The iCloud3 device tracker custom component is a major advancement over the iCloud component that is part of Home Assistant. It monitors the iOS App for location information and zone changes, uses the Waze route tracker for travel times, supports multiple zones, works with the Family Sharing and Find-my-Friends iCloud Location Services tracking methods, solves the false zone exits caused by gps wandering problem and much more.
Review the changes and features below and the extensive documentation to see how iCloud3 can be used to monitor your devices and provide you with presence detection that is accurate, responsive and timely.
iCloud3 v2.3 is a significant enhancement to iCloud3. It’s major enhancements include:
Support for Apple’s 2-factor authentication trusted device verification. This is the real verification process, the one you are familiar and used by other 2fa apps, web sites and browsers. It replaces the 2-step verification method you have ben using for years.
You will be asked to reauthenticate your Apple account when you install this update. Use the HA Notification center to open the Verification ID entry window. Enter the 6-digit number from the Apple ID Verification window on your phone or other device.
The iCloud Location Services tracking methods (Find-my-Friends and Family Sharing) have been combined and the most efficient method is assigned by iCloud3 on a per-device basis. iCloud3 analyzes how your devices are configured and determines the one to use that will minimize the number of locations requests. This reduces the lag time between the request and the response and helps lower the number of old locations received.
The configuration parameters for defining devices has changed to provide for future device specifications and to conform to HA’s methods of configuring devices. The old track_devices still works but is being depreciated.
Updated the handling of the config_ic3.yaml iCloud3 configuration file.
A new configuration parameters for displaying zones on the Event Log.
And some bug fixes.
And some other things.
- Download iCloud3 using HACS – Open HACS, search for iCloud3, select Install and restart HA. The Quick Start Guide leads you through the steps needed to begin using iCloud3 to track your devices.
- Extensive documentation with with examples of presence detection, including sample configuration files can be found here
- The iCloud3 GitHub Repository is here
Description and Features
iCloud3 is a device_tracker custom_component for iPhones, iPads and iWatches. It is tightly integrated with the HA IOS App, uses the Waze Route Tracker for distance and time information, creates Dynamic Stationary Zones when you are stationary, supports device include/exclude filters, minimizes battery usage, and much more.
iCloud3 is a Home Assistant device tracker custom component that greatly expands the capabilities of the HA iCloud integration. It exposes many new attributes, provides many new features, is based on enhanced route tracking methods, is much more accurate, and includes additional service calls.
Some of these features include:
- A variable polling interval based on the Waze route mapping service (drive time and distance rather than just a calculated straight line distance).
- Immediate zone changes (enter/exit) and location changes triggered by the iOS App.
- An Event Log that highlights startup events, tracking events, errors, alerts and statistics and provides an Actions pulldown command window to Restart iCloud3, pause and resume polling, show tracking monitors and more…
- Sensor templates that are used in automations, in scripts and on Lovelace cards are created and updated automatically.
- GPS wandering that changes the device’s state from home to not_home randomly is eliminated.
- Ability to track your location from multiple zones.
- Short 15-second polling when less than 1 mi/km from home (reliably trigger automations based on an accurate distance).
- Ability to include or exclude devices or device types (filters for devices you want to track).
- Stationary Zones that help reduce polling and conserve battery life when you have not moved for a while…
- Old location data and GPS accuracy are automatically discarded.
- Additional service call commands (setting intervals, pausing and resuming polling, zone assignment, etc.)
- No longer need any other program (other than the HA iOS or app) to handle device tracking and presence detection (no more Nmap, OwnTracks or router based tracking components).
- Many new configuration variables attributes, sensors and Service Calls.
- And more…
Gary Cobb, aka GeeksterGary
Edited January, 2021