Watch setup for a kid?

minivini

macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 4, 2011
48
36
Hi all! We just replaced my wife’s 38mm series 3 with a 4. Our goal is for our ten year old to use the 3 when he’s out in the neighborhood so we can call, text him, etc.

There seems to be some hypothetical limitations that I’m not sure exist or not, so I’m hoping for some clarity and advice/suggestions.

First is cellular connectivity. I understand that the watch has to be paired with an iPhone or iPad so it can get updates. I was then told, for example, if it’s paired with my iPhone, I won’t be able to call or text him. Anyone have any experience with this? I would think if we don’t enable number sharing on that watch, it shouldn’t be an issue?

Second, I know that actual gps tracking isn’t really an option because if Apple’s privacy rules, so we plan to use Find My iPhone, Find Friends, etc. are there any better apps to consider? Strava, Motion X, anything with sharing or the like?

Any thoughts on how to best set up the watch’s functionality so this is something we, as his parents, can use to help keep him safer and tell him to get his little butt home when he’s running really late??
 

tromboneaholic

Suspended
Jun 9, 2004
3,706
3,024
Clearwater, FL
Hi all! We just replaced my wife’s 38mm series 3 with a 4. Our goal is for our ten year old to use the 3 when he’s out in the neighborhood so we can call, text him, etc.

There seems to be some hypothetical limitations that I’m not sure exist or not, so I’m hoping for some clarity and advice/suggestions.

First is cellular connectivity. I understand that the watch has to be paired with an iPhone or iPad so it can get updates. I was then told, for example, if it’s paired with my iPhone, I won’t be able to call or text him. Anyone have any experience with this? I would think if we don’t enable number sharing on that watch, it shouldn’t be an issue?

Second, I know that actual gps tracking isn’t really an option because if Apple’s privacy rules, so we plan to use Find My iPhone, Find Friends, etc. are there any better apps to consider? Strava, Motion X, anything with sharing or the like?

Any thoughts on how to best set up the watch’s functionality so this is something we, as his parents, can use to help keep him safer and tell him to get his little butt home when he’s running really late??
Without number sharing, I do not think it will have actual cellular service.
 

minivini

macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 4, 2011
48
36
T
Without number sharing, I do not think it will have actual cellular service.
This is one of the big questions. The watch is a cellular device with its own phone number. Based on the lack of responses here, I’m making an Genius Bar appointment for next week.
 

nicho

macrumors 68040
Feb 15, 2008
3,308
2,019
T

This is one of the big questions. The watch is a cellular device with its own phone number. Based on the lack of responses here, I’m making an Genius Bar appointment for next week.
It’s not a question. It doesn’t, period.

Don’t waste a Genius Bar appointment on something so needless. If you want to speak to someone at apple, chat to support online but going to the Genius Bar is like carrying your microwave back to Best Buy to ask how to use the grill setting.
 

minivini

macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 4, 2011
48
36
It’s not a question. It doesn’t, period.

Don’t waste a Genius Bar appointment on something so needless. If you want to speak to someone at apple, chat to support online but going to the Genius Bar is like carrying your microwave back to Best Buy to ask how to use the grill setting.
Wow, you’re a condescending little fellow, aren’t you. I’ve already spent nearly an hour on the phone with Apple Support. They pointed out several things that AT&T did incorrectly, and now I’m back to a few questions that only Apple seems to be able to answer. When I spoke to support on the phone, they suggested that I make the appointment once the att problems were cleared up.

For the record, neither of you provided any helpful ideas whatsoever. Please feel free to simply not respond next time.

For the record, we have three Apple Watches with LTE. I have all three phone numbers on record.
 
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RodThePlod

macrumors 6502a
Sep 7, 2005
707
185
London
For the record, neither of you provided any helpful ideas whatsoever. Please feel free to simply not respond next time.
You need to wind your neck in, fella. You stated (incorrectly) that your Apple Watch had its own number. I replied (correctly) and said that the Watch shares its number with the phone.

How do you expect to get help on these forums if you jump down peoples throats when they try to give you pointers? Sheesh....
 

tehStickMan

macrumors 6502
Jul 19, 2018
322
153
Australia
  • AW-cellular shares number from main iPhone. So your kid will need their own iPhone.

  • AW uses iPhone, not iPad.

  • Find my Family/Device will work with the AW-cellular if set up right. No I don't know of anything else that's better
 
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nicho

macrumors 68040
Feb 15, 2008
3,308
2,019
Wow, you’re a condescending little fellow, aren’t you. I’ve already spent nearly an hour on the phone with Apple Support. They pointed out several things that AT&T did incorrectly, and now I’m back to a few questions that only Apple seems to be able to answer. When I spoke to support on the phone, they suggested that I make the appointment once the att problems were cleared up.

For the record, neither of you provided any helpful ideas whatsoever. Please feel free to simply not respond next time.

For the record, we have three Apple Watches with LTE. I have all three phone numbers on record.
The watch has a number for identification and billing purposes. Try calling it. It won’t work.

The only way to do what you want to do is to buy your son an iPhone and call at&t and give them $$$ each month for a new line. Add the watch to that line. You don’t need to give your son the iPhone, but it needs to be powered on (for all functions to work) somewhere. You could keep it in the study.

