After being with Nest since its inception I've decided to move to an Ecobee thermostat. The biggest reason is that I don't want to be chained to Google devices if I want to interface to other hardware or software.
One of the major losses is that geofencing which worked so well with a third party app on my iPhone is no longer supported by Google. That third party app allowed me to set two different geofencing circles. One for leaving home and another returning. That returning circle was nice because I used to be able to give my HVAC a 5 mile head start when heading home.
Looking at the the various options I have with the Ecobee I see I can't use Ecobee's geofencing which only supports one Android phone only. I could use IFTTT and Life360 which can handle multiple phones, Hubitat which could do the same, and finally Homekit since I'm in an Apple environment.
So I'm looking for those who may have had to make the choice. Specifically my main goal is that there are two phones that I have to watch for location, but my needs are simple and that is to set the Ecobee into away when both phones are not home and to return to an occupied mode when one or both are home.
If you had to pursue one geofencing source, which would you do? My real wish is to replicate my old iOS app which used to work with the Nest and had two distinct geofencing circles....but I haven't seen any geofencing function that supports 2 circles.
You can create multiple geofences with Geofency or Locative, and either can be configured to work with Hubitat through the use of webhooks and the Maker API. I use iOS devices but I believe both have android apps too.
Locative used to, but no longer. I don't think Geofency does.
However, OwnTracks has iOS/Android apps, and a Hubitat integration
If you have not purchased the Ecobee I have a flawless Ecobee Smart Thermostat with voice control and 3 remote sensors. Used it for less than a year and bought a Daikin One which has a proprietary thermostat.
I picked up a brand new unit on eBay last week and is in the mail right now. Thanks for the offer.
Not sure why you would go to a cloud based unit (I know there are some ecobee fans here) I would have gone with the Honeywell T6 or GoControl (I have the latter). Any geofencing app/fob could be used with either via the hub but overall you retain local control if something happens with your internet connection. I guess I'm just curious why ecobee vs others that are local z-wave or zigbee
Must agree with @rlithgow1 on this. I once argued on another forum that cloud controlled-devices were the wave of the future, and for good reason. I was right about the first point, and wrong about the second. My locally controlled devices "just work" unless the local control is done poorly (looking at you on that one, Daikin wifi devices).
I was an early Nest user, switched to Ecobee like the OP, and then went with GoControl in this latest property. The GoControls have been far superior. They have fewer bells and whistles, but they just work. These days, I'm good with that.
I've been happy with the GoControl but if you really want bells and whistles, the Honeywell T6 Z-wave is where it's at...
I guess everyone has their hot buttons and my Nest checked off quite a few with me. The big thing was the interface between my Ooma phone system, a dynamite geofencing app called QuickControl, and IFTTT. Google burst that all when they took the direction to have Nest only work with Google products. They grandfathered us legacy Nest users but a recent software snafu which crippled my daily schedule, forced me to reset my Nest back to default which destroyed most of those interfaces, with Nest support being unable to help me restore them. With the Nest over the years I learned the compromise that having a "too smart" system brought, and realized that I really needed more granularity in a thermostat, I pretty much had my eye on the Ecobee for quite a few years ago.
While I understand the risks that a cloud controlled device brings, the purpose of my thermostat is to make me comfortable in my home. I've got a few issues like a home with 8 skylights in it, and a bedroom that was built with no return duct. That brings challenges to any thermostat system. Ecobee checks off the granularity box for the tweek side of me and I have much more local control of the thermostat than I've ever had with the Nest. In addition Ecobee has a sensor system that will help mitigate some of the temperature variances in my problem rooms, without turning the rest of the house into a refrigerator or sauna (unlike Nest's remote sensor product). And bottom line Ecobee is not a closed system like Nest has evolved to,and I'm excited to find the Hubitat is one of many products that will work with the Ecobee.
Unfortunately the developer of QuickConnect withdrew his product when Nest cut off its compatibility so I'm on the search to figure out how I want to handle geofencing as noted in my original question.
I had two Nest thermostats which worked well for years, until one of them decided to flake out. Since Google had already crippled the Works with Nest program, I opted to replace them both with Ecobee thermostats. I am very pleased with the performance of the Ecobee devices, and the integration options they support. Since I do not depend on a super tight integration with Hubitat, I am pleased with them being cloud enabled devices, with their own dedicated mobile phone app. I also prefer them over Nest in terms of overall temperature control. Nest tried too hard to save energy at the sacrifice of comfort. The Nest temperature swings were too large, whereas Ecobee allows one to adjust the hysteresis as desired. I also like the the native, local Apple HomeKit integration that Ecobee provides.
It’s is good to have options!
For the geofence, you can use life360 free and that should suit
I swapped the thermostats yesterday afternoon and since there are two of us at home with Apple phones, I fired up Homekit on my iPad at home. As it ends up it worked just fine. The first phone left the house and the Homekit didn't activate the Ecobee to away mode. Then I left and Away mode activated.
Coming home I was first at home and I walked in the house to find that the Home mode on the Ecobee was activated so Homekit is a viable option. At this point it's not my forever choice because I would like to get that performance with a user definable circle which Homekit can't supply. I'll continue to experiment with different resources.
Today is only day one. I do like the Ecobee however. With its sensor concept and granular options, I found my home more comfortable than it ever has been with the Nest.
Hey, maybe that @ogiewon fella knows a thing or two, after all?!!
Ended up I used HomeKit with a newer Apple TV 4K. Works great when you have multiple iPhones in the household, specifically in its ability to verify all phones have left the house before it goes to Away mode. Biggest issue with Homekit is you have to create the scene that controls the Ecobee with the Ecobee app. If you use the Homekit app, your Ecobee options are very limited.
I'm 11 months into my experience with the Ecobee and have no regrets dumping the Nest. House has never been more comfortable and with 4 additional sensors I am now cooling my home rather than cooling the home based on the temperature at the thermostat in my hallway.