In Short.
To use Check In on iPhone with iOS 17, open a conversation in the Messages app, tap the '+' icon, swipe up or tap 'More', select 'Check In', choose data to share, and send the message.

There's nothing quite like that moment when Apple drops a new iOS update, and we get to dive into a sea of shiny, new features. It's like opening presents on Christmas morning, except it's not Christmas, and the presents are all virtual. But still exciting, right?

So, let's cut to the chase: iOS 17 is here, and it's brought a multitude of new functionalities. And today, we'll be delving into a feature that might not be a game-changing technology, but I can see us using it a lot. The Check-In feature in the Messages app might prove to be a lifesaver for those late-night rides from parties or solo travelers. Without further ado, let's embark on this journey.

What Exactly is the Check-In Feature in iOS 17?

Before we dive into the deep end, let's dip our toes in the shallow waters of understanding what 'Check In' is all about. 'Check In' allows you to share your location with your friends or family directly in the Messages app.

Imagine you're embarking on a journey; your iPhone acts as your virtual buddy on this journey, keeping your friends and family updated along the way. But this isn't your typical "Hey, I'm at the world's largest ball of twine!" kind of location sharing. It ensures that your loved ones are in the loop when you're on the move.

How Does It Work?

Once you set your destination, 'Check In' takes over the reins. When you arrive, it sends a notification to your chosen contact. You might be thinking, "Okay, so what? I can already share my location in other apps." Fair point, my inquisitive friend!

Here's where it gets really interesting: If you stop making progress toward your destination, 'Check In' gets a little worried. It pokes you with a check-in message, and if you don't respond within 15 minutes, it alerts your contact with helpful information like your location, route, your iPhone's (and Apple Watch's) battery level, and cell service status.

And for those concerned about privacy (who isn't these days?), breathe easy. Any shared information is end-to-end encrypted.

So, in a nutshell, 'Check In' is more than just a feature. It's a companion, a safety net, and a new way to keep your friends and family in the loop when things tend to be a bit worrisome.

How to Use Check In in Messages on iPhone

First things first, you need to update your device to iOS 17 (obviously). The friend with whom you want to use Check In also needs to be on iOS 17.

Secondly, you need friends. Just kidding, you're awesome, and I'm sure you have plenty! But on a serious note, you'll need someone to share your location with. Open the Messages app and navigate to the conversation of the friend (or family member) with whom you want to "Check-In".

Then, tap the '+' icon on the left of the message box. In iOS 17, the older app drawer has been replaced; this is where all your iMessage apps have made their new home now.

The new "app drawer" will open. Swipe up or tap the 'More' option.

Then, tap the option for 'Check In'.

Onboarding screens for Check In will open; they will only appear the first time you're configuring Check In. Tap 'Continue' to proceed.

Again, tap 'Continue' on the next screen.

Then, choose the data you'd like to share in the event you don't arrive. You'll see two options: 'Limited' and 'Full'.

Limited data will include your current location and details about your iPhone's and Apple Watch's battery life and network signal.

Full Data will include all the limited data and other additional information like the route you traveled, the location of Apple Watch removal, and the location of the last iPhone unlock.

Select what you want to share (you can change it later from the Settings app) and tap 'Continue'.

Then, tap 'Send a Check In'. (The steps from the Onboarding screen up until this point are only required when you're setting up Check In for the first time). If you tap 'Not Now', Check In will be set up with your preferred option, and you can directly use it next time.

The Check In will load in the message box. Tap 'Edit' to change the destination or the arrival time. Then, tap the blue arrow to send the message.

By default, the Check In is set for a time duration of 1 hour. You can change it as required for up to 24 hours from the 'After a timer' tab.

You can change the Check In type to a location-based setting to let your friend know when you arrive at a specified destination.

Go to the 'When I arrive' tab, tap on the 'Change' button, search for the place where you're going and set it as your destination.

After selecting a destination, you can use the 'Small', 'Medium', and 'Large' circle options to increase or decrease the perimeter of the selected destination.

Tap 'Done' at the top-right corner to confirm your destination area.

After setting a Destination, you'll get the option to set an ETA according to your mode of transportation, which helps your friend when you may arrive. The ETA will automatically update based on the traffic and driving condition, once you depart.

Finally, tap 'Done' once you have set the Check In options.

Hit the 'Send' button to share your Check In with your friend.

They will be notified when you send the Check In. If all goes okay, Check In will automatically detect that you have arrived at your destination, and your friend will again be notified. You don't need to lift a finger.

But if you get delayed, and it detects that you're not making progress toward your location, you'll receive a prompt on your screen. You can choose 'End Check In' or 'Add Time'.

And if you don't respond within 15 minutes, your friend will receive another notification that you're delayed.

They can open it to view the information you selected while setting up Check In and take any steps necessary to ensure your safety.

With Check In in Messages in iOS 17, your iPhone isn't just a gadget; it's a companion on your journeys, ensuring you're safe, connected, and in sync with your loved ones. So, update, check in, and let your adventures begin!