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Apple Watch for kids?
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Laminar
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Apr 1, 2021, 11:24 AM
 
I'll admit that the Apple Watch did nothing for me when it first came out, and I've completely shut out paying any attention to the updates along the way, so I have no idea what's out there.

The 8 year old is venturing further and further away from home and we're talking about getting him an LTE-connected smart watch so he can contact us if needed.

Verizon has the GizmoWatch 2 for $100 + $10/month. It's designed for this sort of thing, but would require a separate app.

I can get an Apple Watch Series 3 with LTE for $180 and the same $10/month. It will run Watch OS7 which supports the family setup feature so it's not necessarily tied to my phone. Then I could find him in Find My instead of having to run a separate app. I can get kids' bands and an edge case for the watch to make it a bit more kid proof.

Any big downside to the Apple Watch as a kid watch? Any reason I'd want to shell out a bit more for a Series 4 or newer? All we need is GPS tracking and the ability to call or text a couple people.
     
Thorzdad
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Apr 1, 2021, 12:32 PM
 
Do you see other kids their age wearing Apple Watches? I'd be concerned about them losing it or some older kid taking it from them. I suppose you can remotely brick it if it gets swiped, and maybe track it down using the Find My app.
[set curmudgeon_mode=1
     
Laminar  (op)
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Apr 1, 2021, 12:53 PM
 
Kids at the park have iPhones by now, we're not ready for him to carry that around, but a watch seemed like a good step. I think the biggest risk to the watch would be him breaking it, I'm not too worried about someone swiping it, especially for a device that's registered on a cellular network, we can blacklist the IMEI. And because it would be locked to my account, I'd have to log in before it could be paired with someone else's phone.
     
andi*pandi
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Apr 1, 2021, 03:11 PM
 
Well, the nice thing about a watch is that as long as they wear it and it can't get dropped into water or left on a bus as easily. It's a good idea for staying connected, and $10/mo is cheaper than a cell phone plan.

First reaction is to go with a cheaper version to test if he can be responsible with it, before shelling out, but you raise valid points about the Apple features and Find My. My kids had test ipods before they were trusted with phones (at 13). We got by with wifi texting for my daughter over a year, she mostly was places where she could send a text (to apple devices). Still she was very happy to have an actual phone that could run new(ish) apps.

Look forward to him complaining his watch won't do instagram. (or will it?!?)
     
OreoCookie
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Apr 2, 2021, 04:13 AM
 
On a related note, we got an Apple Watch with LTE for our dad specifically because of fall detection and the ability to call emergency services. Kinda funny that my dad got an Apple Watch before me. But a total no brainer, my siblings were immediately on board.
I don't suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it.
     
Laminar  (op)
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Apr 2, 2021, 08:32 AM
 
It's kind of morbid, but the fall detection could actually be useful if he was out biking or scootering around and something bad happened. The 4 is only about $20 more than a 3, I may lean that way.
     
OreoCookie
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Apr 2, 2021, 12:45 PM
 
Originally Posted by Laminar View Post
It's kind of morbid, but the fall detection could actually be useful if he was out biking or scootering around and something bad happened. The 4 is only about $20 more than a 3, I may lean that way.
Fall detection and LTE was a must for us, and I am glad my dad is wearing the watch around the house, too — most of the time.
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subego
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Apr 2, 2021, 11:36 PM
 
I wonder if height matters for the fall detection.
     
OreoCookie
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Apr 3, 2021, 03:48 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
I wonder if height matters for the fall detection.
Good question, I don't know. I hope my dad won't be the guinea pig here …
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Laminar  (op)
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Apr 4, 2021, 10:16 AM
 
The watch doesn't know how high it is at rest, but I suppose it could detect that it's in freefall and based on how long it's in freefall it would from how high it fell. I suspect the detection is more due to accelerometer shock.

Interesting tidbit from Apple:

If you entered your age when you set up your Apple Watch, or in the Health app, and you’re age 55 and over, this feature turns on automatically. Make sure that your correct age appears in your Medical ID and your Health Profile. Fall Detection is available only for those 18 or older.

Apple Watch cannot detect all falls. The more physically active you are, the more likely you are to trigger fall detection due to high-impact activity that can appear to be a fall.
Kind of weird that they don't allow it for kids. Is it a liability thing? Or they don't want the watch calling for an ambulance when kids are just playing?
     
P
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Apr 5, 2021, 04:19 AM
 
Family setup is not supported on the Series 3:

https://www.apple.com/newsroom/2020/...entire-family/

(Near the bottom).
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
andi*pandi
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Apr 5, 2021, 11:11 AM
 
Originally Posted by Laminar View Post
Kind of weird that they don't allow it for kids. Is it a liability thing? Or they don't want the watch calling for an ambulance when kids are just playing?
too many false alarms from slides and swings?
     
Laminar  (op)
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Apr 5, 2021, 02:53 PM
 
Originally Posted by P View Post
Family setup is not supported on the Series 3:

https://www.apple.com/newsroom/2020/...entire-family/

(Near the bottom).
That's good to know. The 4 is only about $20 more and seems like it offers a few more features and better battery, so I'm leaning that way.
     
OreoCookie
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Apr 6, 2021, 04:28 AM
 
Originally Posted by Laminar View Post
That's good to know. The 4 is only about $20 more and seems like it offers a few more features and better battery, so I'm leaning that way.
We got my dad the SE for that reason. Unless you can get a 4 on clearance or something for a good price, I’d opt for the SE.
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Laminar  (op)
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Apr 6, 2021, 09:17 AM
 
A refurb 4 on eBay is ~$200 vs. $330 for a new SE.
     
ghporter
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Apr 6, 2021, 10:47 AM
 
Fall detection is mostly based on accelerometer data, but I agree that there are way too many ways for a small, active person (pre-teen, especially) to trigger a false positive. If anyone had recess at school anymore, I can see that as one biggie. Now if Apple gave parents a way to override the “over 18” limit, I’d also see that as good.

