If you’re concerned about letting younger kids have their own mobile phone, Apple might just have the answer.

Last year, the tech company unveiled the Family Setup feature, which allows parents using iPhones to contact their children through paired Apple watches, without needing them to have their own iPhone. Today, it’s finally launched in Singapore and we love that this useful feature helps give parents peace of mind while letting the kids have a sense of independence.

The set-up process is straightforward and easy. While your child (or older family member) doesn’t require an iPhone, their Apple Watch should have a cellular plan (now available with local telco StarHub via the FamilyConnect plan from $8/month). The step-by-step guide allows you to easily pair their watch to your iPhone, set up an Apple ID for them and customise various features.

If you don’t want to have Junior distracted during class, Schooltime mode ensures that access to their Apple Watch is restricted within set hours and will only display a traditional clock face that tells time. Once Schooltime mode is turned off, the watch can be used to connect with friends and family through phone calls and messages.

Image credit: Apple

Safety-wise, it’s got features like the Emergency SOS (which immediately notifies the listed emergency contact) as well as a Find People app that allows the kids to share their location with you. And if need be, they can also reference their Medical ID to access important information like medical conditions, allergies, and medications, with all personal data securely encrypted.

Kids can also tap other parent-approved functions like Maps, Siri, FaceTime, Alarms, and the App Store.

Image credit: Apple

There’s more: For personal activity goals, Apple watch users can track active minutes, customise exercise goals, challenge friends with competitions, and more through the Activity rings in the family set-up, which guardians can view (with permission) through the Health app on their iPhones.

Besides being ideal for kids, Family Setup is great for older family members who do not own an iPhone. In unfortunate situations where vulnerable elderly may need medical attention, for example, features like Emergency SOS, Medical ID or the Find People app would be particularly important.

Family Setup is available in Singapore with iOS14.3 and watchOS 7.2, on cellular models of Apple Watch Series 4 or later or Apple Watch SE paired with iPhone 6s or later. For more information, visit Apple’s website.