iOS 17 Check In explained — here’s how the new safety feature works
Apple gave us our first look at iOS 17 at WWDC 2023 and the new features iPhone users can expect. And none of them are more important than Check-In, which automatically notifies family and friends that you’ve arrived safely at your destination.
The Check In feature automatically sends your location and other important information to selected contacts. That way if you promise to text your friends or family when you get home safely but it slips your mind, your iPhone can take care of the rest. The feature also works with your wearable if you have one of the top Apple watches.
Check-In can track the route you’re taking on your journey and send alerts to your contacts if you’re delayed, rerouted, or don’t make it to your destination on at all. Your chosen contact will be able to see your device’s location, battery life or cellular signal levels depending on your settings. That way they can check the status of your trip for peace of mind.
It’s one of several iOS 17 phone upgrades designed to make your life easier. Apple has said that information shared with Check In will be encrypted. And it is established by the user on a contact basis, so you can choose and automatically share the information you want with your friends and family at any given time.
How to use Check In with iOS 17
Check-In is one of several big changes coming to the Messages app with iOS 17. To bring it up, go to the Messages app and tap the conversation you want to use Check-In. Hit the + sign to the left of the iMessage chat bar, then tap More and select Check In from the list.
If this is your first time using Check-In, simply follow the on-screen steps to progress through the process. To get started, you’ll need to decide whether to share limited access or full access. Limited shares location data, battery life and network signal with your chosen contact, while Full includes all that information along with your route data and location data from the last time you unlocked your iPhone or touched your Apple Watch.
You can adjust the Check In details of your message by tapping Edit. You will have the option to toggle the time you think it will take to reach your destination depending on your mode of transport. To complete the process, press Done and then Send. You can cancel or add extra time afterwards if you decide to make a stop or two along the way. When you arrive at your destination, Check In automatically sends a message to your chosen contact to let them know you’ve made it there safely.
If for any reason you are not successful within the designated time frame, your iPhone will pop up a prompt asking if everything is OK. If you fail to respond to the prompt within 15 minutes, Check In will send an alert to your selected contact that something may be wrong.
Currently, iOS 17 is only available as a developer beta, with the first public beta planned to roll out later this summer. If you want to play around with Check In or any of the other features that come with this update, here’s how to download and install the iOS 17 beta right now.
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