iOS - Geofence not working

I am in the middle of switching from SmartThings over to Hubitat. I am experiencing the same issue with geofence in the mobile app (iOS 15.6.1 on iPhone 13 Pro). Hubitat seems to only update once and a while, but rarely for me or my Wife. It doesn’t seem to be updating in the background. My wife never opens the app and hers never updates and mine only if I have opened the app very recently or use the Send Geo Event.

I am actually running SmartThings geofence as well as Hubitat’s and SmartThings is working fine and consistently updating my presence when I come and go, Hubitat is rarely updating, if at all. I have confirmed that I have the iOS settings the same for both.

I really hope this issue can be resolved and will gladly offer some of my time to help troubleshoot/test, as i use this feature in a bunch of my automations.

Thank you for your feedback. I have moved your post here, because the other thread is for Android app.


I saw some references to iPhone in the feed, so I wasn’t sure.

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In the app go to Settings>>Advanced: an turn on High accuracy presence and see if that helps. Also make sure background app refresh is turned on

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iOS and Android presence is not working for me and has always been spotty when it does, starting to feel like Hubitat should remove features they cant get to work so we can just use third party applications to insure functionality.

I tested the "High Accuracy Presence" setting, over the last few days, but I didn't notice any difference in accuracy. When I turned on to our road yesterday, Smartthings immediately showed us as "arrived," yet after we arrived home and were home for about 30 mins, Hubitat still didn't acknowledge it and it wasn't until I opened that App a couple times until it the presence finally changed. What I did notice though (in the battery settings) is that this setting has a BIG impact on battery life. The percentage of background usage goes way up.

In comparison, Smartthings uses the same if not less battery than Hubitat (even without the "High Accuracy Presence" setting on) and it has notified us each time we leave or arrive without any issues and no delay. I also made sure our iOS settings (including background refresh being enabled) was the same for both apps.

Best I can tell, the Geofence/Presence functionality doesn't seem to be working in the background. My wife, who never opens the app, has yet to acknowledge her leaving or arriving, without opening up the app or hitting the "sending Geo Event" link. It has worked for me a couple times, but only when I have recently opened the app before arriving or leaving.

Have you found a 3rd part solution that works reliably and doesn't require a subscription or selling your data (read somewhere that Life360 does this)? I was going to just use Smartthings for Presence and send the update over to Hubitat, but I believe the connect apps will cease to function after they do away with Groovy at the end of this month. Smartthings presence has been pretty solid since Apple fixed a bug in iOS 15.3.

Same issue here with 2 iPhones, geolocation unreliable. High precision doesn't seem to make a difference.
@Hubitat_Staff is this on your radar and can you share any ongoing or planned activities?

I just wanted to share this for anyone else that is struggling to find a good/reliable solution for Mobile Presence. I have decided to use my Alexa app, which has been solid for the last several days (i.e. not one miss so far).

The way I set this up, is I created two virtual switches (one for my wife's phone and one for mine) in Hubitat and then used the Amazon Echo Skill App, to share those two switches to Alexa. I then created two simple routines in the Alexa App to update the virtual switches, based on my location. Then I just created a couple simple conditional rules in Rule Machine to update my actual mobile presence sensors as present/departed based on when the switch is turned on/off by Alexa.

On a side note, it is a shame that we have to resort to workarounds like this because the App, for the device we purchased, doesn't work and there doesn't seem to be much acknowledgement or effort to fix it. Anyway, I am at least happy I found a good solution, that so far, works great!

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Any updates on this (from Hubitat or users)? We have two iPhones in the house, one is working fine an updating as expected, the other is not. I have tried the usual checks (in iOS App Settings etc) and no luck. It was working before.

No help on Hubitat app, but with iPhones there are a couple good alternatives for presence:

  1. Apple Home automation. Set up a virtual combo switch/presence device in Hubitat, send to Apple via Homebridge. Requires presence of an Apple TV or Home Pod.
  2. Use Geofency. Has a Mac app too:

This is my solution for this having got so fed up with my wife's iPhone not working properly, and so far it has been flawless if you don't mind waiting 60mins. I use Wifi presence in conjunction with the below WebCore piston which you can import using this code: kr4cy

Essentially the piston forces a departure event after 60mins, but after 30, prompts the person to send a geo event should they get chance. If your presence is working properly, you won't see any messages/get force departed as presence will mean the trigger condition isn't met, and subsequent actions are cancelled. So it's a great back-up to the normal function.

The reason I don't use WiFi presence to fully control presence is because newer iPhones 'sleep' their wifi when they are not used and this can cause unwanted results.

It also works the other way around, forcing a 'presence' event if WiFi is connected and Geo location is saying you are away.

Looks like this is yet another feature you guys have that we don't in the UK. Currently we can't build routines based on Alexa app presence :pensive:

We also don't have 'hunches', sonic room presence on gen 4s or Alexa guard. So annoying...

Oh, really? Sorry to hear that! Does IFTTT support building applets, based on presence, in the UK? That was the other option I tested and was going to go with, if the Alexa app did not work. With my limited testing, IFTTT seemed to work well and was quite responsive with triggering my Hubitat virtual switches.

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