We’ve all sent a “Let me know when you get home”, “Drive safely”, or “Are you home yet” text to a friend or family member. But for the person making their way home, remembering to reply to the text might slip through the cracks. But Apple’s thought of a solution for this, with a new feature called Check In that has arrived in the Messages app with iOS 17.
The new feature will let your iPhone automatically send updates to your loved ones, letting them know when you arrived safely. But how exactly does the feature work? Here’s everything you need to know about Check In.
How does Apple’s Check In feature work?
Check In will let your iPhone automatically notify selected contacts when you arrive home safely. Your device can detect when you arrive and your destination, and will then share your location, route, battery level, and signal strength with your chosen contacts.
To use Check In, head to the Messages app on your iPhone. In a conversation, press the + icon text to the message field at the bottom of the app. In the menu that appears, tap on Check In. Your iPhone will then display an estimated arrival time based on your location and traffic, which you can confirm. You can then send the prompt to your contact. Once you reach your destination, or if you’re delayed, your contact will get a notification updating them of your progress. If you haven’t arrived on time, your contact will see your current location and an updated arrival time.
It seems like you’ll have to send the Check In prompt to your contact before you set off, and for each journey. However, Apple hasn’t delved into the full details on this just yet. You may be able to set up automations, or have favourite contacts automatically selected.
Is the feature secure?
Check In is baked directly in to iMessage, so anything information that gets sent is end-to-end encrypted. This means that Apple or any malicious parties can’t see the location data you’re sending. Since you’re only sending it to selected contacts as well, you don’t have to worry about sending notifications to contacts that shouldn’t get them.
Perhaps the most secure element of Check In is that your real-time location is hidden. That means whoever you’re sharing your status with won’t be able to track your movements. If you don’t arrive on time, your current location will be sent, but it won’t update as you continue to move. To use real-time tracking, you’ll have to set up the Find My app on your iPhone.
When will Check In arrive in the Messages app?
Apple’s new Check In feature is now available in public beta, as part of iOS 17. iOS 17 is compatible with the iPhone 14 series, iPhone 13 series, iPhone 12 series, iPhone 11 series, iPhone XS series, iPhone XR, and iPhone SE (2nd generation or later). We also expect it to be compatible with the forthcoming iPhone 15.