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How to Use Check In to Let Your Loved Ones Know You’ve Arrived Safely

10th September 2023

Jacob Woolcock


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In this video, I’ll guide you through the step-by-step process of using the new Check In feature on iOS 17 to ensure your safety and provide peace of mind to your loved ones. Learn how to share your location data effortlessly, alert your friends and family that you’ve arrived home safe, and even set up emergency SOS options. It’s all about reassuring your loved ones with a simple, yet powerful tool that says, “I got home safely.” Join me in this tutorial for a safer and more connected experience.

The Check-In feature on iOS 17 lets your friend or family member know when you’ve arrived home safely. Here’s how it works: On the screen, I’ve got both my iPhone and my fiancée Sapphy’s iPhone. Sapphy’s on her way home from work, so she does a check-in for me so I can make sure she gets home safely. Obviously, in this case, I’m in the home anyway, so it’s a little bit pointless, but hey, for the video, you’ll understand what I mean.

So, what Sapphy is going to do is she’ll press the plus button on that message toolbar, and that will bring up the new Messages app screen. And then from here, she’s going to choose Check-In. Now, at this point, Check-In works in two different ways: It will either use your location and a known location you’re going to, to work out when you should get there, or you can do it manually by setting a timer. We’ll do the timer one now. So, for Sapphy to walk home from work, it takes between 10 and 15 minutes. So, when she goes to edit on that timer, she sets the exact length of time for the check-in to be active for.

Now, nothing’s going to happen during those 15 minutes unless she wants to call for help using Check-In. But what will happen is, on my phone, I’ll get a little message like this that says she’s begun that check-in process. If after 15 minutes Sapphy hasn’t got home, so she hasn’t ended the check-in or she hasn’t interacted with her phone, then I’ll perhaps get a prompt to let me know that maybe things aren’t quite as they should be. And this will also happen if she makes an emergency SOS call, it happens automatically.

So, let’s jump forward a little bit. In fact, let’s jump forward to about 14 and a half minutes into the future. And now, Sapphy’s timer is about to run out. On my phone, so far, nothing’s changed. I’ve still got that check-in visible in messages. But on her phone, she now has this new check-in notification on her lock screen. Now, this notification only lets you make changes when your phone is unlocked, so someone can’t just steal someone’s phone and end it. But Sapphy has the choice here to end the check-in, which means she’s got home safely, or to extend the timer to make it last a bit longer, maybe she’s gone to the shops on the way home or something.

If she extends the timer, she can choose whatever length she wants to do that, and it will update on my phone automatically by saying she’s extended her timer. However, in this case, let’s assume she’s back home now, and that she’s going to end her check-in timer. That means that on my phone, I get a notification saying that she’s home, it’s complete, and everything is good. But if for any reason it wasn’t good, maybe she didn’t interact with the notification at all, she didn’t choose to end or extend, or maybe she didn’t make it home in time, then her phone, after a certain amount of time, would start sharing data with me: her last known location, her battery level, her Wi-Fi and signal status, all of those things that could help me find her.

So, what we’ve got here is a feature which, on the surface, looks really simple and friendly to use, but underneath is actually really, really powerful, should you ever need to use it. And it’s a really great example of how iOS 17 is making day-to-day things better on your iPhone. If you want to see what else is new, please check out the playlist on the end screen now, and you’ll see loads of new tips for your phone. And if you want more iPhone quick tips on your YouTube feed, please do subscribe down below.

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