iPhone presence not working

I have been experiencing issues with using my iPhone as my presence sensor. I have read other posts and it seems that I’m not the only one with an issue but no one has come to any conclusion how to resolve the problem.

I have an LFM-20 hooked up to my garage and it is set to open when I arrive “Home”. However it only works about 1 in 10 times.

If I open up the ST iPhone app and wait 10-20 seconds, it will eventually trigger my “Home” event and open the garage doors.

Any ideas on how to solve the issue? Grow or shrink my “Home” circle/range in the application?

I’ve had problems in the past and they were resolved (mostly) by setting up a second account for my iPad so that I didn’t share accounts across devices, making sure to keep the battery over 10% and allowing quite a few apps that I’m comfortable with to access my location via background app refresh and privacy. The more apps you allow to poll your location, the more often smartthings gets a location update.

I wouldn’t expand the home radius because it may become more responsive and then your garage door is open and unsupervised for longer. It’s already such a large radius that I briefly wondered if the door is shutting before you get home; I assume not if it’s opening when you open the app, which is why I’m thinking your phone isn’t geofencing enough.

Does anyone else have anything to share that’s helped them?

I’ve found that the presence sensor fobs are much more responsive for things like this. We keep a fob in each car and use that to control garage doors and use the phones to track things like “Everyone has left the house, turn off the lights”.

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Figures that you would have to buy a presense tag for this to work better. I’m having issues with my Note 3 taking a long time (already in the house) before it recognizes I’m home. Maybe try un-installing your presence (phone) and starting over? My wife has an iphone 5s and it works beautifully.

My iPhone consistently works but it still takes a random amount of time to work sometimes which is frustrating.

I wish ST team would just detect if a device joined my wifi such as my phone instead of trying to rely on location services, I feel as if that’d be more reliable and the polling device would be the hub thus it wouldn’t require more battery power from my phone to work.


I agree with Chris Leblanc. I’m having recognition issues with my iphone. furthermore, with the current setup using a gps geofence, if we drive by our house not intending to come home (we live in a city on a major avenue), smartthings will set to home and open our door lock, which is annoying and disturbing. Why can’t they just set the smartthings to react to a connection to the wifi network?

Very unreliable Mobile Presence Geofence (iPhone)

Also finding the iPhone app to be very unreliable for presence sensing.

I’ve got it set to text me and notify me when I leave or return. Works great for a few days, then fails to trigger at all for several days. Then randomly starts working again. Very odd…

I did this to test the notification/ triggering system before committing to put presence/ departure smarthings locks and triggers on the doors and garage door.

What this also means is until I get a reliable notification process, I can’t use this to do things like trigger door locks, garage doors, etc upon approach or departure. That’s VERY NOT GOOD.

It appears that my iphone is not reliable but wife’s is for presence sensing??? well at least I’m not (completely) crazy, motion detectors are not turning on devices but see motion. They don’t know I’ve returned because still in away mode. Suggestions?

First question is hope you are not sharing the same account!

I’m noticing an issue here also. I just recently setup a SmartThings hub. I have yet seen the iPhone app automatically switch from Home to Away mode.

Is there something in either with the application setup or with iPhone settings that I need to check through to make sure everything is configured correctly?

Can you check if this helps (ignore the second account part):


That did help. I did not realize I had to setup the iPhone as its own presence sensor. I’m now seeing the event that the iphone has left correctly in the logs.

Do is there another step that I need to do then to have the state set to away?

I’m also seeing another issue. When I try to select the action of ‘Know when someone comes and goes.’ I receive an error: It is “Error: An unexpected error occurred.”

The unexpected error may be unrelated if you got it couple of minutes back as I got the same while playing with Sonos Connect.

You have to enter and exit out of your geofence for your iPhone to register correctly your presence. Changing your status sitting at home (or office) will not help.

In order to test your presence… drive in and out of your geofence and see how it reacts. And then you may use something like the Hello Home “Good Bye” action to set your home to “Away” mode and “I am Back” action for setting it back to “Home” mode.

Careful though… Good Bye has a default threshold of 10 minutes which you can change and the same goes for I am back. I would suggest using @tslagle13 mode magic app for setting up your modes once you have done your basic testing.

Looks like I have it working now. Thanks!

Good for you! Enjoy your presence. Check out some great SmartApps noe that you are all set @tslagle13 has mode magic and few more! Barry, @scottinpollock, Alex, @geko and the veterans have really cool ones.