New App - Automation based on presence BROKEN

Okay, converted last week to the new app and I can’t get one of my automations to work like it did in the classic app.

Now there are scenes and automations, but this is what I had working previously and can’t get working correctly now.

We have an “I’m Back” Automation that I want to Fire an action when someone comes home. The new automation is using two phones as presence sensors and what I want is when someone comes home, it triggers the I’m Back scene, sends an I’m Home notification, and change the mode to disarmed. I think in the classic app this was just a routine. Now though in the new app, it will go off when someone leaves. I have tried all the presence settings as for some reason are confusing to me.

How can I get this to work? Just trigger an automation when someone comes home, regardless if someone is already home or not.

Thanks for any help.

“Presence: Leave” routine:

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“Presence: Arrive” routine:


“Presence:Leave” only triggers when you reach the point that no one is at home, so you don’t have to worry about it firing multiple times as people leave.

“Presence:Arrive” only triggers when the mode is “Away” (or Manual Override), AND someone arrives. Since that sets the mode to Home, it won’t trigger again when the second person comes home, since the mode won’t be “Away” (or Manual Override) anymore.

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Thanks. This is not as clear cut as it was in the classic app. I don’t see that I have a manual override option.

What I want, and had in the classic app was this for presence arrive:

Someone who’s presence is being used arrived home. Certain lamps turn on. If mode was away, set to home. If alarm was set, turn off. This happens even if one person is home or no one is home. This was our I’m Back routine. So if person a is sleeping at 10 pm and person b comes home, lamp a turns on, mode is home, alarm is off.

We have the default “Home” and “Away” modes, plus a “Manual Override” mode which I created. That mode exists for times when we have a guest at the house but we ourselves leave; things like when we have a babysitter. Normally, when we leave, all the lights shut off, the doors lock, and the SHM (now STHM) arms.

The babysitter didn’t really care to suddenly have all the lights turn off shortly after we left. There are several ways to handle that scenario, but we set the mode to Manual Override, and if the house is in that mode, the “Presence:Leave” automation doesn’t trigger to shut down / lock down the house.

However, the “Presence: Arrive” mode will still fire in that mode, so when we return home, it will automatically return the house to Home mode.

Looking at your screenshots, I see that you’re running a scene called “I’m Back”, and setting the security mode. I assume the “I’m back” scene turns on the light(s) you want coming on, and also sets the location mode to Home.

After re-reading, I finally understand the issue you are having… it triggers when someone leaves.

My understanding is that presence in the new app doesn’t mean “did someone just arrive”, but really does mean “is someone present”. My guess is that when someone’s presence changes (ie leaves) it’s re-evaluating the status of everyone’s presence, and if there is someone still home, it’s triggering because someone is present. It’s a nuance but “present” no longer means someone just arrived.

If it weren’t for the fact that you want it to fire when each person comes back, I would say to try modifying the If statement to match “ALL of the following conditions”, including if anyone is present (which you already have) AND if your location mode is Away, which will ensure it only fires if the mode is Away, but then it would only fire for the first person to come back, and not for anyone else. Hmm, I don’t have any good ideas on this right now, but will let you know if I can think of anything.

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Hi @SquattingHen,

This is something I have asked for here:
[Request] Automations: anyone arrives home!

I have put a vote form on there to hopefully gain some traction on the idea

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Thanks to you both. Yeah, it’s a bit of a bummer things changed on this, it was working perfectly before. I also created an override mode, but we called it “guest present”. That was a fun one when we first learned we needed it. Thanks for reminding me to add that back in. Ha

I will look at the other thread too and continue playing with it. Maybe I have to set two separate automations, xx is back, and xy is back. Triggering the same outcome on both, but just using one person’s presence per automation and not both.

Thanks again.

To be fair, it never has. Routines would have behaved the same.

I spent a lot of time pondering this last night. It seems that doing stuff on every arrival without also doing it on departure is not a trivial case. OK you could probably use individual automations for each person and do it with relative ease, but combining it into a general rule is a lot harder.

I would suggest that there really needs to be a Smart Presence analogue of Smart Lighting, to take account of the way rules need to be tailored to the job. Maybe that is where Member Location is actually going. Maybe it isn’t as daft a concept as it has seemed on occasions.

Sometimes it would be nice to know where ST are heading with things.

