Geofencing ... So Is OwnTracks the solution now?

Compared Life360 to Google Home Presence just for curiousity, working well for me...



How did you set up google Home presence?

I set up a virtual Presence switch in Hubitat, shared it with Google Home.

In Google home I made a routine to turn that switch on when I arrive and off when I depart.

1 Like

And it works ok for your lights and locks routines?

You can use the switch in hubitat for whatever automations you want.

I'm using it in the Presence Plus app along with life360 for now

1 Like

Considering there are over 370 posts in the 12 days since it was announced, I think I’ll wait for things to settle down a bit before I start looking at it.
Lots of positive comments.


Good point...lots of excitement/interest over the release, and the dev has been very active, both adding new features and enhancements and closing out issues.

I'd say on the Android side that as of yesterday my issues look like they are sorted, but I need a couple more days to confirm.

On the iOS side there is probably a little more time required.

IMHO It's not too early to install and monitor on the Android side, as the install/setup really is quite easy, and that way folks can test w/their own situations.

iOS is still being tied down, AFAIK.


since what was announced? Missed the context

See the OP.... The new OwnTracks integration.


Honestly, with 600 posts in a few weeks, this is something that the Hubitat folks should dive into and support in lieu of Life360. They have acknowledged that presence detection is hard in their native app, so push the responsibility to OwnTracks devs and focus on supporting a native OwnTracks integration. At some point @lpakula is going to get overwhelmed. I don't want him to take the same fate of many overwhelmed devs and jump platforms. @bobbyD


Apologies for undoinbg your solution tag @RC51_Tofuman , I appreciate your enthusiasm to call out @brianwilson 's suggestion for Hubitat to integrate OpenTracks into the HE ecosystem. I'd also acknowledge @brianwilson 's suggestion, which I think is worthwhile....

Like I mention above, both worthy suggestions... But personally, and as the OP for this topic... I'd like to suggest that Hubitat partnering with a third-party, in me eyes, is something worth considerable contemplation... That sounds more high-and-mighty than it should :-).... Basically, third-party integrations can come and go.... so one company committing to the success of another can, in my view, be fraught with danger. Better to leave this as a Community option in addition to what HE provide.

They all trigger at exactly the same time. It's just a matter of which packets get to their destination first. When a "significant location event" occurs, all of the geofencing apps wake up and do their thing. They're not waking up separately.

I've noticed this specifically when testing Locative, where it did not make any difference whether I set the geofence to 50 meters or 200. I would be around 200 meters before it would wake up and mark call the webhook I set up. My best assumption is the phone only lets the apps know new position update every so often/distance moved. If I set a tiny geofence it would always mark me away when I would cross a street a block and a half away. If I set the geofence for about 3/4 a block away, it still marked me away at the same spot.

If one has any HomeKit hub, then I've found setting up a shortcut to call a webhook on Hubitat to be more reliable than toggling a virtual switch on and off, since the HomeKit App on Hubitat is very much not reliable.

Set this up in Apple Home:

With a shortcut that just calls the URL for your webhook in Hubitat:

Dead simple. Requires no (3rd party) apps on your phone. Works 100%.

Since there's discussion about Life360 on here, I think everyone using it should have a read through what that company does:

Sure, they say they aren't doing this anymore, but this is the sort of thing they thought was OK until they got called out on it.

Seriously folks, find a different solution. Literally anything but Life360.


Are you using the HomeKit app on Hubitat and a virtual switch that gets turned on/off?

I've got my C8 and my Apple TV plugged into the same $20 gigabit switch. There's absolutely no packet filtering, firewalls, anything whatsoever happening on this switch, so it's about as close as I can get to just having the Hubitat plugged straight into the Apple TV. Yet multiple times a day, for hours on end, all my devices say "Not Responding" in Apple Home. I've got the "restart hourly" switch on in the HomeKit App, too. Doesn't matter, it's just not reliable.

Consequently, if I were to use Apple Home to turn virtual presence switches on/off, this would fail anytime those switches are unavailable in Apple Home, which is frequently. Perhaps you're having the same issue, and maybe you don't even realize your virtual switches are unavailable some of the time?

If you're also using the Hubitat HomeKit App and virtual switches, and if you have any physical HomeKit hub in your house, then I'd recommend switching from virtual switches to having Apple Home call some webhooks on Hubitat instead. It's much more reliable, and still has the benefit of not needing to install anything on her phone.

I put a post a couple posts up with some more info on how to set up the webhooks as a "shortcut action" on Apple Home.

1 Like

That's what I would think, but I'm not a developer. All these apps are used because Hubitat's phone apps don't perform as reliably as the 3rd party ones do and Hubitat developers have not been able to fix the performance/reliablity issues.

I don't have any real performance issues with Hubitat's HomeKit app. You should let @gopher.ny know of your issues. The Homebridge apps are another alternative. I used Tonesto7's app successfully for a very long time.

Yeah, I used HomeBridge for a while too. I just don't want to play pretend sysadmin on a home server if I can avoid it. I only use HomeKit for the very occasional manual toggle of something as it is, and I ended up just getting a couple more Zooz ZEN34 to have manual control in the couple spots I needed. Swapping out a couple of Virtual Presence Switches shared through HomeKit for a couple of webhooks called via a Shortcut Action replaced my need to run HomeKit anyway.

Hi, Thanks a lot for posting this. For the Webhook, Are you calling MakerAPI webhook, so sending a get command to change the status of virtual device ?
BTW Yes I had also noticed that devices exposed to Hubitat Homekit integrations sometimes show "Not Responding" in Apple home. Although since most recent iOS update it hasn't happened yet or may be it's just a fluke. I found hubitat / homebridge integration to be more reliable though. If you can let me know how do set webhook, I would certainly like to try that. Thanks a lot.

So I have a small app I wrote that I use. I actually just got done posting it on HPM, so you can find it there. Search for "Http presence", you might have to toggle the fast vs fuzzy toggle to find it, since I just posted it, it might not be index yet.

It's really simple. Just select a presence device, and it'll give you a local and a cloud "away" hook, and a local and cloud "arrived" hook. A GET on those will toggle the presence sensor to home/away as you'd imagine it would. There's also a "delay away" option which just delays the presence sensor from being updated to "not present" by the number of seconds specified. I have mine at 0, but it's there in case you want to have it wait a bit before marking away.

Also just added my "less than binary" virtual presence driver. It has configurable options for 'justArrived' and 'justDeparted' state, as well as 'extendedPresent' and 'extendedAway'.


Great, Thanks for your quick reply, I'll try both of these. One question: how does the delay work ? let's say, i set it to 10 seconds and if the state changes with in that time period would it cancel the state change ? just trying to see how would it work with flopping if i get in/out too frequent due to location of my house.

BTW, seems like I should just be able to use MakerAPI webhook if that's what your app is doing since I already have set it up on my HE.

Yeah, that's precisely why I have it there. Let's say you don't want to get marked away every time you walk down to the corner store for 3 minutes. You could set it to, say, 15 minutes, and if you return before the timer is up it cancels the state change and you stay 'present'.

Yeah, but my app is lighter than Maker API, and has the 'delay away' timer on it. I don't have any reason to run Maker API so I don't want to have it installed if I don't need it.

1 Like