FAQ: How to troubleshoot mobile phone presence issues

I don’t know if just talking to the phone helped or perhaps the one small change I made (for an iPhone you can choose whether it will use celluar data for background apps or not – this is actually a change in iOS due to some people running up huge data usages when they thought they were using wi-fi only. I changed it to use cellular for Smartthings only – all the rest were turned off) but now it’s worked for the last day or so (where it had only worked for one day previous).

Mine has worked just fine ever since I set it up (but that was only a week ago so…). I’m with you on the fobs, where the reviews say they are a PITA. Given that my wife’s phone is located just fine for all other things (for example, right now I can see where it is on the “Find my friends” app, which is similar to Life360) I’m positive this is an ST issue and I don’t think I’ll pursue it anymore.

(Life360 is supposed to be able to integrate directly into ST according to that article and the FAQ about doing it, I just can’t get the app to connect the two to work).

I found this and ran through it in my phone. Seems to have at least integrated it. I will see if it actually had any effect.

Yeah, that doesn’t work for me (it keeps giving me an error when I try and log in to my already setup Life360 account).

I resolved my iPhone presence issue by adding the offending iPhone a second time and then deleting the offending iPhone version. Of course, I had to go re-write everything to address the “new” phone, but presence is working again!

Same fix as KayakL8 for me with Android. In API device was showing as inactive. I added again in mobile app and new device shows active.
Tried copying the new device ID into the old device but it still shows as inactive.

One thing I noted is the new device ID is very different from the old one and seems to have three fields- an email address, a field same ength as old ID, but different and now with hyphens, and a new long field. Not sure what these are- don’t tie up with phone mac or hardware ID.

There must be an easier way to make a mobile presence sensor “active” again- it’s a pain haivng to go through and rebuild the Smartapps onto the new device.

We have an Android that works fine all the time and an iPhone 6s that never seems to leave the house but always returns at a new time. I finally got rid of the app sensors and started using Life360. It’s an app issue. iPhone works 100% now. No changes to anything on the phone other than switching from Smartthings App to Life360 App. It’s just better at determining where the phone really is. The kids have the fob presence sensors and those seem to work fine too.

I used to feel the same way, here lately seems the Life360 software on SmartApps is not getting the information from Life360. I have 3 users all on life360 app with Iphone. I am the only one running and maintaining Smart things app. It constantly could not tell one of the users was home or left. I deleted all users and smart app life360. Pain in the butt. Now its doing the same thing to my user on life360. Only way to resolve is to run through the setup process of the Smartapp and then it registers my location.

So it’s December now, how are things? Life360 still working or not?

Mine has been rock solid for the last 2 months, before that it was a month of hit or miss.


Native presence seems to be working fine on my phone with a large geofence (larger than I’d like but whatever), but my wife’s phone is slower and usually doesn’t report being home until a few minutes after she arrives, even though I tied her in with an even larger IFTTT geofence (probably a mile radius from the house). I’ve started experimenting with Tasker/Autolocation/Sharptools to see if I can get better accuracy. My goal is to get it down to trigger when entering our street, probably 200 yard radius. I got everything set up yesterday but we’re out of town til tomorrow so I haven’t been able to test yet.

Very cool! I am looking forward to hearing if the custom presence solution works out well for you. Tasker is both a blessing and a curse - there’s a lot of tweaking you can do to really get it to work the way you want, but sometimes you get sucked into the vacuum of endlessly tweaking things!

If AutoLocation alone doesn’t work, I’ve seen some people leverage low-resolution location providers like cell towers to detect when they get into a very broad zone which then triggers a high-resolution location provider like GPS (which also consumes more energy) to detect when they cross a more precise threshold. If I remember correctly, you can even do this with AutoLocation where you start with a low resolution geofence then trigger the monitoring of the higher resolution geofence.

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This is exactly what I have set up. I defined two “perimeters” around the house, one about 3/4 mile radius and one about 200 yard radius around my house. When the standard geofencing service detects that I have entered the outer perimeter, it turns on AutoLocation high accuracy mode and pings GPS every 5 seconds until I either enter the inner perimeter (at which point it uses Sharptools to change a simulated presence sensor to “present”) or exit the outer perimeter, which puts the phone back into standard geolocation mode.

In theory, anyway - I have yet to test, and I’m sure it will require some tweaking. Hopefully this will really improve things though. I’ve read a lot of good things about the accuracy of AutoLocation if you set it up correctly, i.e. the inner and outer permimeters.

It sounds like you have things under control, but let me know if I can help with anything related to SharpTools! Feel free to tag me here (@joshua_lyon) or reach out using “Send Feedback” from within SharpTools.

Ahhh I did not realize you were the SharpTools Dev, very cool :slight_smile: Great app! I’ll get in touch with you if I have any questions or problems. Thanks!

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Oh BTW (off topic), one of the other use cases for SharpTools that I’m planning is to add a layer of security around NFC tags. I started playing with these last week using the Maker channel on IFTTT but anyone can open the URLs and trigger the “that” in IFTTT that way. Alternatively, having the NFC tag trigger a Tasker task that uses SharpTools to do ST actions means that only specific phones can trigger thr NFC actions. So another thumbs up there :slight_smile:

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Would it be possible to post some pics of your profiles & tasks? I’d really like to get a grasp on using the 2-tier location methodology. Thank you!

(I’m using “Wi-Fi Near” for actual presence and it’s been mostly good, but not good enough :slight_smile: For several months I’ve also used Autolocation in parallel, i.e. just sending notifications so I can compare it to Wi-Fi Near. I can’t say I’ve observed any qualitative difference.)

I have been out of town and unable to test the two-perimeter setup so far. Headed home this morning. Once I test and get something that works well I was planning to start a “how-to” thread since I haven’t seen one yet. Give me a day or two and I’ll try to put something together.

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I created a new how-to thread for this:


Great, so far. Thank you. Looking forward to the next installment.

Sorry for jumping the gun, but does this

mean that loss of Wi-Fi Near won’t trigger AWAY all by itself and that a subsequent confirming move outside the close perimeter has to happen before AWAY is set? (This has been my biggest issue, such that I implement a timer when I lose Wi-Fi Near that counts down before I actually set AWAY.)

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Correct. This requires an “or” capability, which Tasker doesn’t have for some reason. There’s a workaround, however, using three separate profiles and the %PACTIVE variable, which gives you a comma separated list of active profiles. The Cliffs version is to create one profile that activates when you connect to wifi (Home-WiFi). If you don’t have any specific actions for this, you can add a short wait as a dummy task. Create a second profile that activates when you are inside the inner perimeter (Home-Location). Then create a third profile (Home) that activates when variable %PACTIVE matches [asterisk]Home-WiFi[asterisk]/[asterisk]Home-Location[asterisk] (replace [asterisk] with * ), where the asterisks are wildcards and the slash is an “or”. This tells Tasker to activate Home profile when either Home-WiFi or Home-Location is active. Then tie your SharpTools present/not present action to this Home profile.