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I agree. The frustrating part is that it did work flawlessly in the classic app. All the options were there, and it just worked. Now it doesn’t.

This isn’t my screenshot it it shows how it worked before. When someone arrives.

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I’m probably tangling myself up with various apps. ‘Routines’ originated as actions in the 'Hello Home" app and I can imagine they may have been able to distinguish arrival from presence. I haven’t seen one for a long time.

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Yeah, in the classic app it really was evaluated as Arrival/Leaves, whereas in the new app it’s Presence. In the classic app my routine worked properly based on the “when someone arrives” logic, and never fired when they left, and the “when someone leaves” logic worked properly when someone left, and never fired when someone arrived.

It’s a behavior difference between it being an event triggered when they arrive, versus being a boolean indicating if they are present (but triggering when that status changes).

So it’s a little weird when one person’s status changes to “not present” but there’s still someone who is present, so the “I’m Back” automation will fire when someone leaves it there’s still anyone home, unless you do the mode test like I do. But that doesn’t work for your scenario where you want to fire the “I’m Back” automation every time anyone comes come, whether anyone else is present or not.

I can’t get this to work at all. Even created separate automations for each phone and it just won’t work.

Sometimes when I go into the automation to check it it doesn’t show a device being used for presence. If I edit it, the device shows it’s already selected. I save it again, all looks good until we test it out.

I just checked my phone in the IDE and it says last activity 4 days ago. Makes no sense.

It has now worked once for each of since I created separate automations based on each device. Worked ONCE out of at least TEN times that it should.

How can I get help with this broken feature? Do I call SmartThings?

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Oh my goodness. I’m so glad I’m not the only one having issues with this. I migrated a few days ago and I can’t get any of my presence stuff to work!!! It worked flawlessly in Classic but now I feel like a huge idiot because I can’t figure it out!

My alarm just went off because the garage door opened at 6am. We have a Night mode because it triggers the thermostats and allows certain lights to be turned on by motion sensors that we don’t want to have work that way during the day. I have a routine that changes the mode from Night to Home at sunrise. My I’m Back Automation is set up very much the same as the example from James above. The only difference is that I have it set to register ‘At Home’ status only ‘After being away for 10 minutes’ This morning, ST re-evaluated the status of the I’m Back routine because the mode change from Night to Home, determined that our phones were present, opened the garage door and set off the alarm. We had been home all night. The thing that really makes me want to throw the whole system away is that the automation doesn’t work when we actually come home after being gone for a while!

For what it’s worth, I finally gave up and tried calling Samsung. Before that, I tried triggering automations with WebCoRE pistons that still allow you to use ‘arrive’ and ‘leave’ parameters. I tried triggering virtual switches. I tried deleting all of the automations that use location and reprogrammed them and nothing worked reliably. I got the garage door to close twice and open once out of probably 10 times we’ve come and gone. Samsung’s advice was to delete my phones as a mobile presence sensor in the IDE and then re-enable them. We’ll see if that works but I’m not overly optimistic.

I think the issue is that the new app is no longer triggered by changes in location. Automations are only looking for whether a device is present or not. So, if you have another condition, it will check you’re presence but it won’t check the conditions based on a change in your presence. That’s my guess anyway and it would totally explain everything I’ve experienced so far. Seems to me that if this is true, the only fix is an update to Smartthings.

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@Brad_ST It’s been a while since I had an issue, but hopefully you can help or direct me.

Since I moved over to the new app, my automations based on our phones presence are no longer worked. I separated the I’m Back and that didn’t work. I deleted the devices in the IDE and added them back, and that didn’t work. I am pretty frustrated here as we have the Goodbye/Everyone left routine that arms the SHM, sets the mode, and turns everything off. This also needs to run correctly to trigger the Vacation Lighting. I have noticed that when I go back into the automation the information is not sticking properly. The fist section, when you select the device, doesn’t always stick. If I go in to modify it the screen shows below. I click into it and my device is already selected and when I back out it will show. Later it will be empty again. I really just need to get these working again.

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Still not working. Here is a screenshot from today. The automation keeps deleting my selected presence device from being selected. If I go into edit it, it show selected, but falls off later from the main screen as show in the photo. Who can help???

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So I called SmartThings and I was told that presence can no longer trigger the SHM to arm/disarm. That feature is going away and shouldn’t work today. So I was told to remove that from the automation and it would work.

@Brad_ST Is this true?!?