Can't Use Android Phones as Arrival Sensor. Workaround?

Not sure what the story is between Google Location Services and the SmartThings app, but others in my home can use their iPhone just fine as an arrival sensor, turning on & off SmartThings Home Monitoring. I’ve used 2 phones in the past month as an arrival sensor (One running Android 14, another running Android 10) and neither triggered a home arrival. This was done either either phone setup at different location radius sizes (30km, 1km, etc). On Android 14 I can more easily see how the SmartThings app is not asking for device location, despite having full permissions to (a) get location data in the background and (b) never shut the app down when it’s running in the background. I thought for sure this was a phone problem until I tried a completely different phone running a different version of Android - no luck!

Are there any remedies to this I can try? Is there a way to tell SmartThings that I’m home because I connected to my home WiFi/SSID? A separate device (Android Tag, etc) that can act as an arrival sensor? I just need ‘something’ that can automatically detect I’m home and turns my SmartThings security monitoring ‘off.’


If you have the Alexa app on your phone, you can create Alexa routines to trigger presence changes. It’s even possible to have multiple routines set up with different radii triggers.

Alexa routines can trigger a SmartThings switch (real or virtual), virtual presence sensor, or SmartThings scene (manual routine).

After years of hit or miss presence sensing on my Android phones I set this up a few months ago and it’s been solid.

Search the forums for more info. There are some specific things you’ll need to do if you have multiple people that need to be able to trigger presence changes.

1 Like

One question. When you set up ST on the phones… was it a fresh install or transferred from another phone?

Fresh install, where I logged in, registered my SmartThings account to use that new phone for location, etc.


This topic discusses various options including what @HalD suggested.


This topic discusses various options including what @HalD suggested.

Thanks! The IFTTT (re)integration paired with a virtual switch might be a good place to start as I’m already familiar with that platform, with using Alexa as a backup.