Apple’s watchOS 11 will give your workouts a much-needed safety feature

Two Apple Watch models side by side, showing the Check In feature in watchOS 11.
(Image credit: Apple)

One of the new watchOS 11 features that Apple announced at its WWDC 2024 event is the ability to check in with friends so that they know you’re safe whenever you head out of the house. What you might not have known is that this feature will also soon be available during outdoor workouts, ensuring people know you completed your exercise without any mishaps.

That can be useful for a variety of people, whether you have a heart condition, are recovering from an injury, feel like going on a late-night jog and are worried about your safety, or something else. It means that a helpful safety feature can be used in more circumstances.

The Check In feature was originally launched in iOS 17 and worked exclusively on the iPhone and in the Messages app. It let you tell a loved one that you were leaving on a journey, and your iPhone would automatically alert them if you didn’t arrive before a certain time, including extra details such as your location, battery level, and more.

That feature will soon be on the Apple Watch in watchOS 11 when that update lands in September. Apple has built it into the Smart Stack widget, giving you a quick way to get started from your wrist. Integrating it directly into the Workouts app is also a welcome step given how useful it can be.

Keeping safe

iOS 17 check in feature settings and screens

(Image credit: Future / Philip Berne)

At WWDC, Apple briefly mentioned the fact that Check In was coming to the Apple Watch and the Workouts app, but it shared very little in the way of specifics – perhaps because things might change between now and when the full version of watchOS 11 comes out in the fall.

As it turns out, you can open the Workouts app on your Apple Watch, start a workout, then swipe right to access the Check In feature. If something unexpected happens or you get delayed, Check In will notify your contact of what happened, which is handy if you go for an evening walk or a jog in the countryside.

As well as that, if you open the Settings app and go to the Workout section, you can turn on Check In reminders that will prompt you to fire up Check In from the Workouts app if you begin an outdoor workout.

The feature is similar to Garmin’s LiveTrack and Strava’s Beacon, both of which let other people track your activities and exercises to make sure everything is okay. With this feature now built right into the Apple Watch, it should be easier than ever for Apple fans to get this functionality and stay safe while working out.

You might also like

Alex Blake
Freelance Contributor

Alex Blake has been fooling around with computers since the early 1990s, and since that time he's learned a thing or two about tech. No more than two things, though. That's all his brain can hold. As well as TechRadar, Alex writes for iMore, Digital Trends and Creative Bloq, among others. He was previously commissioning editor at MacFormat magazine. That means he mostly covers the world of Apple and its latest products, but also Windows, computer peripherals, mobile apps, and much more beyond. When not writing, you can find him hiking the English countryside and gaming on his PC.