Need Better Location Service - IFTTT No Good

Ever since Life360 departed the scene, my location-based routines are not working reliably. I converted everything to use IFTTT Location, including creating an IFTTT account for my spouse. I have about a 1 mile radius set on my home location, and IFTTT still cannot get my porch light turned on before I get to the door; it works about 20% of the time. I have an IFTTT Pro account, and I usually get a location change at some point in time for each departure/arrival, just not very timely. My spouse has a std IFTTT account and we can go days with her coming and going, and not see a single change in location from IFTTT.

Wi-Fi router connections will not work for me. By the time the router sees me, I am already in the house. The location “fence” is not far enough out to do me any good.

Have you guys considered approaching Life360 to get direct access, similar to what you did with Tuya? They apparently have no love lost for IFTTT, so maybe you can work something out?

Any other ideas?

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Hi there, this seems so simple but you are sooo right it’s not well serviced! We did approach Life360 but didn’t get a very positive response and their API is not suitable for us to integrate with. So we are considering building our own location service but it’s not a super-high priority, mainly because all the big boys and girls are building so much “I’m home” functionality into their apps. I find that the google router integration works well enough for me but we’ve also been doing a lot of our own experiments with zigbee 3.0 devices and Tuya/Smartlife hubs recently. The proximity sensors do a great job and work super-quick with our native integrations - so quick I’m using them to trigger room light switches now - and am considering using them outside as well now. But if you need to know who it is rather than someone is here then maybe the bluetooth tags like Tile are an answer? Not tried them but @pebneter the :mage: has some experience with local tagging.

Not much to add to Dan’s response!
On Life360: Check out this comment on reddit where they say it should come back to IFTTT this year: https://www.reddit.com/r/ifttt/comments/jndcus/life360s_response_to_ending_ifttt_support/

I’m personally sucessfully testing a geofencing app that reports simple in/out status via a webhooks to Apilio: https://www.locative.io (iOS only). This one would also support iBeacon (yes, that was supposed to become a big thing years ago!) and I guess you should find an equivalent for Android.
For the webhooks you can go either through IFTTT or I can supply you with some hints to how to use the out phased old webhooks API. :shushing_face:

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My solution if you use google home and Tuya is this

Thank you, all, for your suggestions. Drivingforce, your reference to the earlier Use Cases post has been very helpful. Definitely gives me food for thought.

I am wondering what brand Tuya-compatible switches you have good results with? I think many of you all are in the UK, so your choices are different from what I can get here in the States. I have a couple MOESGO wall switches ordered, and am anxious to see how they work. I also need dimmer switches and smart plugs, but not sure which brands to consider?

:grinning: Drivingforce, you actually use a switch on your TV that turns off when you leave? Wow!! Not happening at my house!!!

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Hey @clancyduncan,
did you come across this list here yet?


Does it help you find you a device? How can we improve the list (apart from more devices to choose from)?

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@clancyduncan Only turns off if no one is home. I use the home app and invited my wife to be part of the home. So both of us leave the geofence it will switch the TV off. My kids are to young to stay at home :slight_smile: alone yet. that’s why i use the TV plug to tell Apilio to no one is home

you have plenty of Tuya/smartlife products. Just a quick search of Amazon.com :wink:
https://www.amazon.com/s?k=tuya&ref=nb_sb_noss_2
If you have a Tuya/smartlife hub zigbee 3 most work well. And the majority of the tuya Wifi kit that @pebneter
mentioned works.

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@pebneter, in response to your request for feedback on device list:

  1. products listed not available in my market (USA).
  2. brands listed not found in search of Amazon-US
  3. links go to different/wrong products; ex: link for lidl brand plug goes to Amazon-UK page for ANWIO bulbs.

So, the list has not helped me find products I am interested in purchasing.

Also, maybe not important to others, but very important to me, would be helpful if list indicated which products are safety certified; ETL, UL, CSA, et al. Maybe less important for things like bulbs and plugs, but very important for in-wall things such as light switches & dimmers. I have found very few of the products coming out of China are certified (FCC is not an electrical safety certification)! If they are not going to take the time to get their products tested for safety, what else are they not taking time to do? I wouldn’t trust them. Having an automated home is not worth the risk in having it catch fire and burn to the ground, possibly with someone inside.

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@Drivingforce, you referenced Google Home earlier, so I assume that is how you are tracking presence of household members? I use Alexa, which does not have location tracking, as far as I know. I did note your mention of the Smart Life app having location tracking, so that is the way I am now thinking of going. I have a couple Tuya-compatible switches, and have experimented with having them switch on/off with my arrival/departure. I am also happy to see the ability in Smart Life of adding household members, and am using the second switch to track the wife’s travels. On order are some smart plugs that I can use as relays; I plan to plug them in to a power strip hidden under my desk so no one will try to use them for the vacuum cleaner or a phone charger!

Assuming all this works, I plan to change out all the WEMO devices with Tuya-compatible products. So far, I have found light switches and smart plugs that meet my requirements, but have still not found dimmer switches.

