Setting up multiple iPhones (separate linked accounts) as presence sensors for dummies

This is a how-to for newbies like me to set up a second linked iPhone (your wife’s/husband’s/partner’s/kid’s/mistress’s). Some of the steps are redundant and may not be required but no there is no harm in double checking.

Follow these steps:

  1. Double check wifi is enabled. No brainer.

  2. Double check your wife/husband/partner/kid/mistress is set up with correct location(address) with the correct phone number on iPhone including Home, Mobile and iPhone numbers. Confirm with Siri by asking.

  3. Enable Location Services for most gps apps you trust. As per some thread, this helps in geofencing. (How?)

  4. Launch Map app on iPhone. It should bring up the correct location/address.

  5. Install SmartThings app from App Store on the second device.

  6. Register with the second email address (the person you sent the invitation to).

  7. Open the ST App. It may say something in the lines of whether you want use this iPhone as a presence sensor. At this point the app may not respond to yes or done. Don’t worry. Close the app and reopen.

  8. Enable Location Services and Background Refresh for SmartThings app.
    (Settings -> Privacy -> Location Services -> SmartThings -> Always)
    (General -> Background App Refresh (On) -> SmartThings(On)

Double Check in Settings -
Notifications (Badges, Sounds, Banners)
Background App Refresh (On)
Use Cellular Data (On)

Within the SmartThings App:

Login with newly created linked account of course on the newly set up iPhone)

  1. Add from Things -> Presence Sensors -> Mobile Phone.

  2. Go to Home & Family. Click on the gear. Auto import existing presence devices. Select the second person. Set up push and text notifications.

  3. Get out of the geofence and check if presence is correct and notifications sent.

Thanks @Tyler.


What if we want to know when a friend gets to the house and to have ST and certain scenes happen but do not want them to have access to ST and my devices?

As it stands now what you have is what the linked accounts get except may be one exception which @ben and @tyler can chime in on. The SmartApps that I publish for me only does not appear on the linked account (some of them) but probably I have not set the home location on those and that may be the reason. Wild guessing here. Will check tmrw.

But as of now there is no granular access. Guess it is all or none (no linked account).

You can use Life360 to give someone a mobile presence device without giving them access to your SmartThings account.


Will try this on my niece when she visits us this thanksgiving holiday! :wink:

Will connecting Life360 duplicate any iphones or other devices that are used as presence sense so to have more then one presence sense per person i.e. My wife and I? Make sense?

I have 2 of 3 iPhones working as presence sensors on 2 different ST accounts. We have created a 3rd account and correctly geolocated it here at my house. However, we are unable to connect it to my home SmartThings network. We followed all the steps above with no luck. Ideas are appreciated.

Did you send an invitation to the third user? Accept the invitation on the third phone. Register the account from there for the third person and follow the steps. Login on the third phone with the third account which you registered.

Please do not confuse this with the life360 steps…

How does one send an invitation?

In the ST app, go to My Account -> Manage users -> add user.

The second user will get an invitation by email to create an account and download the ST app on their phone from App Store. They should login using their own in the newly installed app on the second phone and there onwards follow the steps I provided. DO NOT LOGIN USING YOUR ACCOUNT ON THE SECOND PHONE.

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Hi I registered by accident an email address before i sent an invitation and now it does not accept to send the invitation … anything i can do … Help much appreciated

Just put in a support request. They are extremely efficient.

I tried to add my wife to my account. When I touched the “done” button after entering her email address, I recieved this error message “This feature is coming soon”.

It’s currently disabled… I’m using IFTTT and a virtual switch for now. Let me know if you need instructions how to do that.

i would like information on how to do this!

Ok I’m sure i’ve posted this somewhere but even I don’t feel like looking, maybe one day I’ll make an official post as a community service.

First create a virtual switch or simulated switch using the SmartThings IDE. (Check here for details… I think…)

Create a account and link that to SmartThings. (Let it have access to the virtual switch and your working mobile presence device.)

So in the IFTTT iOS or Android app activate the iOS or Android location channels depending on which device you’re going to use.

Then Activate the SmartThings Channel, select your hub then your newly created virtual switch.

Now create 1 rule that turns that switch on when you enter your home area, and one to turn the switch off when you leave.

Now with that switch make a rule in to execute I’m Back when the switch becomes true and Good Bye when it becomes false AND your working mobile presence is away.

Good luck, let me know if you need any further clarification.

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How would I add my daughters iPhone as a presence detector using the developers website? Especially since the “Add User” function is down.

Are you asking in regards to using IFTTT based on how I described it above?

I was trying to add another phone as a presence sensor to my account. This feature is currently disabled on the ST software. I thought I found a way around it by setting it up as a new device using the phone’s network ID.

I’m new to ST and a LOW tech guy. I’m glad you directed me to the It is exactly what I needed to solve a problem I was having. The problem: wife is home after picking kids up from school, checks mail and usually leaves garage door open. I arrive home from work about an hour later and the door starts to close on me as I pull into the driveway! I set the Routine to open the garage when my arrival sensor arrives. Why is ST not communicating that the tilt sensor (Echolink) is already in the open position? Instead, it activates the LFM-20 relay switch and closes the door.

Glad to help, @JoeC has made a heck of a useful tool. The IFTTT setup as described above is what I’m using currently to get my wife’s phone as a presence sensor. PM me if you need more detailed directions if you’re still interested.