Geofencing question

Rather than resurrect a two year old posting (Geofence: HowTHDIWork?), I’ll start a new one. I am the having the same issue as the OP of that posting – basic question is how to configure and verify geofencing.

Android Hubitat app version is 1.6.7, HE Rev C-7 firmware version 2.3.0.124.

Location (Latitude and longitude) in Setting>Localization (via web interface) is spot on to six decimal places.

On my phone, in the app, Geofencing, the blue dot is on my house. There’s no red pin as some documentation has indicated. App also states “Out of Geofence” while I am at home. Anyone have update-to-date instructions?

Also:

The Hubitat app grabbed the “Model & hardware” name from the phone’s settings and not the device name. I changed the device name in HE, but that did not replicate to the phone. I assume both are normal.

When I first installed the app on the phone and logged into the app, the phone was added as a device in HE. I assume the addition was automatic because of geofencing as my Android tablet that also has the app, but no SIM, was not added in HE.

tweak the size of your geofence circle also see this

You need to change the name in your phone app, and it will send the change to your hub.

Geo-fence isn't working right now anyway. Since the app launched it's always been it's weakest feature. I wouldn't recommend relying in the app alone for geo-fence or presence.
Once you select where you want the geo-fence you can adjust the diameter of it with the slider at the bottom. I suggest turning on the satellite view so you can see exactly where your boundaries are. I use driveways as a point of reference.

Also, on the hub itself, I grabbed the specific GPS coordinates for where the hub is in my house and entered them manually (just my OCD) as opposed to dropping a pin on the map. I kinda wish you could do that in the app, also just type in the radius you want.

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Sound like the problem i reported here: Geofence broke in 1.6.4 build: 117 + 1.6.5 build 118 - #17 by johonn1

Unfortunately, i heard nothing from support online here or through the ticket i submitted.

Thanks @lcw731, @mark.cockcroft, @johonn1. I am currently testing driving HE so features that don’t are ok – for now. Sometimes it’s difficult to determine the difference between an operator error and a feature not working…

Geofence not working? – does Hubitat have a system status page? The slider in the app moves, but the circle size doesn’t change. Also reinstalled the app. I now see there are posts about certain versions of the app. (I was too restrictive in my searches to find the posts.) I am not going to mess with it for now unless I can download a previous version or get the .apk file.

I verified my coordinates with Google Earth. GE and the hub point to the same shingle on the roof. (I did convert the coordinate format via Coordinate Converter – Polar Geospatial Center)

The phone’s name is set in the under Settings>System>About Phone>Device name (Android V9.) In the Hubitat app, I cannot change the name – tapping on it does nothing. I checked my Andriod tablet and the Hubitat app is also pulling from the “Model number” and not the “Model name.”

Not that I'm aware of. As far as geo-fence in the app, it's never worked very reliably. It was working well for a few months, but a recent update seems to have broken it again. I use a culmination of Improved mobile presence, life360 and the app aggregated with Presence Monitor and that has been rock solid.
It's been enough of an issue that there are many threads about it.

The hub itself doesn't let you set a geo-fence, just set the location. Geo-fence is set in app, (or life 360, etc.). They have made progress with geo-fence in the app, so I do think it will eventually work, but even then I don't think I would rely solely on that.
The mobile app has never been a big priority and I don't think that has changed much. Yes it is there and they do work on it and update it fairly regularly but they still recommend using the webpages first. I think i have seen them allude to a possible revamp of the app in 2022, but they are notoriously tight lipped about time lines for improvements, features, etc. It will come when it comes.

The only thing I use the app for most of the time is the dashboards. Yeah, it's part of my presence solution, but it's also the weakest link.

Many (most?) Hubitat users rely on specialized geofencing apps for GPS location driven events. The following apps have built-in or community integrations that work well:

Life360 (Android/iOS)
OwnTracks (Android/iOS)
Locative (iOS)
Geofency (iOS)

FWIW, the latter three offer better privacy than Life360.

