New user - not a happy user

I’m hoping it’s just my lack of experience but I bought a bunch of hardware, everything is setup and working, except the online docs (and phone app) lie and don’t let me do what I want to do.

I want the simplest automation ever. When I come home from work… turn on the lights. That’s all.

But it’s not that simple. For starters - the online web page ( is wrong. Step #2 says to touch/select “Custom Automation” which doesn’t exist in my app.

Onto the step #3 what I want is " Touch Based on a member’s location to trigger an Automation when your phone arrives or departs from your Location’s geolocation." Where is this option???

In my app it hints that this exists (“Member location. Example - When Dad comes home”. But other than that there is no such option. The two options I have are “When member is home” and “When member isn’t home”. There is nothing for when “When member arrives home.”

My geolocation is set to my exact location and the map is spot-on over where I live.

Yet I have no option anywhere to do something simple like run an automation when I arrive home.

Any ideas why? This is my first day with the device and I’m a bit disappointed that it lacks the functionality to do something as simple as this.

Thanks in advance !!!

First things first: there are two different smartthings app’s. The legacy one, called “classic“ is still used by many customers. But the current app, which we call the V3 new app in this forum, is the one that you should probably start with since you are a new user. But let’s just make sure that you did get the correct app:

(The topic title is a clickable link)

The second thing is that the new V3 app has been changing very rapidly and in quite significant ways and not all of the documentation has kept up with it. For example, what were called “custom automations“ just a couple of months ago are now just called “automations.“

This has been a continually frustrating fact of life with smartthings: rapid rates of change can be good or bad, but undocumented rapid rates of change can be very hard to keep up with. :confounded:

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If you have iOS and you are using the new V3 app, it should look like this:

As far as “arrived” versus “is,” you’re absolutely correct: it’s just not worded well.

But it is in fact an arrival event, when the specified member crosses the Geo presence boundary.

So “is home” means “arrives home.” Which I believe is what you’re looking for.


As @JDRoberts mentioned, the app is evolving more rapidly than the documentation. What was once called “Custom Automation” now has its own tab in the app and is simply called “Automation”. If you are on Android, you should see the same thing as posted in above screenshots. Just click the plus sign, then “Add Automation”.

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Hi JD and thanks for the info. I have the new V3 app (it’s that giant plant backdrop that convinced me).

I just bought the hub this week so it’s the newer “rounded corners” version. I saw the classic app was reaching end-of-life so I figure I’d start with the latest app which is the V3.

If I’m going to learn a new app then I might as well start with the latest version. When I saw the “classic app” in the app-store I figured that the old “classic” app had a lot of devoted users that Samsung didn’t want to abandon.

Either that or they couldn’t make the new app backward compatible with the “classic” app without losing your scenes/automations/devices/etc. I started with the latest hub but most online reviews mention that moving from the older hub to the newest hub means having to add all your devices again.

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That’s exactly the app I have. Giant plant and all. The items you circled are exactly what I’ve been selecting.

The very next screen - after #4 (“Example - when dad comes home”) is where it stops making sense and looks like choices are missing.

I have exactly the “member is hone” and “member isn’t home” choices. If this is as you say and it really means “member arrives home” then that’s some seriously bad wording.

After browsing the app I thought “is home” vs “isn’t home” was referring to the "… -> Manage My home -> Mode -> “Home or Away or Sleeping”. It appears that i can manually set “Home vs Away” (why doesn’t it know???) then the “is home” and “isn’t home” automations would be based on that.

I hope you’re right. From the wording I never would have thought to look there. I need to find a good way to test/verify it’s working. Thanks.

I’m on iOS and I’ve been using “+” to add an automation from the start. It’s just that I can’t find the automation for “arrive home”. A “leave home” seems like a natural fit as well but it’s the “arrives home”, “comes home”, “gets home”, “reaches home” automation I’m looking for.

There’s only 2 automations under “Member location” condition and they say “Member is at home” and “Member isn’t at home”.

JDRoberts tells me it really means “arrives home” and “leaves home”. I’m assuming he’s right but that’s the most bizarre way ever of phrasing this. Samsung has a major presence in the USA so there’s no excuse for poor translation. Changing the grammar would take someone on their i18n team about 10 seconds. Their’s no excuse for it to be worded this poorly.

Home vs Away are location.modes. You get to set them whenever you want to based on whatever you want.

The following FAQ should help explain. The examples are from the classic app, but the concepts are the same.

“Routines” are a name for a particular kind of automation that was available in the classic app.

SHM is the security feature in the classic app. STHM is the equivalent in the new V3 app.

FAQ: Armed/Disarmed states vs Away/Home modes confusion (Classic app)

This is all hours new to me so that thread needs to sink in better. I couldn’t help but notice this bit in that thread:

“I have a rule called: No One Home”

my phone or my wife’s phone are not present
Enable indoor Arlo’s
Set Location Mode to Away

I went straight to the V3 app where there’s a “guided wizard” style of setting up automations/routines. This was interesting because the product our group develops is going through the same thing. We used to “script” our execution now customers want the “rules based editor” like the V3 software.

Myself… I’ll take the coding style any day. Most people find the step-by-step walkthrough easier. I wish they would support both in the same app.

Example of supporting both - In MS-Word you can “record” a macro. Then recorded macro is really a VB Script that you can then edit. Or you can just write/edit your macro directly in “Word Basic”.

Something like that would be nice here.

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If you like the coding style there is a community-developed rules engine called Webcore which is essentially a scripting language for smartthings. very popular for people with a technical background. It was originally developed under the classic app, but they have already said that it will be available on the new platform and it was one of the examples they showed at a recent Samsung event. see the following FAQ:

And this as well:

How to Get Started Creating Complex Rules in SmartThings

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Hmmm - Webcore looks interesting. What also looks interesting is pysmartthings which is a Python interface ( ).

Controlling this with Python would be ideal. You get the full power of a language like Python as well as the ability to use the hundreds of available Python modules.

They’re both “long term” plans so I need to slow down. I just opened the box a few hours ago and simply wanted to turn the lights on when I got home. My next project… find a way to smoothly/gradually control the dimmer. Switching from one scene to another is pretty jerky right now.

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Just turn off your phone. You should be detected as “away” within a minute or two. Wait two minutes, turn it on again. Again it will take a minute or two, but then you should be detected as arriving.

Set up a light to turn on and off with the change in conditions, and you should be able to see it working. :sunglasses:

No one home should be your phone AND your wife’s phone not present, not OR. What you have will trigger the routine when EITHER of you are home!

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