Anyway, the combination of fall detection, heart rate monitoring, and potential to sound an alarm automatically have made the Apple Watch a much better option for some elderly folks than just a “Jitterbug” phone and a Life Alert button. Especially since Life Alert requires you to push a button, and won’t help if you fall because your heart did something stupid.

I got the 6 for Christmas. My Apple Watch 2 just did not have the computing power for what I wanted it to do - mainly fitness tracking and a couple of simple apps (timers, mainly). The 6 is amazing. And it’s been useful in establishing how generally healthy I am/have been, so that my upcoming orthopedic surgery isn’t making the doctors freak out. (Most people who need the work I do are in relatively poorer than average health, whatever their age - or are way more athletic than I look. )

Back on topic; for any of the SOS functions to work, a watch either has to have LTE, or have the paired phone nearby, or be connected to a known WiFi network AND be configured for WiFi calling. Although I had considered using the watch alone for runs/walks (the 6 has everything I need to handle that), the safety features with a GPS/WiFi only watch will only work with the phone nearby.

On one hand, I don’t “need” the phone handling my runs/walks, so it uses less battery power, but I still need the phone on me. And being sorta cheap, I’m not interested in a separate cell plan just for my watch JUST for when I’m working out. But this is an important point to consider when using the watch just for its safety features.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
P
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Apr 7, 2021, 08:09 AM
 
Originally Posted by Laminar View Post
That's good to know. The 4 is only about $20 more and seems like it offers a few more features and better battery, so I'm leaning that way.
The 4 has a worse battery, actually, but you don't really have a choice here.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
Laminar  (op)
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Apr 7, 2021, 09:21 AM
 
Is it the bigger screen that draws it down faster? Or just a lower capacity battery?
     
Laminar  (op)
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Apr 7, 2021, 11:34 AM
 
Looks like the 4/40mm is 225mAh and the 3 is 279mAh.
     
Laminar  (op)
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Apr 8, 2021, 06:52 AM
 
I see there's a "Global" version and a "North America" version, I'm hoping they're not hocking the global version on eBay, but who knows...
     
Laminar  (op)
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Apr 13, 2021, 12:34 PM
 
It showed up! Obviously the very first thing it needed was a 1GB update that it had to transfer from my phone, except the update kept stopping because it was waiting for me to get back on wi-fi even though the wi-fi was perfectly fine the entire time, so that didn't happen yesterday. This morning I just started over and paired it to the kid's phone and it was able to update. So now I'll need to un-pair it from his phone since I'm setting it up as a managed device and it has to be managed from a phone on the same cell network, which the kid's phone isn't. The bumper case and screen protector showed up today, and the extra small band should be here in the next couple of days. There are definitely some scuffs and signs of wear, but no cracks and nothing visible while the screen is lit up.
     
subego
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Apr 13, 2021, 04:51 PM
 
Originally Posted by Laminar View Post
There are definitely some scuffs and signs of wear
Just you wait.
     
Thorzdad
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Apr 13, 2021, 05:44 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Just you wait.


so true
[set curmudgeon_mode=1
     
Laminar  (op)
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Apr 14, 2021, 10:00 AM
 
A little scratchy:



Otherwise looks good with the screen on:



I got a bumper case and screen protector for it. Unfortunately, since the screen protector only covers the flat area of the screen, its edges cut right through the visible area of the screen, it's bad.



Got it set up last night. I had added it to my Verizon account the night before by using its IMEI number. During the setup process with my iPhone this time, it automatically activated and cellular works. He's able to make phone calls, Facetime calls, and send texts. Right now he's only supposed to wear it when he leaves the house to go scooter or play with friends so we'll see how it goes once he's out and about.

The band it came with is still too big on its smallest setting, but the XS band I ordered should be here in the next day or two.
     
ghporter
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Apr 14, 2021, 12:29 PM
 
I used my Watch 2 for years, and despite being “careful,” it wound up with similar scars. No issues with function at all, though.

I think the biggest deal is that the glass is good and that the strap latches work. The channels for the strap can collect a lot of “stuff”, either lint or skin oil or whatever, and they need to be cleaned now and then. Buildup can hamper how well the watch holds the strap - and you do not want the strap to fail when the purpose is to track your child.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
Laminar  (op)
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Apr 15, 2021, 03:00 PM
 
First test run went poorly. He took it around the block and it had a dead battery within 10-15 minutes. I looked at the battery setup and it showed that it had been discharging since midnight, so by 5pm it was just about dead. The smart charging is turned on, so maybe that caused it? There's no chance we'll have a regular schedule for it to anticipate charging, so maybe I need to disable that.
     
Thorzdad
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Apr 16, 2021, 07:58 AM
 
Is bluetooth on? Bluetooth can be a huge drain as it's constantly looking for something to pair to.
[set curmudgeon_mode=1
     
Laminar  (op)
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Apr 16, 2021, 08:37 AM
 
Good call, I'll check. No reason to have that on. The other thing I'm trying to figure out is if I'm using Find My to track him, does it delineate between his phone (at home on wifi) and his watch (with him on LTE)?
     
andi*pandi
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Apr 16, 2021, 01:00 PM
 
other battery culprits:

bluetooth (mentioned)
looking for wifi
apps updating in background
fancy animations
     
Thorzdad
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Apr 16, 2021, 02:56 PM
 
Oh, yeah, forgot about background updates. Kill that asap.
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