Any New Presence Sensor Device

I have set up my wife’s apple phone as a presence sensor. She consistently
stays on her phone watching video and other stuff and her smarting quites running in the background and never updates her location. She always has to open it and then it will update the location and sometimes it is a pain to get it updating again.

I switched her to the WebCoRe app and it also stops after a day or so, although when she opens it it does update her location quickly with no issues.

Is there some other dependable device that could be detected as a presence sensor? I though maybe the air tag may be an option in her purse but do not see anything about people using it. Are there other devices I’m missing? Do they make a dependable wireless dongle that can be used as a presence sensor? I know I am not the only one that has this trouble.

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Try updating her iPhone to iOS 15.3 when it is released… may or may not help resolve the issue

The phone always stays up to date. She just uses it so much I assume when memory is low it takes it away from the older apps in the background. It would be better to use another device dedicated as a presence sensor. What I use SmartThings for it is all related to if we are here or not. Just seems a better presence device needs to be made.

You shouldn’t have to use another presence device, if SmartThings supports this it should work, they need to fix it. I have the same issues with you, it worked great for 18+ months and then since the rollout of the new app it has been patchy

First thing would be to determine if plain old iOS presence is reliable for her.

I recommend getting a Meross HomeKit compatible smart plug or power strip with one independently controlled socket for each member of your household that you want to track.

(You didn’t say what country you are in, but this is a relatively inexpensive device available in both the
Us And UK. And it can work with both HomeKit and ST simultaneously.)

They have 1, 2, 3, and 4 socket models. Make sure it says HomeKit compatible: they have a slightly cheaper line that isn’t, but you need HoneKit for this project.

Now create a HomeKit automation so that when your wife arrives home, one socket turns on, and when she leaves, it turns off.

Homekit Automation

If that works well, you’re on your way. :sunglasses:

Since both HomeKit and SmartThings can recognize the Meross at the same time, you can just use the socket as a proxy for presence: if the socket is on, your wife is home.

SmartThings routine

If you want to get fancier, you can create a virtual presence sensor and turn it on when the socket is on.

[ST Edge] vEdge Creator: a virtual device generator for end users

That’s your choice, but for most people just the socket should be enough.

All of this is just a method for letting you use the phone’s presence in ST without requiring the ST app to track presence since it doesn’t seem to be very good at it for some people.

If HomeKit presence isn’t reliable either, then that’s a different issue and would require a different solution.



Thank You sir! I will give this a try.

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I ordered two of the mini plugs to see if they work as expected.

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I currently have Homebridge 2.0 set up, and have my “home” virtual switched controlled by Homekit as I arrive home. That has worked 100% of the time.

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Is home bridge another services that runs on another physical device? > home

Homebridge is software that I run on a Rhaspberry Pi, and use Homebridge 2.0 smart app to connect smartthings to it, and it connects to Homekit.

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iOS 15.3 is now available so give it a try


Homebridge is software that started out life as a Philips hue bridge emulator. It works by using that emulator to fool HomeKit into thinking that other types of devices are hue bulbs. (Seriously, that’s how it works.)

Over the years many different people have contributed different Homebridge “plug-ins“ that are software that convert the messages from other kinds of devices, everything from Ring doorbells to smartthings hubs.

You can run the software on your own device, typically a raspberry pi. Or in the last two years you can buy a hardware device that comes with the basic homebridge software already installed. HOOBS is probably the most popular of these.

It’s important to note that Hoobs is not itself a hub. It can’t talk directly to a Zigbee device or a Z wave device. It’s receiving messages from the smartthings cloud service. Then it’s converting those messages, using the plug-ins, into something that HomeKit will recognize.

Note that many of these integrations are one way: you could, for example, bring devices attached to a smart things hub into the HomeKit app, but you couldn’t bring devices that communicate with HomeKit back into the smartthings app.

So it’s useful for some people, not others, it just depends on what you want to do with it.

HOOBS makes it sounds like it’s as easy to use as the app for consumer devices like ring: it’s not. The plug-ins are pretty technical and they can need some tinkering to get them to work.

Home bridge is definitely an option for some people, but setting it up it’s probably overkill if all you want is reliable home/away indication from an iOS phone/tablet.

Also… right now the smartthings homebridge integration depends on groovy and the smartthings groovy implementation is going away pretty soon. And so far I haven’t heard of anyone who’s volunteered to rewrite it for the new architecture. :thinking:

You can talk to people who are using it in the following thread:

[RELEASE] Homebridge SmartThings v2.0

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Thanks for the detailed information. As I get older, I’m looking for simplicity in my life and starting to get reid of things that are more aggravating than they are worth. Which is somewhat my thoughts on Smartthings. If I have to spend more time fixing something then the time required to turn on a light, is it really worth it?

I don’t want to set up anther device to make two other things works. I will give the plug option a try and maybe the IOS will keep that their on app checking alive. We will see. I will also update the IOS too.

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Will do! Thanks

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I know this thread is mainly about iOS, but Android users could do something broadly along the lines described by setting up homes/households in Google Home with the Home/Away setting based on single phones. However it may just reveal that some SmartThings presence issues are actually Google geofence issues.


This morning when she got to work she was still showing at home. I had her open WebCoRE and instantly it should her she left.

She has been home for an hour and it shows her still away. Right now I am doing the 15.3 update to see if the reboot automatically sets her at home.

The reboot automatically put her home. We will see what tomorrow holds.

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Today her cell phone presence worked. Was it the upgrade? Who knows. Let’s see what tomorrow holds.

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Well day two, still working. I can not believe it……

Jdroberts. I also got the outlet in and working the the home kit app. I also have it in smart things and when she came home the outlet came on. So I’ll monitor these for a while and see which is the first to stop working.

Was the new iOS update suppose to have some fix for apps going to sleep or something. I’m surprised if that was the fix.

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Wow, still working. Amazing :star_struck:

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Well this evening is the first time her WebCoRE presence did not work. However the home kit plug still detected her arriving. This was the first time that proved HomeKit more reliable for presence detection.

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