Mobile Presence Constantly Bouncing Back and Forth

I know I have seen other issues with iPhone presence sensors and there are a couple recent posts about the iPhone 6s. I’m really sorry if this is a repeat question.

Recently, I have set up some routines for when my wife and I come and go to turn off lights and lock / unlock the doors for us. For me on my phone it seems to be working mostly as intended minus some user error on my part, but as of late, my wife’s iPhone has been doing some really weird things. We will be sitting on the couch and her phone will say that she left and then came back within 5 seconds triggering both her leaving and coming home routine. Some nights this will happen once but as I am typing this, it has happened 5 times in the last 3 hours.

I ended up making a new location status that is set to “bedtime” where the coming and going routine just wont run because in the middle of the night, her phone will bounce back and forth between present and not and we will wake up to our front door being unlocked.

Does anyone have a fix (even if it is a strange fix) that I could attempt? I appreciate any feedback!

I ran into issues, as have many, many others. For awhile, I used ST phone presence and Life 360 in tandem. Using both together worked great. About a year ago, I reviewed everything and found that Life 360 was always working perfectly for both my wife and I. We have a mixed marriage, she is IPhone, I am Android. Since then I have used Life 360 exclusively for presence both in Michigan and now in Florida without any problems.

You should also look here for more info on presence detection;
FAQ: The Many Ways of Detecting Presence.

1 Like

Thank you for this! That’s exactly what I was looking for. We are in the same boat with the android/iPhone setup. I will be looking into this this weekend. It was pretty sketchy waking up in the middle of the night to see our front door unlocked because someone “left and came back”. I hope you have a great weekend.

You’re welcome. Presence can be a PIA. I have somewhere around 75 devices or so but have yet to bite the bullet on smart locks for the very reason you just mentioned. I used to have my garage doors set-up in Michigan but they were not set-up to open by themselves.

I have had our siren go off on it’s own once or twice in the last few years and on one occasion, ST was having a partial meltdown and the siren activated when my wife came home but she couldn’t turn it off. She ended up burying it under pillows and blankets until I arrived home and took the batteries out of it. I thought for sure that was the end of my home automation but her WAF is very high, thankfully. It was the end of the siren for awhile though. :slight_smile:

Good luck on the presence and you may want to disable the locks until your sure presence is working as it should.

1 Like

You can also restrict your automations to only run if you have been away for a specific period of time. So, unless you are away for a few minutes then it won’t fire.

Personally I only use presence to run the “coming home” routines. That way I can restrict it to only run when the home is in Away mode. And since I am setting away manually, by pressing a button, it never goes into away accidentally. This prevents any strange presence issues.

Thanks guys for your help. Nice, 75! I’m hoping to slowly work up to that. As it stands right now, I have 4 bulbs, our front door (which we bought a few years ago before we ventured into home automation) and a light strip.

The siren would definitely get annoying. When ST stuff works it is amazing but when it doesn’t it can be annoying trying to hunt down the problem.

As of right now my wife and I are carpooling every day to and from work so I turned off her presence sensor in the coming and going routines since she doesn’t really leave / come home too frequently without me or I’m already home and doesn’t need the routine to run. The thing that is weird is it never triggers saying that she is home when she is at work and only misbehaves when we are at the house. My phone has yet to have this problem but I have it set so it won’t run the coming or going routines if the location is set to “bedtime” so it won’t go off in the middle of the night.

Ryan, are you using WebCore or the ST app for configuring the routines? I will have to look into setting a limit for how long someone has to be gone / home for the pistons to run.

I use WebCoRE for all of my automation. With presence-based pistons I add a timer to minimize fluctuations. Here’s an example for setting the mode to Away:


Thank you for that Carson. I was out of town, sorry it took so long to reply. I added the wait function to both my coming and going routines and everything seems to be working as it should now.

Glad to hear the wait functions helped your pistons. Good luck!