Wear OS is pulling an Apple by introducing 'School Time' for kids

The Pixel Watch 2 on a kids arm
(Image credit: Nick Sutrich / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • The new Google Play Services update is bringing with it a feature specifically for school children— a school time mode.
  • This will help parents set school time limits for certain apps and also silence their devices during school hours.
  • The feature is not yet available but may roll out soon.

This month, Google has included a new feature on its latest Play Services v24.18 update aimed at Wear OS devices. According to the changelog, the company is preparing to bring a 'School Time' feature to WearOS smartwatches for children. 

According to the update, parents will be able to set School-Time limits for apps that their child can use and also silence their device during school hours to limit unnecessary distractions. 

As reported by 9to5Google, this new update will block apps and watch face complications but still allow temporary access to things such as Activity Rings with a set number of “unlocks.”

Google Pixel Watch worn on a wrist with beaded bracelets.

(Image credit: Namerah Saud Fatmi / Android Central)

If you feel like you've heard about a similar concept elsewhere, you're not wrong. This update sounds a lot like the Schooltime mode on Apple watches, which allows you to set up multiple schedules during a day—like from 8:00 a.m. to noon and then 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.—and customize the days of the week this schedule repeats.

It is unclear whether all Wear OS smartwatches will sport this new feature or only the latest models will offer it, but for now, it seems the feature hasn't been rolled out to watches yet.

Android Central has reached out to Google about when and who will get the new Wear OS feature; however, they did not get back to us in time for publication. We will update this article once we have more information.

While smartwatches and other wearables are becoming increasingly popular among school children, tech companies like Google, Fitbit, and Apple are doing their part to ensure that technology doesn't interfere with learning.

Additionally, rumor has it that Fitbit is also working on a kids' smartwatch with cellular and GPS connectivity to allow parents to monitor and contact their kids. This device is said to be part of a project code-named Project Eleven, after the main character in Netflix's Stranger Things.

Two Fitbit employees familiar with the plan told Business Insider that the goal is to "help older kids form healthy relationships with their phones and social media."

Nandika Ravi
News Editor

Nandika Ravi is an Editor for Android Central. Based in Toronto, after rocking the news scene as a Multimedia Reporter and Editor at Rogers Sports and Media, she now brings her expertise into the Tech ecosystem. When not breaking tech news, you can catch her sipping coffee at cosy cafes, exploring new trails with her boxer dog or leveling up in the gaming universe.