Mobile Phone Presence in the New App

In the classic app you could easily see the presence of all of the mobile phones (i.e. who was/wasn’t in the house) - there doesn’t seem to be anyway of seeing this in the new version of the App, they don’t regiater as devices… or am I missing something?

You’re correct: the phone that you have the app on no longer shows up as a presence device.

As a workaround, some people create a virtual presence sensor and then keep that synced up with the phone presence. The virtual presence sensor will show up as a device in your device list.

If you aren’t near the 20 room limit, some people also create a room called presence and put the virtual devices in that to make them easier to find.

Following is a popular virtual device which also works as a switch, making it easy to turn on and off.

[Release] Virtual Presence Plus (presence controlled by a virtual switch)

If you haven’t, check out the Life 360 integration. It has been flawless compared to the presence issues my wife and I had, both in classic and the new app, and over Android and iPhone. It’s free and it will show each member as a device.

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How do you keep the virtual presence sensor in sync with the phone presence if the phone doesn’t appear in the device list?

It depends on your virtual presence sensor. If you have one with an added ‘switch’ capability you can use an Automation to sync it, conditional on ‘Member location’.

If you are using Smart Lighting you can do the same thing but based on the phone presence device.

If you are using webCoRE you can access custom commands for changing the virtual presence directly, and again you use the phone presence device.

It is not that there isn’t a presence/occupancy device created for your phone, it is just that in the new app it has been deliberately hidden from the dashboard, and in the Automations it features as ‘Member location’.


I just tried adding the “Simulated Presence Sensor” in IDE… The App then sees it in Devices but when I click on the device it shows an icon of a cloud with a line through it… not sure what that means. If I try to add an automation, it’s not listed in the devices I can control…

any ideas?

The cloud probably means the presence attribute hasn’t received a value yet. Newer device handlers tend to initialise the attributes. Some of the ‘Simulated’ ones are quite old.

The stock Simulated Presence Sensor handler requires uses custom setter commands that aren’t supported by the Automations. Automations will be able to support custom capabilities in the future, but not just yet, and not in the form that the handler uses them. That is why @JDRoberts suggested a link to a custom virtual presence device that adds in a switch capability that Automations understand. So you can set presence to ‘present’ by turning the switch ‘on’.

ok thanks for that… not really up to speed with device handlers etc. I just assumed chossing something from the available list of device types would work.

So how do I actually use this device handler are there any instructions for a semi-competent techie?

There are many posts in the Community about doing things like this, but here’s something to help you get started:

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I used life 360 in the old app and it worked perfectly. If it ever did get out off sync, it was easy enough to go into the old SmartThings app and open my “smart apps” and refresh the Life 360 interface. But I can’t seem to use Life 360 with the new Smartthings app. How did you do that in the new app?

Menu > settings > linked services > life360 :slight_smile:

In automations, to use it…

Add condition
Device status

Another approach using TMLeaf’s app. Works better for me than stock: