I added the story to the current sprint. I am hoping we have something in the next full release.
Still no fix for having to enter my e-mail address every time I open the iOS app? I’ve only had Smartthings for a month or two, but I can see this issue goes back months, at least.
This has gotten frustrating to the point of seeing what else is out there…hopefully this bug gets squashed soon.
I really hope at some point the presence can become more reliable.
We don’t get crazy in’s and out’s. What we do get however is we leave the house go 30 miles away for hours (as much as 10 hours gone) and it still shows we are home. Or I can leave for a few hours, come home, and it never shows I left of came back. It is just not consistent. It usually works for a couple days then it starts doing that. Almost like it has some sort of 5 day timeout setting. Now…it usually doesn’t happen to our phones at the same time. Sometimes it is happening on one phone, but the other is fine. We have the exact same phone, 6s plus.
Having a working reliable presence sensor is a top priory for us and one of the biggest selling points to ST. Having lights automatically turn on when we arrive, making sure everything is off when everyone leaves, and arming and disarming the alarm, are all essential to home automation. Without a reliable presence sensor, we have to keep manually checking for things that should be automated, which defeats the purpose.
I posted this in another thread as well, but wanted to put it here too. I know there are comments stating that the presensce isn’t a ST issue/problem, but it just seems like there is something on ST’s side that can be done. It is frustrating and it feels like it would be a ST/Hub issue. Especially when we can see that our phones show us exactly where we are through every single app that has this ability. All my map/transit apps show me exactly where I am, my weather apps show me exactly where I am on my watch and phone, without even opening the app. So even while I could have 10 different apps showing my exact location correctly, even after hours of being away, smartthings still thinks I am 30 miles away, at home.
That is what is so frustrating and confusing and causes users to pint the finger at ST. Why??? Because that is the only location device that shows their phone is incorrectly placed.
Presence has been a topic of discussion many times in the forum. So many factors in play and much as I have tried to find a common denominator, I never have. We have 2 Iphones used a presence sensors and despite phone upgrades etc., have never had a single problem with presence. I don’t think this is one we can blame on ST (at least not completely anyway). I suspect instead it’s an issue of how geolocation works, or in some cases doesn’t, on mobile devices together with an ST problem. I think perhaps it takes a combination of events and not necessarily the same combination each time to trigger the issue.
Sure, but with us, we are traveling over thirty miles away, with one of us traveling between offices in 3 different cities. It’s not like we are only 2 miles away. We are gone all day as well. As I mentioned, it will work for a few days then all of the sudden stop. It’s like our phones fall off of ST. Sometimes it picks back up, sometimes I reboot the hub, sometimes I reboot the phones. It does come back, only to ignore the phones again after a few days or a week.
Yep, I get it, this same scenario has been described before. I’ve read all the posts people have made about this and all the steps various people have taken to mitigate and still haven’t been able to surmise a theory that holds water as to why. Wish I could give you the magic bullet. I guess the only thing anyone can do is report the problem to ST support each time it occurs perhaps eventually they can replicate and offer a solution.
I will be honest and nothing against anyone here, but my contact with ST support has been less than stellar. To put it bluntly, worthless. I email support, and I am told inconsistent information. I call support and the rep just says they are not sure what is going on and defaults to “we are working on some bugs.” I feel like I receive more assistance here on and forums, and from ST staff here, but the common answer, is “we are working on it”. If I said that to customers at my job, after a few day/weeks, and for sure years, I wouldn’t have those same customers any longer.
It’s hard to put blame on the phone, as reviews for the Official Samsung Presence Sensor are not great. Many complain of the same issues I and others have noted.
I am fairly new here, but if the presence sensor has been an ongoing issue for so long, why is it still an issue? Is this something that is truly being worked on, or is that just what is said so the conversation ends? With the blame being pointed in every direction but themselves, is this something that can even be fixed?
An excellent question. I truly get your frustration.
I agree that other apps on my phone that use geolocation seem to be better, on average, than the ST app. However presence sensing on my iphone and my wife’s is generally much better than it was 1-2 years ago.
But what do you mean that many complain of the same issues with the keyfob presence sensor? It works completely differently than presence detection on your phone.
The only real complaint I have about the keyfob is that it eats batteries. It pings the hub every 30 seconds whether you’re home or away. As long as you have a solid zigbee mesh it should update your presence pretty quickly.
