The Apple Watch has become the world’s best-selling wearable—outselling the entire Swiss watch industry in 2017—by offering something for everyone, including families looking to stay connected, entertained and in touch. With multiple size and strap options, the Apple Watch fits any wrist and provides a wealth of all-ages functionality and fun.
Given the possibilities, it's no wonder critics praise this super-sophisticated device for its surprising family-friendliness. Here are four areas where the Apple Watch helps on the home front.
1. Keeping in touch
Until your child is ready for their own smartphone, the Apple Watch Series 3 with cellular SIM card provides them with voice-call functionality, right from the wrist. It also features a speech-to-text function for quick messages. Even if you’re not communicating, you can still be certain of your child’s whereabouts using the Apple Watch’s GPS location tracking services, which also lets you monitor travel times and receive alerts when they reach or leave a destination.
Because monitoring can be a touchy subject between parents and kids, TIME suggests taking the advice of The Modern Parents Guide author Scott Steinberg: “A big piece of it is establishing ground rules and trust,” he writes. “Let them know you are going to be monitoring them and why you’re doing it. Often knowing that you’re checking in as a trusted presence is sometimes enough to help them make better decisions.”
2. Teaching financial responsibility
Linking a credit card to your Apple Watch is a convenient way to lighten your load when shopping, and giving teenagers monitored access to your account can also teach them about responsible spending. Parents can also use Apple Pay to fund a set balance on their child's Apple Watch, eliminating the need for them to carry easily lost cash. Plus, you can track their purchases via notification to your own phone.
Gadget Hacks also points out that Apple Pay users can take advantage of Greenlight, MasterCard’s app for kids. “This can give parents reassurance that payments are entirely private,” the site notes. “It also gets rid of always remembering to carry around the card.”
3. Challenging the whole family to be healthy
The Apple Watch has long been a favorite of exercise enthusiasts for its fitness-tracking features, but the entire family can benefit from the health and wellness motivation it provides. Take walks together and monitor total family calories burned, or make a friendly competition out of fitness goals set by the Apple Watch's Smart Coach function. More critically, Apple Watch can also warn you or your child of a sustained, elevated heart rate, a sign of serious health issues.
“The fitness side of the Apple Watch 3 is arguably now the most important of the wearable range,” Tech Radar notes. “Every featured is centered around the fact that you can live a better, healthier lifestyle with this device.”
4. Personalizing for all
The 38mm version of the Apple Watch is the smallest wearable to feature cellular connectivity, meaning it’s ideal for smaller wrists, while the 42mm provides a bit more heft. Wareable.com notes that fashion-forward teens will like the smaller model “because it can look quite chic nestled on a wrist stacked with bracelets.”
And straps aren’t the only accessories the whole family can use to customize their Apple Watches. The editors at iMore recently compiled a list of compatible cases to make a Watch look cooler while also protecting it, something to think about for kids who can be hard on their tech. “You may think you don’t need a protective case for your Apple Watch, until that one time you … get it all scratched up,” the reviewer writes. “Don’t make that mistake.”
Looking like an individual while connecting with the group—just one of the many family-friendly possibilities of the Apple Watch.