted health features. Almost all of its features, especially ECG measurements, are designed with adults in mind. Even the way it tracks activities and movement doesn’t take into account the development of younger users.
9to5Mac discovered code in iOS 14 that seems to adjust activity tracking to their level. In particular, the red outermost ring that reflects calories burned will, instead, measure move time throughout the day, starting with a goal of 90 minutes of movement. This would encourage kids to stay active but not have to worry about such things as calories and inadvertently develop bad habits.
iOS 14, as well as watchOS 7, is scheduled for a September 2020 release. Along with this new “junior” activity tracking, the new watchOS will also let parents limit the apps and complications (watch face widgets) kids have access to during certain hours of the day, especially during school time.