Geofencing ... So Is OwnTracks the solution now?

The phone depends on how solid your service is around your home. Mine's rock solid here. I've used tiles, but range is the problem. I need my Garage to open "exactly" when I need it and my doors etc to unlock. This has been 100% perfect. This never has battery problem. It can't.

With Homeseer I used a long-range Bluetooth transmitter in my vehicles that could go almost a mile. I didn't need my phone. Mounted under the hood it triggered at about 300 ft. That was a really hard thing to write rules for though...especially if you just needed to move your would trigger.

When indoors GPS becomes flaky. Admittedly when I set up the BLE beacons it was a while ago, and the app on my Android phone would report EVERY GPS "location", even if the accuracy was basically "somewhere in North America" because it was only picking up a single GPS satellite. So it would randomly get wildly inaccurate GPS "location" and report it to the hub and mark me as away even tho I hadn't left. Thus I added the BLE beacons to eliminate any possible 'false away' issues due to GPS.

I've never had that issue on my iPhone. It doesn't report a location at all unless the accuracy is also 100m or less. Presumably Android has been fixed and doesn't do this anymore, but I don't know as I have zero Android devices anymore.

Ya, I want to move to Android because I'm a Windows guy. I don't have the GPS issue because it takes my phone seeing a Beacon AND leaving or entering my geofence. Geofency has been stable for me...and I won't use things like Life360 that sells your tracking info to anybody that wants it. Including car insurance companies for seeing how you drive. I've got nothing to hide, but it's nobody's business.

Yep. They got caught and now they claim they're not doing it anymore, but the fact that they ever thought this was an OK thing is just nuts. No one should EVER use them.

Works great on cellular. In fact, it might work better considering it doesn't have to wait to connect to your home wifi to trigger it. No idea what the iPhone geofence distance is, but it's probably something like 500' or so based on my experience.

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I've been using this method for quite some time. It's bullet proof. One thing you said confused me.

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 .

Are you not using HomeKit to trigger a virtual presence sensor in Hubitat? Or, am I completely misunderstanding your point and you're just saying it's much more reliable than Hubitat?

I have HomeKit run a shortcut when I arrive and when I depart.

In that shortcut is a single action, which calls an http endpoint on Hubitat. That endpoint is from an app I wrote that does nothing other than mark a virtual presence sensor as home/away when the http endpoint is triggered.

The HomeKit app on Hubitat is fragile. If you have any device that sends 'nonsense' data to HomeKit it cause every device to report "Not Responding".

Example: device with battery has a miscalibrated sensor and reports -17% battery. Every device in HomeKit will be 'not responding'. Or let's say you have a window shade that goes from 100% closed to 0% closed, but if for some reason is extended past where it has the 0% mark set to will report negative numbers, since it's been moved past the 0 point. Again, HomeKit will have everything 'not responding'.

It's not that HomeKit itself isn't working... it's fine and it'll notice when you're home or away, and it'll run my shortcut actions without any trouble. It's just that everything on the bridge with a 'bad device' fails to work until that device is either removed or whatever 'nonsense' number on its stated is changed back to a 'sensible' one.

Yes, you can handle not allowing 'nonsense' values in your device driver, if you know how to program. But really the fix is at the Hubitat level and having it send 0 for anything negative that shouldn't ever be negative. And probably anything over 100 should be reported as 100 for things that shouldn't be over 100 too, such as 'percent light brightness', as I haven't checked that, but I'm guessing a device on Hubitat that sends 110% brightness on a light would also cause everything to go not responding.

So yes, I'm having HomeKit trigger a virtual presence sensor, just via an HTTP endpoint rather than the usual 'have HomeKit turn this virtual switch on and off'. A lot of people just make a "Virtual Presence with Switch" device on Hubitat and have their HomeKit automation turn it on and off when they come and go. I'm not doing that.


Do you keep it on motion? For me, on significant charges, the geofences can be delayed minutes. Pixel 7 pro.