Apple’s iOS 17 Check-in feature expected to disrupt numerous existing apps

iOS 17 Check in functionality

Apple’s new iOS 17 safety feature, called Check-in, finally delivers what many parents, family members, and loved ones have asked for: a way to automatically inform friends and loved ones via the Messages app that you arrived safely home or at a selected destination.

Parents wanting to know their children’s whereabouts, checking on their loved elderly ones, or people traveling alone will find this new safety feature quite useful.

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About Apple’s Check-in feature for iOS 17+

The Check-In feature is available inside the Messages app on iPhones running iOS17 and above. To work, both the sender and receiver must use iPhones that have updated to iOS17 and above.

This feature lets friends or family members know that you’re on your way home or to a specific destination, gives them an approximate expected arrival time, and then notifies them when you reach that destination.

Once set up, check-in works automatically, so people no longer have to manually send a text message letting folks know they made it home or reached a certain destination. A Check-In includes valuable information like location data and the time of arrival. 

If there is an unexpected delay in getting to that destination, check-in can trace their progress and route in real-time and send alerts for delays or changes to their route. Plus, it also checks in with the user about their delay–so if they don’t respond, their iPhone sends their real-time location.

How to use Check In on your iPhone (iOS17+) Messages app iOS 17 and above Check In feature in More menu

  1. Open the Messages app and tap a conversation or start a new conversation where you want to use Check In.
  2. Choose the plus (+) button, select More, and tap Check In.
    1. If it’s your first time, follow the on-screen instructions.
    2. Choose between Limited or Full data-sharing access. Limited shares location, network signal, and battery level, while Full also includes the route traveled, the location of the last iPhone unlock, and the location of where an Apple Watch was last removed.
  3. Tap the Continue button and then Send a Check In button.

For more details on setting up and using the Check-In feature, see this article: Use your iPhone’s Check In feature to let your family and friends know you made it home.

Above all, Check-In helps put everyone at ease, knowing their loved ones’ whereabouts and that they arrived safely at their destination.

  1. Allow your loved ones to know when you are home safely. When you reach your home, the system detects the home location and notifies your loved ones and friends with whom you have shared access privileges.
  2. Another important feature of this is that it automatically checks the owner’s battery health and alerts you that “his phone’s battery” is falling under a threshold and entering low power.

Check in on iOS 17 iPhone Apple

Is it time to ditch those third-party safety apps?

Parents who have traditionally used third-party apps such as Bark, FamilyTracker, or other apps such as Verizon Smart Family can now evaluate Apple’s new Check-in feature, access the location, and help their loved ones while maintaining absolute end-to-end encryption and privacy.

Historically, the use of GPS Trackers for the elderly, such as those offered by Tranquil, Medical Guardian, AngelSense, Pocketfinder, iTraq, Spy Tec, SPOT, GPS SmartSole, Trackimo, and Bay Alarm Medical, can bring your aging loved one safely home and provide greater peace of mind for caregivers and family members of people. 

This huge market of apps and support platforms will probably be impacted as users check out the new Check-in functionality offered via iOS 17.

Check-in functionality will also serve as a huge boost for caregivers who look after elderly loved ones. This is particularly true if your loved one has an early onset of dementia or other issues that make it necessary to track their whereabouts.

iOS 17 works on the following phones:

  • iPhone 14, 14 Plus, 14 Pro and Pro Max
  • iPhone 13, 13 mini, 13 Pro and Pro Max
  • iPhone 12, 12 mini, 12 Pro and Pro Max
  • iPhone XS and XS Max
  • iPhone XR
  • iPhone SE (2nd generation or later)
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Sudz Niel Kar
I am a technologist with years of experience with Apple and wearOS products, have a BS in Computer Science and an MBA specializing in emerging tech, and owned the popular site AppleToolBox. In my day job, I advise Fortune 500 companies with their digital transformation strategies and also consult with numerous digital health startups in an advisory capacity. I'm VERY interested in exploring the digital health and fitness-tech evolution and keeping a close eye on patents, FDA approvals, strategic partnerships, and developments happening in the wearables and digital health sector. When I'm not writing or presenting, I run with my Apple Watch Ultra or Samsung Galaxy Watch and closely monitor my HRV and other recovery metrics.


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