iOS App Presence Reliability

Hey @Hubitat_Staff I wanted to bring this up again - originally posted last year in this post: Automating "Send Geo Event"? - Mobile Apps / iOS App - Hubitat but never saw a response from any staff.

The issue is the iOS (maybe Android too) presence reliability is pretty bad. I have a rule to trigger when our Life360 presence doesn't match our App presence after 3 minutes - and it triggers a LOT.

I believe the issue is the App is "missing" the crossing of the GEO fence and just never sending the event.

What I would suggest is to add a capability to request from the hub to the App to "send a GEO event". In this case, when our presence doesn't match, my RM rule could request a GEO event from the offending app. My thought is, if HE can send "messages" to the App - it should be able to send a "message" that tells the App to respond back a GEO event. This works with the Life360 "refresh" request (though I realize that is unrelated to HE).

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I have 2 iPhones that just don't work with presence and it's a bit sad. Checking the log, it just seems it never checks in. If I open the app, it works, but what's the point?

Have you turned on high accuracy in the app? The usual reason for it not working correctly is because the iphone goes to sleep and the app with it. High accuracy keeps it awake.

But it is rough on the battery, last time I checked.

Since the way the hubitat mobile app’s geolocation functions is more privacy-oriented than most other apps, I think that can contribute to it being killed off in the background more readily by iOS. Using high-accuracy presence presumably works around that, but keep an eye on battery usage after enabling it, since it can be a dealbreaker unless you’re able to top off your phone over the course of a day.

There is also Life 360 free..A lot of people use that. Myself I use "Combined Presence" from HPM and use a combination of my presence fob on my keychain and wifi presence on my phone . Both of these working together work well for me.

Yes I have always had high accuracy on. Yes I also use Life360. I also use Combined Presence as well.

I STILL want the ability to poll the app to send a GEO event - then when my presence do not match I can poll both Life360 as well as the mobile app and get current updates.

Yes, I've done that as I have 3 iPhones in total and none of them work reliably.

I've deleted/reinstalled/recreated a virtual device from scratch and read every forum post on the topic that I've come across.

I've changed today to use locative instead and turned off all the geostuff in the app and works reliably so far today without issues. I've used Smartthings prior to Hubitat and that worked without issue.

Seems like the app despite any setting you change to keep it awake, it simply does not as checking the logs on the device, it never wakes back up.

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Is that an app?

Yes, IOS app:

I found this post and just followed how to set it up:

I actually went with an even simpler approach from more forum searching as I didn't like having another app on my phone.

I found a post about just using HomeKit instead so I:

  • Made a virtual switch for each person to be their "presence sensor" since automations run automatically on a switch
  • Added that switch to HomeKit via MakeAPI or Homebridge (doesn't really matter which)
  • Made an automation rule for arrive / leave for each person to flip on or off that virtual switch
  • Made a rules engine rule for each person for arrive / leave to open and close the garage doors based on the virtual switch I setup as presence for each person

For me, that removed any 3rd party app on the phone and just allowed me to do the automation that route.

And even more so now, Geofencing for all other apps seems to be broken in IOS15 so the Homekit is the only one that currently works. So happy I flipped over as the little things are maddening.

Apple may fix it at some point, but I'd just use HomeKit for presence since that should work and be stable. I've been flawless now for a few weeks.

What do you mean iOS 15 is broken? I use Life360 and my geo fence works.

Tons and tons of links on it:

https://discussions.apple.com/thread/253247480

Is that enough? :slight_smile:

All I know is homekit Geofencing in iOS 14 was very reliable, that's all I would use for location based automations. iOS 15 is hit or miss when it comes to geofencing for me. I had to sign out iCloud and log back in. Also had to turn off & on personal requests inside HomeKit to get things working. Geofencing is still not working on 2 of my phones no matter what I do, so yeah something is definitely broken/some setting is wrong in my phones. I have to always have both my phone and watch with me at all times to get accurate locations now, which is just crazy stupid. I can imagine how messed up geofencing is on third party apps if I'm having this much trouble with iOS geofence within homekit.

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