My requirements are: 1. Tuya-compatible; 2. Safety certified (ETL, UL, CSA, et al); 3. Works with Apilio; 4. No hub required.

So far, I have been able to avoid having a host of hubs around. I see Zigbee products pop up on most of my searches, so maybe I need to consider them?

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@clancyduncan, being EU, well my country being the UK no longer is but I digress. The electronic safety standard is CE marked and are extremely safe. All my products carry that mark. As it is mainly recognised as the gold standard to safety, most companies will build to that standard if they export in the EU as it is cheaper to build to one standard instead of many.

My home has 2 hubs. A smartthings hub that does not have a direct connection with Apilio so have been moving away from it. A zigbee 3 tuya hub. I use to have Hue hub, I sold it as I found it does not play well with other Zigbee kit. Most zigbee kit will work with the Tuya hub, some loose there granular settings as you not using that companies hub, this is only an issue if you bought the product for that specific setting. Rest of my kit is WiFi. Lifx lights which again do not connect directly to Apilio but via IFTTT but I keep them because they are great. all other lights/products are Tuya/Smartlife compatible either WiFi or Zigbee 3

Correct google home is what i use to track family members, but it isn’t direct to Apilio so I have to use a Tuya plug (The one that’s connected to the tv) to tell Apilio if anyone is home.

I found these products on Amazon.com

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=tuya+dimmer+switch&crid=2YTHEEFD0T0XY&sprefix=tuya+dimmer%2Caps%2C214&ref=nb_sb_ss_ts-a-p_4_11

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=tuya+dimmer+switch+zigbee+3&ref=nb_sb_noss

Unfortunately it is still trail and error. I have a tuya zigbee 3 motion sensor but the manufacture made a hash of the software set up so Apilio cannot read it :frowning:

The Apilio team are trying, as you know to keep a compatibility list but things are always changing

Google in this case will always be your friend in.

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I was not a fan of Zigbee, but after trying a Tuya hub I see many advantages.
Sensors can be very cheap (e.g. motion sensor for 12€), small and with longer battery life. Plus they are a lot faster than Wifi stuff, because establishing the WiFi connection costs 2-3 seconds.
I was positively surprised that many non-Tuya devices pair with the hub and can be used with Apilio! I am seriously considering to sell the Philips Hue hub and connect the bulbs with the Tuya hub.

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Problem Solved (mostly) !!!

Thanks all for your suggestions. Following @Drivingforce idea to use a Tuya/SmartLife device as a relay, I have purchased and installed two wifi outlets from Teckin:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B087CFHXDN/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o02_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

and have them turned on/off using the geofencing functionality of the Tuya/SmarLife app; with matching Apilio conditions. That eliminated 4 IFTTT applets and 2 Apilio Boolean variables and their matching conditions.

Following positive remarks from @pebneter, I also purchased a ZigBee hub (Tuya/SmartLife compatible):

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08LD7JVGW/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

and a ZigBee wall switch from Enbrighten:

which controls a light in the kitchen. Now, when the wife comes home, I can have the light on for her before she walks in, and am doing it all in the Tuya/SmartLife app.

Pleasantly surprised to find not only geofencing, but also sunrise/sunset and temperature conditions within the Tuya/SmartLife app.

I may have been too harsh earlier regarding the location tracking of IFTTT. Turns out there is an issue with my wife’s phone. Somehow is enters a “stealth” mode, where it stops updating location. If she forces it to figure out where she is, using a mapping app or shopping app that uses her location, then everything works. Haven’t figured out why/how the phone is hiding her location. We both have iPhone XR. Maybe someone else has seen this problem?

Anyway, thanks again for all the advice. I plan to continue replacing my WEMO crap with Tuya/SmartLife wifi and ZigBee devices and get even further away from IFTTT. Apilio + Tuya is definitely the way to go.

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The echo/alexa does have geofencing in routines. When you create the “when this happens” for the routine it’s the “location” option. You can trigger a routine when you leave/arrive. You will need to allow location services for the alexa app on the phone.

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I read with interest your suggestion of using locative as a location trigger. I’ve been using IFTTT location service but whilst my phone works, my wife’s doesn’t. We have a number of routines that are triggered upon arrival and leaving so I have been looking for something more reliable.

However I can’t get locative to work with webhooks to ifttt. I’ve created a test variable in Apilio and created an event in ifttt that updates the Boolean variable in Apilio. However I’ve copied the webhook key across to the http push fields of locative but it doesn’t seem to be linking. I get a notification from locative that I’ve either left or arrived so I’m sure the app is working.

Any suggestions and help would be appreciated.

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@pebneter i think has this solution for IOS users

Hi @stephenf1303,
I’m surprised the IFTTT webhook doesn’t work, but I haven’t tested it yet.
You can contact us via a message through chat and I can give you a direct webhook url so you do not need to go through IFTTT.

Thanks for the reply. If you could send me a web hook I can try I’d be grateful.

Thanks again

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I tested with Locative -> IFTTT Webhook -> Apilio Boolean variable and that worked well in my case.
I used a GET type webhook.
I already sent you an e-mail with information for the direct webhook in case you prefer that way.

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Please could you send to me as well?

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