Best Practice for using Mobile phone as a Presence Sensor

Since migrating to the new smartthings app, found that using Mobile phone as a presence sensor isnt as good, although that may be in the way I am using the new app.

For example in the old app, mobile phones or the Smartthings presence sensor would have been visible as a device listed under devices & so you could easily see if someone is present at home or not. Now under the new app, they dont appear under devices - they only appear under the appropriate automations you add them to - but I cant see any easy way to know quickly if my son is at home or not…

Whats the best way for me to quickly identify if someone is home or not.

You could create a virtual switch to turn on/off depending on the presence of the phone. At least if the switch is on you can tell if someone is home or not.

I still use Classic for several reasons, visibility of mobile presence sensors being one them.


Have you tried Webcore as a presence sensor? worked best for me and the rest of the household.

When you say have you tried webCoRe can you expand on that please.

I know what webCoRe is.

Thanks for the suggestions. So that would be a lighting automation? how do I create a virtual switch I can assign?

Via the Classic app (for now), install the SmartApp called “Virtual Device Creator” from the Marketplace. It’s found under the “More” section. Once installed you can create as many virtual switches and dimmers as you want. Tell it either switch/dimmer, your hub, and a device name. As soon as you tap on Save it will be created. It will be listed under the section called “Devices Created”. Remember, every time you tap on Save it will create a new virtual device. If you accidentally create multiple virtual devices with the same name, no worries. Just delete them through the mobile app or IDE.

At his point, you can start using this SmartApp with the new app, as well as the devices you’ve created. You should also be able to move these devices into Rooms, etc. They’ll show up like any other switch/dimmer device in the mobile app.

Yes, in Classic or in the new app you can use Smart Lighting. You’ll need 2 automations since the “mirror” behavior only works with switches, not presence devices. 1 to turn on when arrived, and 1 to turn off when it has left.

I believe with the new app you should be able to do something similar with a custom automation, but you’ll have to experiment with that to see if you can.


brilliant - thanks for that. Have created using ST classic app & setup 2 automations to switch on and off as suggested. Will try out later tonight.

Wonder why they removed mobile phone as presence device from list of devices.

Thanks for your help

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