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This response kind of implies there is a broken feature, or an outage of some kind. But that is not the case.

Geofence in both android and iOS apps has been unreliable for many. As @aaiyar suggested, using other mobile presence solutions usually leads to a good outcome. FWIW this was necessary for me with smartthings too. It’s not a Hubitat only thing; mobile presence is hard to get right.

I only use iOS, but I have seen and heard of the app doing some odd things with the pin.

Have you tried zooming out, like really far out (so you can see oceans and other continents)? The pin might have defaulted for some reason to a location very far away.

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100% this. And it is also why specialized geofencing apps exist!

When I used Wink, it's home and away were unreliable (on the Android platform). When I used Stringify, home and away were somewhat more reliable because I think I used Life360; geofencing built into the app was hit or miss on the Android platform (even with some pretty valiant efforts from Joey Zacherl).

The specialized app I use now (OwnTracks) hasn't missed a beat in 2+ years. I used it for a few months on Android and on iOS for ~2.5 years now.

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Few builds ago, HE was rock solid for me on s10 with rad of 265

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I understand geofencing is complicated. There are soooo many things that have to work – phone, competing and dissimilar cell phone systems, security settings, software and hardware in general, and more. Reading some of the posts on the issue proves that - some users have had success with version x.x.x of the Hubitat app, while others have their geofencing broken by it. It’s amazing it works at all.

In my experience, geofencing apps can usually be configured. It’s the underlying cell system that doesn’t work consistently. Apple, Google, and cell providers are known to make unannounced changes.

I will investigate some of the options listed by @aaiyar and others.

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That seems like another complicating factor. Android is designed to work on many different devices with different OS versions. That’s gotta be tough to build and maintain an app to function around.

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And different OS forks!

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I'll add I've had very good success with @Johndc7 's Improved Mobile Presence. Not one of the more well known solutions, but definitely a solid option for Andrioid, and he's was great in helping me get it up and working.

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Each of our needs is different. For some, Home/Away is sufficient, and the solution you've described works well for that purpose.

My geofencing needs are slightly more complex; in addition to Home/Away, I do the following things:

  1. At a certain radius from Home, my garage door opener is powered off or on, depending on whether I leave or enter that radius.
  2. When I enter a certain radius from Home, climate settings at home are changed.
  3. When I go to the grocery store, or Costco, or Home Depot, store-specific shopping lists are sent to my phone as text messages.
  4. I also have automations that are triggered when I reach my place of work.

So my needs require me to use an app that can identify multiple different locations with differing radii to be used as automation triggers. OwnTracks meets that need.

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Now I do like that Idea his did you set it up?..ill have to up my life 360 for that. I believe that improved mobile presence is capable of that as well, as you can have multiple locations set up in it.

I'm always up to figure out new ways to do things. I've been on a bit of a tear the last few weeks..

I looked into that, but I couldn't wrap my head around it at the time..

Anyone have success with an iOS device and reliable geofence? I've tried most methods. All of the ping/wifi solutions have occasional drops. Homekit on an old iPad is intermittent. Apps like geofency don't seem to work when they are swiped off on 2 out of my 3 phones. same with Alexa and the Hubitat app. I've played with the background app refresh and other settings with no success. I'm looking for something that runs behind the scenes reliably.

They do, yes, but they generally don't all have occasional drops at the same time. I've been using (testing really) four of them in combination with a presence combiner and some decent timeouts. Seems to be the most reliable I've had.

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How are you integrating Owntracks with HE? The link in the Owntracks app for the documentation is dead.

While your premise is fine, it overlooks the original problem. The HE standard, installed, program failed as part of an upgrade in the mobile app. As of now, I have not seen a "official" response or even acknowledgement that addresses a problem. For me, the standard product had worked great.
A former home automation, we'll call it "W", began it's decline by failing to address issues and some may see this happening here.
While in no way do I think this is a major flaw, as complex as it is, it should be addressed. All the suggestions to "try" this or that are helpful but "someone" released an update and for some, it's not working.

Download the Hubitat app