Best echange for Life360?, something that eats a minimum battery, good accuracy, drive detection, and other settings.
If you’re asking for a Home Assistant device tracker integration that is an alternative to the Home Assistant integration for Life360, and you would like something that probably doesn’t require adding another app to your phone(s), I would suggest:
There’s a good chance your phone(s) already has/have this app installed. I’ll grant the integration is very old, and is a bit tricky to set up, but I’ve been using it for years and it pretty much “just works”.
Server may be your own.
is there a free version?
I only saw a paid option on the traccar website for $50 a month.
- There is a possibility to use a free server.
- You may install Traccar server on your hardware.
traccar I tried to use it but Apple iOS aggressively closes the traccar client in the background, in fact I abandoned it
Ok, so if you install a local server (for example using Docker) then you don’t need a Traccar account?
Probably depends on iOS version.
Do not observe it with iOS 12.x (iPhone 5S), iOS 15.x (iPad Air 2).
Yes - sometimes I see these devices “offline”. This happens usually after depleting a battery, recharging & restarting.
Also sometimes it may happen erratically. I get used to restart Traccar on a device when I get a notification from HA “Traccar is offline on device …” (made an automation for this).
So, in general it works stable. Yes - sometimes becomes offline, need to restart Traccar.
Btw, similar happened with Life360 as well.
You’re not kidding…
I tried many different browser sessions and on both chrome and firefox and I finally got it to work by installing Firefox on a machine I had never used it on before and finally got the cookie file to work.
The tracker showed up in my system so I thought everything was good. So I went thru my config swapping out all the life360 trackers with the new google maps trackers. And when I restarted HA for the changes to take effect suddenly HA says the cookie file doesn’t have a valid session any more and I need to re-create a new one and try again.
Which I did and for some reason it still won’t work.
Have you had this experience before?
I have spent hours on Google Maps integration to work but it never worked for me.
Yeah, that’s kind of what I’m seeing too.
I do recall it was not as straightforward as it should have been to get the cookie file and into HA, but once I did it pretty much worked. I did go through the process a few times since I started using HA years ago (as I did major upgrades to HA or the system I was running it on), and each time it was a chore. I think I ended up using Chrome, opened an “incognito” window (or whatever it calls it), logged into Google Maps, and then used the get_cookies.txt extension to grab the cookie file. That seemed to work best. FWIW, my cookie file is about a year old and it’s still working. (Of course, now that I say that…)
I would be more than willing to use the built in HA device tracking, but their logic around “updates” is a bit odd. Seems like I have a choice of 1 min or 15 min.
I used to use an app ages ago (egigeozone) which had lots of options, like “stealing” gps updates from other apps when they requested a location (both still got it, but it could cut down on the number of gps location requests). I believe that app, or another would cut down or suspend updates as long as the phone showed no movement (like sitting on a table).
I don’t know if LIfe360 did similar things because it was all obfuscated away, but it had pretty good battery life. Not sure I want the HA app polling every minute and 15 minutes for location data is just kinda not worth it (to me).
Does anybody here have a link to a video on setting up Google maps for tracking on HA?
I don’t have a video, but I just went through the process again. This time I used Microsoft Edge & a different cookie extension (because that’s what I’ve been using recently.) The resulting cookie file appears to work, but I won’t know if it stops working in a short while like some people have experienced until I use it for a while. I’ll try to report back in a week or so.
Here is the procedure I used:
- Install Cookie-Editor (Cookie-Editor - Microsoft Edge Addons) in Microsoft Edge.
- Manage Extensions → Cookie-Editor details.
- Check “Allow in InPrivate”.
- Open Microsoft Edge InPrivate browser window.
- Browse to
- Sign in.
- Open Cookie-Editor extension in sidebar.
- Click on
__Secure-1PSIDto expand it.
- Click “Show Advanced”.
- Uncheck “HTTP Only”.
- Click the save button for that cookie.
- Repeat steps 9 - 11, but for
- Export to Netscape (which copies the cookies into the Windows clipboard.)
- Save clipboard contents to an appropriately named file (see HA Google Maps doc page) and place in HA’s config directory (typically
/config, but that depends on your HA install method.)
- Close InPrivate browser window.
- (Re)start HA.
EDIT: Updated per suggestions below.
EDIT 2: See slightly easier procedure using a different cookie extension in this post below.
Thanks for this. I think there might be a missing step after 10 where you need to press the Save button before exporting. I found that if I exported without the save then it didn’t actually remove HTTPOnly from the export for 1PSID. It did seem to be a little bit hit and miss though whether it exported correctly even after pressing Save. For anyone who is trying this, just make sure that you look at the text of the file that you create in step 12. Find the line containing _Secure-1PSID and make sure that the start of the line is .google.com and not #HttpOnly.google.com.
Ah, thanks! Yes, it wasn’t clear how this worked. I did hit that save button a few times, but I couldn’t correlate that to anything. Now it makes sense.
Well, then I would say you should hit save for both
__Secure-3PSID, because those are the cookies the locationsharinglib seems to care about.
I was able to create the Netscape cookie file. I pasted to a Word doc file what file extension do I need to save it as under /config
I’ve been thinking of a way to get around life360’s stupid new security protocols…
I think there might be a way but its like an Uber-kludge…
Essentially there is no real way to have one app read another push messages… but there is an API that allows you to transfer/foward these messages to bluetooth devices (e.g. Casio watch). So essentially the HA App would have to mask itself as a bluetooth entity and then messages would be forwarded to it. 2 big issues - A. such masking is a very non-trivial task - doable yes, but not simple. B. Of course Apple would never accept this in its App Store. so the app would only be available to iOS users who have a developer account or possibly as a beta for TestFlight (although Apple does check apps that are publicly available on TestFlight). Anyhow real long shot, but possible…
Yes, I had a problem first time and ended up repeating and removing HTTPOnly on both 1PSID and 3PSID and now it’s working.