It won’t just be a case of giving him the watch though. It’ll cost - he needs a separate line.

You also can’t sign into a different Apple ID to that of your phone, so doing what you planned to would give him access to/bother from every single one of your iMessages.
 
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matrix07

macrumors 603
Jun 24, 2010
5,286
1,925
Just buy cheap used iPhone 6 for your kid to pair with the 3. Problem solved.

Find My Friend will work fine for showing where your kid be.
 

Kermit262

macrumors 6502
Sep 16, 2014
277
385
Central Ohio
If you're a Verizon customer, they have a GizmoWatch that allows for texting, phone calls, and GPS tracking. As I recall the service is only $5.00 per month. It's pretty kid-like, but perhaps that won't be a problem for your 10 year old. My granddaughter is 7 ("and a half!") and she loves hers.
 

dave006

Contributor
Jul 3, 2008
3,382
696
Just West of East
...
First is cellular connectivity. I understand that the watch has to be paired with an iPhone or iPad so it can get updates. I was then told, for example, if it’s paired with my iPhone, I won’t be able to call or text him. Anyone have any experience with this? I would think if we don’t enable number sharing on that watch, it shouldn’t be an issue??
To use the cellular capability of the Apple watch on AT&T, you must enable and use NumberSync. The NumberSync feature is used to pair (bind) the watch and an iPhone. Each cellular device must have a physical phone number assigned on the AT&T network (and other carrier's) but you can't directly access the watch using the assigned phone number. You will use the paired iPhone's phone number to access both the iPhone and the paired Apple watch. When you make a call from the cellular feature of the watch the carrier's back-end systems make it appear that you are calling from the paired iPhone's phone number (seamless access). The back-end system allows you to receive LTE cellular or Wi-Fi calls on the paired watch by calling the paired iPhone's phone number and by Apple design both the iPhone and the watch will ring for incoming calls.

Your best bet is to get an iPhone SE or newer iPhone to be paired to your son's watch. As was suggested earlier in the thread, for full function the paired iPhone needs to be on and connected to the AT&T network. The iPhone can be left at home as your son does not actually need to carry the iPhone around everyday.

By having the iPhone on and connected to the AT&T network allows the watch send / receive SMS/MMS Txt messages, the messages are actually sent as "data" using the $10 Wearable plan for the watch. This is why you don't want to pair the watch to your iPhone unless you want your son to get all your calls and messages. Yes, you can and should have your son use a different Apple iCloud id for iMessage functions but again the watch must be paired to an iPhone to use the cellular features.

...
Second, I know that actual gps tracking isn’t really an option because if Apple’s privacy rules, so we plan to use Find My iPhone, Find Friends, etc. are there any better apps to consider? Strava, Motion X, anything with sharing or the like?

Any thoughts on how to best set up the watch’s functionality so this is something we, as his parents, can use to help keep him safer and tell him to get his little butt home when he’s running really late??
Find Friends should work well enough to know your son's general location when your son has access to Wi-Fi or cellular connectivity on his watch. You will want to pre-setup a connection to his friend(s) home Wi-Fi to provide a more precise location for your son. When using only using the LTE cellular capability you will often just get a "circle" of where he and the watch are located based on the closest cellular tower.

Here is a good AT&T eSupport article the covers the details of AT&T's NumberSync for the Apple watch.

link: https://www.att.com/esupport/article.html#!/wireless/KM1224748?gsi=eNgKLB8

Dave
 

minivini

macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 4, 2011
48
36
I apologize if my response seemed hostile. It read to me as though both people replied with somewhat snarky answers. The watches do have numbers associated with them - you guys are the only ones who have adequately explained to me how ATT has the network configured to prevent them from actually working to send/receive calls without a companion iPhone. I’ve spent hours now talking to both Apple and ATT reps, and neither have told me what I’m trying isn’t possible (though neither have been able to give me same info twice!). In fact, ATT currently has the watch identified on my account as some LG device.

As of now, we have the watch paired with my wife’s iPhone. We can use the walkie talkie function, he can text and call, and we can see his location on find my iPhone. The caveat is that all those communications also ring through on her iPhone. Not the most elegant solution, but we’re in a much better situation than before.

We have several older iPhones. We’re reluctant to turn him loose with one of those because, let’s just say he doesn’t always make the most prudent decisions. The watch is his practice run before having his own phone for middle school. If he respects the basic ground rules, doesn’t lose it or break it, he gets his own phone next year. Meanwhile, we’ll just make it work as best we can. At least now when he’s out past his time, we can contact him and he can contact us.
 
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supertomtom

macrumors 6502a
Sep 21, 2007
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533
Gold Coast, Australia
We have several older iPhones. We’re reluctant to turn him loose with one of those because, let’s just say he doesn’t always make the most prudent decisions. The watch is his practice run before having his own phone for middle school.
I think what the others are saying is that if you have an older iPhone that are capable of pairing with Apple Watches, then the easiest solution is to get him his own plan/number linking his LTE Apple Watch to his own iPhone.

As for your concerns, he DOES NOT need to have access to the paired iPhone. As long as the phone is turned on, you can safekeep it in your possession (e.g leave it plugged in somewhere in your room). His watch should have the full functionality without you ever having to entrust your son with the phone.
 
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