The Apple Watch stands out as one of the most simple and user-friendly pieces of technology available. You might think, "Oh, it's simple; it must be lacking in features." However, this wearable device is loaded with functionalities. Now, if you're a parent, you might want to consider going for an Apple Watch for your children rather than an iPhone. Why, you ask? Well, there are plenty of reasons. Imagine the horror of your kids accidentally dropping their iPhones, resulting in significant damage. Even worse, they might misplace these pricey gadgets.
Plus, there's the added expense of covering the cost of cellular service for yet another phone line. Whether you decide to get your kids an Apple Watch or simply want to safeguard your own from their mischievous hands, there are some essential Apple Watch apps you should definitely have on there. These apps will keep your kids safe or just add a little fun to their wrists. With that in mind, here are five Apple Watch apps you need to download if you have kids.
Hit the Island
Kids will always be kids. If there's no fun involved, they lose interest in things very quickly. As a parent, it's only natural to desire your kids to be productive and to learn stuff, and that's why we load up their gadgets with all those educational apps. But if there's no entertainment in the mix, it's a lost cause. This is where "Hit the Island" comes into play. It's no "GTA 5" or "Minecraft," but it's got its own charm. It's a simple game that can keep your children occupied for a while.
The game's concept is about as straightforward as it gets. On the Apple Watch screen, you'll find a dynamic island positioned at the top, along with a moving platform at the bottom. The game involves swiping the platform at the bottom to strike a ball. Scoring points are achieved when the ball hits the dynamic island at the top of the screen. If you miss and the ball misses the bottom platform, it's game over. Beyond its simplicity, "Hit the Island" contributes to your child's hand-eye coordination. This is useful because they need to use their eyes to track the ball and their hands to swipe the screen. This helps to train the eyes and hands to work together more effectively.
Weathergraph Weather Widget
As a parent, you can reasonably assume that your children are not actively monitoring daily weather updates or checking for any changes in the weather. It is normal for you to be concerned about their safety when they're out, and rain or even more severe events like tornadoes are in the forecast, be it at school or hanging out with friends. You might already know that the Apple Watch includes a built-in weather tracker. However, there's a fantastic addition to this – the Weathergraph Weather Widget. It's not a standalone app, but it builds upon the functionality of the Apple Watch's weather tracker. The best part is that it's free, although it offers in-app purchases for added features.
With a subscription, you can access real-time rain and snow forecasts updated every 30 minutes. But even without a subscription, the free features are quite handy. You get a watch face that tells you everything you need to know about the weather at a glance — hourly temperature, precipitation, cloud cover, wind speed, atmospheric pressure. Plus, the app is location-aware, meaning it knows where you are and displays the temperature and location name accurately. Even if your kids don't have a constant internet connection, they can still view forecasts because the app works offline. It can save the last weather forecast for up to 24 hours and refresh it automatically when it's back online.
Schooltime on Apple Watch
So, this isn't exactly an app, but it's a feature that plays a crucial role in helping your child maintain focus and be more productive during school hours. It achieves this by controlling applications and notifications on your child's Apple Watch while they're in class. To use this feature, you'll need to make sure your Apple Watch is running watchOS 7 or a later version. To enable it, you will need to establish a connection through Family Setup, pairing your child's Apple Watch with your iPhone. This way, your kid can use their Apple Watch even if they don't have their own iPhone.
From your iPhone, you can turn Schooltime on and off whenever you feel like it and specify the school hours as per your preference as the parent. Once Schooltime is activated, it disables the "raise to wake" feature, keeping the display dark, and activates the "Do Not Disturb" mode to minimize distractions. This allows your child to concentrate during classes or additional lessons as specified in the schedule.
Plus, all regular calls will be muted, but your child can still get emergency calls and only hear from you when this feature is active. At the end of the day, you can access summarized reports. These reports provide insights into your child's interactions with their watch during Schooltime, including how many times their watch was unlocked, the exact times they did it, and how long the watch stayed unlocked.
The walkie-talkie app is more useful than you might think. It's built for short-range communication and uses WiFi or cellular connectivity to achieve this. To get started, both you and your kid will need the app on your Apple Watches. Fortunately, it usually comes pre-installed on the Apple Watch. However, if you do not find it in your apps, you can easily get it on the Apple Watch's App Store. This app is a lifesaver when you need to maintain contact with your child within a crowded environment, or maybe you're at the park, and they're running all over the place, and you just want to keep tabs on them.
Using the Walkie-talkie app is a straightforward process. Once it's on your Apple Watch, just open it up, activate the feature on both your watch and your child's, navigate to the Friends section, and add your child as a contact. Once they are added as a friend, a brief loading screen will appear to confirm their availability, after which you can initiate communication. Hold down on the talk button, say what you need to say, and let go to send your short voice message.
Focus - Productivity Timer
If you want an app that can help your kids maintain focus during their tasks, you should check out the Focus app. It's worth noting that while the app is not available for free, it offers a seven-day trial period to see if it's a good fit. If you like it (and you probably will), you can grab the full version for your child's watch for $7.99 a month or $39.99 for a year. Once you've made that payment, you, as the parent, can also use the app on your iPhone, MacBook, or iPad –- one payment covers all.
The Focus app uses the Pomodoro Technique to keep your child on track. This technique breaks work into intervals with short breaks, promoting productivity. Importantly, the app operates independently on the Apple Watch — no need for an iPhone to use it. Your child can customize timers for various activities, such as studying, and set specific break durations. The app also includes a task manager, encouraging your child to concentrate on one task at a time until completion. Plus, custom watch faces allow your child to conveniently monitor their progress with a simple glance.