Presence sensing sporadic and unreliable; let's please get this fixed

Hubitat Mobile v1.2.8 Bld 145; IOS v16.2; Hubitat C7 v2.3.4.123

I just setup and started using geofencing a few days ago. Fence size is about the size of our block. I'll arrive in the driveway and the Hubitat app says I'm inside the fence, but the dashboard presence status of my phone shows outside. Even after hours, it never updates unless I close and reload the app a couple of times. Outbound, my presence sporadically updates after leaving the geofence after 10-20-mins, but sometimes again only after cycling the app a couple of times. I have clear cell signal.

Hubitat IOS settings:

  • Location: Always; Precise Location: ON
  • Background Refresh: ON
  • Cellular Data: ON

Hubitat App Settings:

  • Enable Geofence: ON
  • Advanced; All OFF ( High Accuracy Presence: changing this didn't help)

After seeing all the posts from frustrated users, this is kinda ridiculous isn't it? Native feature with some longevity that sits completely unusable? Really? Hubitat staff: What can we collectively do to fix this? If not really intending to fix, then may I suggest removing the "feature" and stop luring people into a broken, frustrating experience. Like other posters here, I'd prefer to use native functionality, but I hope the dev's will get serious about fix it or dump it.

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This is a known problem. Most of the community have settled on working around this problem instead of solving it. Here's one of the top recommendations I've found.

Agreed 100%. If staff would just come forward and say 'due to reasons x, y , z the presence functionality is deemed unreliable and we're removing it' that would be fine by me. Why have something available for use that it is completely unreliable or doesn't work at all? It doesn't make sense.

Just to add to the above, much of what we do with automation is reliant on the Hub knowing whether we're home or not. It does seem a fairly basic requirement that Hubitat should have a reliable inbuilt app for this.

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I too struggle with this but I dont understand the problem. If I look in the geofence in the app it works great and triggers very quick. It always knows if im in or out. The problem seems to be the app doesn't notify mode manager or whatnot. This seems like such a simple problem to fix. WTH is going on here?

On a side note if your using Alexa alongside Hubitat it does a fairly good job with geofencing, even allowing multiple locations.

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Devil's Advocate idea - what if HE added to the list of compatible devices a specific model of phone, operating system, and settings?

Overtime, phone manufacturers (and providers that push software updates) have come up with manipulations that break previous functionality. It is not reasonable to expect HE to track every possible permutation. Maybe it is reasonable to track one at their discretion?

Fair enough, I get that device firmware updates can break previous functionality. The sequence of events in my case (and also for my wife):

  • Presence working correctly and always has since I set it up some time ago
  • Hubitat iOS app automatically updated to 1.2.8 several days ago
  • Presence no longer works since that update

I’m currently using it locative and its been reliable for me

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Appreciate the workaround, but I'm a believer in fixing problems that can be fixed. If geofencing is native to Hubitat and the iPhone app, then I'd propose we find a way to fix it. I'm able/willing to help if the dev's need a beta tester. I'm hoping they will bubble this way up on the priority list. Leaving something this broken can't reflect well on Hubitat. Home automation will never become mainstream if it's deemed unreliable.

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Just my 2 cents but I'm using a Webcore piston to set location mode and it's pretty much 100% reliable. The piston reacts when my phone's presence changes to present or not present and sets the appropriate location mode. It's an iPhone SE 2020 running iOS 16.1.1.

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The issue, unfortunately, is that the phones presence is not changing when entering and leaving the Geofence area with iOS 1.2.8. Apparently I've been out since lunchtime on 25/12 - that's an epic Christmas dinner even by my mothers standards.

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Appreciate that @markles, but that's yet another workaround for a broken, highly touted feature and illustrates my point. So many workarounds. Why not just fix hubitat?

:thinking: The feature is advertised, it's not in beta, it should work

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Because it is not "hubitat" that is broken. It is the phones being overly aggressive at shutting down background operations. Each iteration of OS seems to get progressively more aggressive. For instance, the latest version of Android removed users ability to turn off auto optimization. There are tedious work arounds for exluding specific apps. But those are a multi-step, dig deep into your settings that the user needs to do.

My Geofencing is 99% reliable and I use a Tasker integration to handle the majority of the remaining 1%. For that extremely rare 0.1%, I just toggle my virtual presence on from a dashboard. The only reason mine is that reliable is that I spend time researching my own phone and know what I need to do to keep my app from going to sleep so that it actually catches when I cross the geofence border.

It is not unreliable or broken for me. So, please don't request the removal of something that doesn't work for you at the detriment of others. Instead, maybe just don't use it or use one of the workarounds.

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Something is broken and the phone or at least not all phones are to blame. My Pixel 6 seems to work with Hubitats geo but it doesn't actually perform the required action (change mode) when it detects me in or out. I could be wrong but i HIGHLY doubt that is related to battery optimization as it knows when im in or out. Hubitat doesnt seem to do anything with that info. Mode manager is trash and is the least trustworthy app on the hub.

Mode Manager handles a lot more than presence. In my opinion, your comment is a gross and incorrect generalization.

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It is absolutely not, for 6 months now I go back and forth between rule machine for modes and mode manager. Failure rates are insane. Virtual switches, virtual buttons, physical switches, physical buttons, Hubitat presence, presence through Joe Page dashboard, presence through Alexa using virtual switches all fail at random times. The only way I know for sure what mode I'm in is if I actually change it on my dashboard. I have to do this multiple times a week at a minimum.

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Probably getting OT but mode manager changes modes for me just fine, including with presence (although I’m not using the mobile app’s geolocation feature as a trigger) :man_shrugging:.

ETA: I don’t doubt you’ve experienced issues, and they sound frustrating. But I agree it does seem like a generalization to refer to the app as a whole as “trash.”

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smarting's biult in sucked for me too, I have just been using LIFE-360 before i even came to hubitat. every once in a while I have an issue with it but it is reliable.

I don't even have the hubitat stuff in my rules lol

just use life 360 app for that. i get maybe 2-4 failures a year but it works and works well.

It sounds like the virtual device (on the hub) that is created by the phone app isn't connected to your phone. You either didn't "claim your hub" in the phone app settings at some point, or maybe you just need to create a new device (using the phone app) and delete the old virtual device.

You can watch the virtual phone device on the hub, and see if it ever changes states when you enter/exit geofence. You can also test by going to the virtual phone device on the hub, and try pushing a notification to your phone, which will probably fail because it isn't connected.

There have been 2 versions of MM, and I believe the latest was pretty much written from scratch. I doubt that two completely different versions of an app can have the exact same issues. I think your problem is further upstream, or external to MM.

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