Always possible that ST cloud issues introduce additional delays in running automations that depend on presence, but that’s a separate issue.
I am somewhat new to ST, so I can’t compare to what it was a few years ago, only to what we are experiencing today. Based on our experience, and reading the community forums here and elsewhere, it seems we are not alone on this problem. I don’t have a Samsung Keyfob Presence Sensor, as it seemed redundant to purchase one, so I can’t speak from personal usage. However, I have read many reviews from around the web, where people complain about the battery and the location not being reported correctly. So, maybe that is hit or miss as well. I just wouldn’t want to spend money on two devices that might not work properly, or work just as good as what I already have. Adding another fob to my keychain isn’t ideal either, and if there is no improvement compared to our phones (which should work consistently), doesn’t seem like the best option.
Presence is just tricky. Several different methods will work great for one household, another household will try four or five different methods and have difficulty with all of them. There are just many different local conditions that can factor in ( including type of phone and phone settings).
@marktheknife , I never had battery issues with the SmartThings branded presence sensor, but I had pretty much every other kind of problem with it due to local interference.
Eventually I ended up using a two device method, the phone and an I Beacon, and I now have presence which works well for what I need it to do. But it took literally three or four months and a lot of experimentation to get it working reliably. That time was worth it to me because I am quadriparetic and needed hands-free response for when I arrived home. Other people have to make their own decisions on how much time they want to spend tinkering with presence options. And of course some people will find that it works great out of the box.
More information in the FAQ:
I am almost to the point of trying one of these as a test for a while, but one hesitation is (besides it not working any better than our phones) that while I take my phone with me every time I leave the house, I don’t always take my keys, and this is where I would keep it. For example, if we both leave to visit family, we take our phones, but only one car, thus one set of keys. We have a lot of routines based on everyone gone.
I may just stick it out (not really any great alternative options) and hope that using the phone as a presence sensor keeps getting better.
I wonder how Nest does it. We have to of those and we use our phones as presence sensors for Eco mode. I have not seen it get stuck or not change properly. Now, it’s not instant, but that is by design.
Long story short, I personally feel (even though I am not a developer, just an end user) that there is room for improvement here, and hopefully that it is truly being looked into and worked on. As it stands, I am constantly checking something that should be automated.
Remember there are many different ways to use the phone as a presence sensor, you don’t have to just use the SmartThings mobile app. A lot of people find the free life 360 service is more accurate for presence, and there’s an official integration for that.
And if nest is working, you could use the nest IFTTT channel and have it switching mode turn on a virtual presence sensor in SmartThings. The only question is how much additional lag might be added. But you could try it and see.
Again, see the presence FAQ for more details on these options.
Thanks. I realize there are other ways, apps, devices, integrations and such, but ideally, the most popular and wildly used, I assume for the average consumer, is using their phone. I believe it even walks you though this when setting up the hub (could be wrong here). This was one of the main reasons I purchased ST to start with. I am not sure how reliable other hubs are with this, such as Wink. With that, it should just be a bit more reliable. Hopefully that will improve.
Are you using IOS or Android?
You are probably correct!
When you consider the many variables (cell coverage, GPS availability/strength, network latency, the particular phone in use – which vary widely, IMHO), it is good to have alternatives. YMMV
After playing around with this when I first got started with SmartThings, I realized it didn’t work all that well at the time. Since I had no critical use for “arrival,” I gave up. I’m not interested in my door unlocking as I approach home, for example.
Perhaps I’ll try it again to see if it has improved. Maybe turning some lights on at night when I get home…
We both use iOS, iPhone 6s Plus. We use the arrival and departure to trigger I’m Back and Goodbye which also triggers the SM to home and away. We also have certain lights come on when we get home, and when goodbye is triggered, we have it so everything turns off. When the presence sensor isn’t working properly, the alarm doesn’t arm/disarm, lights don’t turn on and all of our plugs, fans and lights do not turn off. I do not use it to lock and unlock a door…to me, I am not comfortable with that currently.
Yeah I guess not everyone has issues with the presence sensor battery, I know we were discussing that recently in another thread. Though I’m pretty sure I’ve read before that others besides me think the battery life sucks too.
The salient point for @SquattingHen is that the zigbee presence sensor works very differently than phone presence, and may work well with his particular setup. But if you don’t want to add a keyfob to your key ring (I don’t blame you), then that’s probably the end of that.
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