Erratic Presence

What's that? I can't find anything called Bother.

Stupid autocorrect on the iPhone. Changed both into bother. I have a hate hate relationship with the iPhone autocorrect.


My use case is to turn my alarm off and unlock the front door after I've made it into the driveway. The rule I use uses a trigger for the presence sensor arriving and a condition that my alarm virtual switch is on.

Before, I used WebCoRE presence sensor for the longest time and it worked very well for me. I then moved to the "iPhone WiFi Presence Sensor" just to remove another cloud component from my home automation. I had some issues with it, but after commenting out the runEvery1Minute(refresh) and setting up a separate rule to refresh the presence sensor every 20 seconds I've had no issues.

This will not work if you are looking to have something happen when you are leaving though.

What was the issue you solved by making these changes?

The biggest issue was with timing. On a "fast" day, I can go from pulling into the driveway to standing on the door step in about 30 seconds. Between the time it takes my iPhone to see the WiFi and the fresh, I could be standing on the doorstep for 20+ seconds (not an accurate measurement. That's more like how long it felt to pull my phone out of my pocket and search for the button to turn the alarm off and open the door).

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Gotcha, so the changes you made remove the driver’s built-in refresh every one minute, and replaces that with a rule machine rule that refreshes the device every 20 seconds instead?


Just started using Hubitat and find odd presence behavior with iPhone XR. I’ll be at home, with the phone sitting in the charger and will get random departure and arrival events. I did set the geofence pretty big in the hopes that I wouldn’t experience issues like this. Any ideas?

Yes iPhones are crap :rofl:

They are very bad at shutting important parts down. You need to change your settings around so that it doesn't as harshly turn off WiFi and GPS.

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@BorrisTheCat Thanks. What settings would that be?

unfortunately i can't get on with apples, the settings are never where they make sense to be. Your have to do a search to find the others with the same issue and hopefully they can point your the correct way, It would make sense that its in the main GPS setting or maybe it's in the specific app settings.

As far as I know, there is no way to prevent iPhone from sleeping the wifi adapter.
That's why, in my Presence Governor app, I chose to make wifi present immediate with wifi, but not rely soley on the wifi driver for departures.

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You are correct. You can not modify a non-rooted iPhone. If you root an iPhone there are options to fix this but if you are going to that extent to downgrade and make your device vulnerable like an Android then you should have taken advantage of the trade in deals over the holidays. :wink:


LOL, yeah right.

Oh, and for the record - GPS and location services work perfectly on my Note 10+. :stuck_out_tongue:


I do wish that iPhones had more configurable OS settings like android phones do, but in terms of what you can actually do:

Make sure your location settings for the hubitat app are set to always allow and not just when using the app. I’d also confirm that background refresh for the app is set to on. If you open the app and go to settings (the cogwheel in the lower right corner menu), you can enable high accuracy presence to see if that helps. It’s always possible that will result in unacceptable battery drain though.

Best bet is to aggregate a couple geolocation apps and use a virtual presence sensor for notifications and automation triggers. @doug’s Presence Governor is one great option, and @jwetzel1492’s Combined Presence is another.

In my experience, mobile presence is just inherently unreliable, so it’s often necessary to make use of multiple solutions to get an acceptable level of reliability.

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Probably THE only “note”-worthy Droid.

I see what you did there. :wink:

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My journey to solving the presence problem is documented in these two threads:

It has been a success. I now have 100% reliability on presence by using:

  • My wifi presence driver
  • Homekit presence
  • Alexa presence
  • Combining them using the advanced option of Combined Presence

One of these days, I might write up a single post that gives all the answers in a single post. (How's that for humble! All the answers! /s) However, there are a lot of small details/options depending on what you're trying to achieve, so reading through my (and others) journey to solve it is probably the best way for now.


And to jump to some of the good stuff, here's the comment where I explained the advanced version of Combined Presence:

And here's an awesome comment where @spotty shows how far you can take these ideas!

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Thanks all … yea, I guess I'm SOL with iOS Geolocation stability and will end up using something like Presence Governor to aggregate a few. Amazing in (almost) 2020 that this is not something that is more reliable / predictable. Once again this morning, the Hubitat app location status did not change from my phone unless I opened the app and send a GeoEvent. I have location services set to always with the app.