How does mobile phone location work without a HA cloud subscription?

Hi everyone,

I just purchased a HA Green and I’m in the early stages of setting it up.

I haven’t signed up for a HA Cloud account yet. But in the meantime, I’m pondering how mobile phone location works without an account. I’m guessing it really doesn’t?

So after coming home and logging into the home account, it will register the mobile device is at home. But absent that, HA won’t know where it is at all, correct?

If you use the companion app, mobile phone location is provided to HA without needing a cloud account.

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Your sever only needs to reach the Internet from the inside of your network. If you don’t block outbound connections, push notifications will work independently of whether your server is reachable (inbound) from the Internet. Push notifications go via a third-party system that then pushes it to Apple. Apple then delivers the push notification to your device, if/when it’s reachable.

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Thanks for the replies.

I am on an Android phone, and there are privacy options for location permissions for any app.

Do I need to give the HA app location permission for “always,” or will it still work okay if location permision is set to 'only when the app is running."

According to the Documentation, yes. Location | Home Assistant Companion Docs

Thanks all for the guidance.

So I constructed a couple of automations to test out the localization.

The first is a simple notification for when I/my cell phone enters the home zone.

The second is the opposite, a phone notification when I leave the home zone.

I manually triggered both to make sure the phone app shows the notification. It does.

However, I haven’t had it work as I think it would though. After leaving and/or coming home, there are no notifications.

Am I missing anything simple?

Is your HA server accessible over the Internet. If not, your phone cannot send an updated location. If you don’t want to expose it, you need to use other ways such as a network device tracker.

Ahh, I thought as much. Previously it was explained that the HA companion app would be able to accomplish this without HA Cloud. Maybe there was the assumption I had opened up my fledgling HA server to the internet in some other way via VPN. I have not yet.

I see how without remote cell phone<–>HA server access this is not possible.

EDIT: Activated the HA cloud trial and it started working as intended.