Android location is hit or miss? Why doesn't it work


I don’t understand why the smarthings app on my Samsung S5 only works some of the time when I leave the house. I have a delay of 1 minute to set the mode to ‘away’ but sometimes it works sometimes it doesn’t. I have full location options turned on in the settings. I’ve rebooted phone and also cleared the data for the app like I’ve read in other posts. If I open Google maps I get my exact location in a matter of seconds.

Is the Android app still supported…? It hasn’t been updated in awhile, and for whatever reason the focus is always on iphones first. I’ve read lots of posts on this community about bugs/common sense feature requests but haven’t seen much response from ST folk.

I wish I’d known the app was so difficult to use/understand before I bought the kit, the website makes everything look so easy but the app, which is the main control for everything, is far from user-friendly.

(Edward Pope) #2

What type of problems are you having? Perhaps if you detailed out the problems that people here can step up and try to assist you with the difficulties that you are experiencing


I’m not sure how to be more specific…location/presence sensing via my phone doesn’t work consistently. Usually not at all. There is no discernible pattern to when it does or doesn’t. Does the app not work with samsung S5’s well?

(Bill J) #4

I am using the Windows Phone app, but I’ll offer one idea. After a week of presence tracking working with no issue, I started seeing my leaving not being tracked properly sometimes.

I think I’ve traced it to the fact that I installed the SmartThings app on an Android tablet that I have (trust me, the Android app is better than the Windows Phone app). Being logged into the same SmartThings account on two different devices can confuse things. After logging out of SmartThings on the Android tablet, my issues seem to be resolved - time will tell, though.


Hey that’s a good thought thanks for the reply. I did have it installed on a tablet but I wasn’t logged in…so just to be sure I uninstalled it completely from there. Still no luck with my android phone. I rebooted (again) early this AM and left the geofence area to test and it worked, however just now I left to head way further out and it still says I’m ‘present’. So still hit or miss. Incredibly frustrating at this point.

On a side note, if there is an issue with being logged into multiple devices that obviously is a huge bug since each discrete device (ie “Thing”) is the basis for the smart things ecosystem.

(Joshua Lyon ( Dashboard)) #6

@saltH20 while I can’t help you solve the issues with presence and the out of the box SmartThings app, some people in the SharpTools community are using Tasker and Simulated Presence Sensor devices to create custom presence indication using their Android phones.

With this solution, they basically bypass the built-in presence detection and use their own custom presence solution. Let me know if you want more details.

(Ajf) #7

Presence is also inconsistent on my iPhones, and has always been so. I think it’s one of the most useful features of ST , but basically useless because it’s so unreliable.


joshua_lyon thanks for the tip. I am going to explore further and will reach out if I have questions.

Thanks everyone for responding.

(Ron S) #9

On iPhone 5 (wife’s) and 6, mobile presence has been pretty stable for me.

One issue that I face here in NJ is the Optimum auto hotspots all over the state (even though saves me a lot on data plan). I have my phone registered to auto sign in to Optimum hotspots being an Optimum customer. These hotspots have very weak signal near my home. As a result the ST app would crash at times or will still be updating the status while I am already in my geofence and reach my house. Didn’t happen everyday (may be depending on the load) but this was one of the reason for me when it did not work for me.

On my way back home from office, I disable Optimum wifi on my phone to get around and the it triggers at the exact spot every day near my home.

But when leaving for work in the mornings, it triggers at a different spot. The reason may be I am still connected to my home wifi when I leave and as I go further away from house, the signal obviously drops and as soon as my wifi drops me and LTE takes over, I get the left home notification I have set.

Exact same behavior on my wife’s iPhone. So, basically in my case it was the slow transistion from wifi to LTE and vice versa causing the issue.

Note: And of course I am sure you have ruled out the usual suspects. Ignore the setting up part of the second account in the linked thread…

(Greg Fountain) #10

I’ve given up on it entirely. I’m using Life360. As is common with a lot of ST, you have to rely on 3rd party apps/code to get the thing to do what you want it to. This product is far beyond the mainstream crowd user.