This might be a dangerous question, but . .

I just read this “rant” from Stacey Higginbotham on the smart home (apparently she had some annoying issues recently with her smart home setup :slightly_smiling_face: ):

Now I wonder if you share that sentiment when thinking about your Apilio setup? Would you say that Apilio does change behaviour in unexpected ways or does things you don’t understand?

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In my case, Apilio works always as expected and, when it doesn’t, it is always my fault (I have some complex setups with interconnected logicblocks, so it is easy to make mistakes)

I do feel a little frustrated with Smartlife:

  • Smartlife service has experienced some big outages in the past months and, sometimes, it feels “slow” (significant delays in automations)
  • Smartlife devices do not always comply with standards (i.e. not compatible with Apilio) and, in some cases, are not very reliable (e.g. motions sensors detecting motion when there is no motion).

Additionally, I also feel frustrated with location based automations, which are not always triggered with iPhone (at least in my iPhone 13 Pro and my wife’s iPhone 13 Pro Max). Although I am using different apps (Locative, Geofency, IFTTT) in my iPhone to trigger logicblocks when entering/exiting geofences, sometimes they are not executed. Unfortunately, while iOS native shortcuts allow for location based automations, they can’t run in the background (you need to press on the notification each time).


Lack of interoperability is extremely frustrating. I use, for various purposes, Apilio, Alexa, IFTTT, Smart Life, SmartThings, Nest. Each has limitations in what it can do, so for example:

  • Apilio works directly with IFTTT and Smart Life, but not the others
  • Alexa works with most things
  • IFTTT doesn’t work with Nest
  • etc…

Sometimes it is possible to get around this by using more than system, for example it is possible to configure the Nest from Apilio or IFTTT by first passing a command to Alexa. And I currently set light colours from Apilio by passing information to IFTTT, which processes this and passes a command to Alexa, which then sets the colour. But this sort of “Heath Robinson” setup is neither desirable nor easy to maintain.

Then there are things that don’t fully work, even though there is some support. For example, I have Tuya colour-changing light bulbs for which I can set the colour in Alexa, but not in Smart Life, IFTTT or Apilio. And I have smart thermostats that I can control the temperature of to 0.5 degree precision in Alexa, but only 2.5 degree precision in Apilio. But in Alexa these thermostats, which can be set manually in the range 5 to 35C, for some reason have an upper temperature limit of 32C.

On top of that there are devices I’ve bought that I’ve never managed to get to work. I have Zigbee switches that just refuse to talk to my Zigbee gateway—whether this is the fault of the switch or the gateway device I have no idea.

Tuya smart devices are particularly stupid when it comes to network connections—I had some devices in an area of weak Wi-Fi signal and so to get around this I installed a new repeater (in a mesh network, so no issue about different SSID). The new repeater is a couple of feet away from the devices, so the signal strength from that is huge. Do the devices use the new far stronger Wi-Fi signal? Even when you power down and restart them? Not a chance… they continue to connect to the original more distant Wi-Fi and continue to complain that their Wi-Fi signal is weak. I’ve eventually fixed this by completely resetting the devices, but this should not need to be done whenever you move a device.

As an aside, tomorrow I finally get gigabit broadband installed, which will mean getting a new router. This will result in a nightmare of reconfiguration, as each device will need to be re-connected to the new network and there is no way of doing this apart from device-by-device. Wish me luck!

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Agreed, I have given up using these. I suspect that the default battery saving on my Samsung S10 is stopping the communication for apps running in the background, but whatever is the case I’ve never found it to be reliable.

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I agree it can all be annoying but I find it fascinating to learn how things actually work rather then how we’re told they will work. And finally I seem to have my lights setup now so they do exactly what I expect them to do, 24x7, and love that sense of achievement, to the point it’s all “working” so well so I’m actually a bit sad I’ve got it cracked. So I believe the Apilio x Hue integration is a great combination, mainly because the combination is as reliable as the individual elements, and I’ve changed to only using Smartlife/Tuya for sensor inputs now so temperature, light level and motion detection and have removed anything required to be controlled via Tuya.

If you see a worsening with geofences, it might be iOS’ fault, according to this respectable guy who made the Locative app:

There’s a new app around, made by Jens who I’m in contact with:
I’m not an Android user and haven’t tested yet, but you might wanna give it a try.


Yes, I am experiencing issues with both my iPhone 13 Pro and my wife’s iPhone 13 Pro Max.

All geofencing apps I am using (Locative, Geofency, IFTTT app and Tado) fail to update unless you open the app almost every day.

This morning, Tado didn’t have a clue where my wife’s iPhone was… only my iPhone (“yo” = “me”) was well positioned. When I left home, heating was turned off even though she was still at home… :roll_eyes:

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Locative seems to work very reliably on my Android phone.

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Late to the party i know but now started to test Locative @DanT which phone do you have

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Samsung Fold which is also great for a wall of http shortcuts webhooks!

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Well next time you speak to Jens give him my thanks, it works well on the Pixel 4 5G, yet to test it on my wife’s phone, but she is in isolation so may have to take her phone for a walk next time I’m out to test it. My wifes phone a Oppo 15 (Did not listen to me when she wanted a new phone now complaining about it :face_with_symbols_over_mouth: ) does not like sharing its location even when all permission are granted so becomes a problem with smartlife, smartthings and google home presence. I’m hoping this app will fair better

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Fingers crossed, seems high quality and low maintenance…if only my Sonoff IR sensors could be the same!

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Has anyone else experienced any limits with adding new zigbee devices to zigbee hubs? I only seem to be able to add about six devices to a hub before the last device added becomes super unreliable.

I have 3 Zigbee gateways, one at each floor of my house, with 9, 7 and 6 devices connected (motion sensors, light switches, water leak detectors, and smoke detectors).

I am not aware of any issues, but what do you mean by “super ureliable”?

I have a maximum of six devices per module but when I try to add new PIR sensors they just don’t work reliably i.e. no PIR and None events from Smart Life (and no events even showing in the Smart Life app). I assumed it was hardware - the battery connections on the Sonoff PIRs are just flakey - but still have issues. So bought a new zigbee gateway and still nothing. Not sure what else to try now but I guess it’s either Smart Life and/or Sonoff software related somehow. Having a zigbee gateway in the middle makes it more difficult to determine where the issue really lies.

I haven’t experienced any issues, but I don’t like Sonoff PIR sensors. I experience false positives from time to time, and they remain in PIR status for hours, which is very inconvenient. I am replacing them by Perenio PIR sensors, which work flawlessly.

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Thanks. Do the Perenio sensors connect to a Tuya/Smart Life gateway or do they need their own hub?

Yes, they work with a Tuya Zigbee hub

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