Samsung Presence Horror Show

Ok. I’ve read through a number of other threads on this but am going absolutely nuts with this stupid Samsung Galaxy Note 7, not only is it prone to blowing up but apparently Samsung is more interested in connecting things like dryers and refrigerators than actually making sure that the primary device most people use as a home automation interface actually works with their own home automation platform.
I’ve installed Life360 which, from what I gather, is supposed to keep the GPS or wifi connection active but have noticed no difference. We have 3 iPhones in the house and one Galaxy Note (lucky me). The iPhones are nearly perfect. Sure one will drop a connection but this happens more like once a month rather than 3 or 4 times in 24 hours.
so…Developers… can I “hack/fix” the OS on this thing?
switch (answer) {
case “yes”:
result = “help, I need some detailed instructions”

case “maybe”:
result = “any guidance / suggestions / bread crumbs are appreciated”

case “no”:
result = “thanks for taking the time to read this”

First, if you have a device which is under recall, do not use it at all. That’s not just for your safety, it’s for the safety of others around you. Just sayin’… :sunglasses:

Now to your questions. Life 360 is a completely separate presence service from a third-party, it does not change what your phone does at all. It uses a different set of landmarks to calculate where you are. Many people find that it is more accurate than the SmartThings software, and it is an officially supported method. but if your phone isn’t staying connected to WiFi and GPS is not good in your area, life 360 can’t help either.

There’s no question that presence is probably the most frustrating feature for the SmartThings platform. It depends very much on local conditions, so one method will work great for one person, but not at all for another. And the reverse might be true for a different method. This makes even forum conversations frustrating because people may give you advice that works great at their house but won’t work at yours. A lot of it is just trial and error.

I myself had a lot of problems getting presence to work correctly, but I did get there eventually. I have a very specific use case. I use a wheelchair, and it can often take the bus driver several minutes to unload me at the bus stop. So I needed a very small detection zone or my house thought I was home long before I actually got to the door.

I also had a lot of issues with The smartthings brand presence sensor, even though I know it works great for some people.

Anyway, I ended up using a combination of two devices (one of them an I Beacon) and I did solve the problem. I’m not saying that my solution would work for you, however but I do want to encourage you that there is often a solution to be found, although it may take trying several different approaches. :sunglasses:

The following thread may help:

1 Like

Just curious, are any of your “battery saving” features turned on that might turn off the gps or shutdown apps…in my Note 7, I’ve turned off the “power saving mode” under settings/battery.

1 Like

This is a fundamental core Samsung Android issue that’s been around for a while and it’s causing Samsung Galaxy phones to have these unreliable geofencing behaviors.

Even with the “battery saving” and “doze” features turned off, the core OS memory management system in the Samsung Android kills background processes regularly, even if there’s plenty of memory left in the system. This is a well known fact amongst the Android enthusiasts at sites like XDA. One example:

I’ve experienced your exact issue with various Samsung Galaxy phones (S6 edge, S7 edge, Note 7) over the years and not just with ST mobile presence. Geofencing in general on recent Galaxy phones are never reliable because the OS memory management system is constantly killing background processes, such as Life360, ST, IFTTT, etc., no matter what setting you have set for “battery saving” or “doze.” If you root your phone, I believe you can reduce this by messing with the core OS but I never tried.

I recently moved to iPhone 7 Plus to replace my exploding Note 7 and so far I’ve yet to have a single failure of any geofencing app. Zero.

My wife’s Note 7 (waiting for replacement) still “leaves” home every few days at random times on both the ST and Life360 mobile presence.

Not sure which Galaxy you have but try this to see if it’s the core OS issue like mine or specific app issue.

Setup multiple apps, Life360, ST, IFTTT, etc. with the same geofence (i.e. your home). Set them up to notify you when you arrive/leave that geofence. If they all report the same incorrect location then you have a core OS issue as I described. Otherwise, if they report different things then it’s likely specific app related.

Good luck.


Ok. so I did replace the Note before it blew up, thanks.
My understanding was that Life360 pinged more frequently therefore kept the phone connected longer (clearly I’m out of my range here) but really seems like an OS thing.
I think my biggest frustration, and hence pinning it on Samsung/Android is that I’ve got on iPhone 5s and two iPhone 6s’s in the same home, using the same carrier (AT&T), sharing the same wireless network that work great. They hit the end of the geofence and presence goes away, the enter and the devices are detected. They don’t drop signals all day and evening like the Android device does. The real problem is that I really prefer the Samsung device.
Battery saving features are turned off.
Will try the geofencing test suggested by @jpark40 in a while and reply back.
Still looking for a good OS hacker
Thanks all for the info.

1 Like

Seems like your solution would be to get another iphone.