Well, a couple of disclaimers first: 1) I’m very new to HA, and 2) I don’t “use” any of these attributes, other than to look at them. Oh, and 3) my answers tend to be a little long-winded!
You can, of course, use the attributes in automations and scripts just like you can use attributes of other entities. Nothing special here. Why would you use them? Check out @shaddow’s reply above for one idea. Or are you asking for a concrete YAML example (i.e., are you asking about the mechanics of actually using them)?
Regarding displaying/seeing them in the “frontend”, well, you can see them on the States page:
And you can see them in the entity:
Those are both stock HA things.
Regarding updates, this platform only supports polling. It periodically polls (based on the
interval_seconds you set in configuration.yaml) the Life360 server for the status of members. The data it gets back, besides the location and all those other attributes, includes a “last update” timestamp. This is when Life360 itself updated its own database as to the whereabouts of the member. My platform effectively updates HA when it sees a newer timestamp since the last time it polled.
BTW, if you set logging to the debug level, you can search the HA log to see the activity of this platform. You will see a “Checking members” message every
interval_seconds. Then, whenever a newer “last update” timestamp is retrieved from the server you will see an “Updating …” message. E.g.:
2018-05-09 11:35:52 DEBUG (Thread-11) [custom_components.device_tracker.life360] Checking members.
2018-05-09 11:36:03 DEBUG (Thread-8) [custom_components.device_tracker.life360] Checking members.
2018-05-09 11:36:04 DEBUG (Thread-8) [custom_components.device_tracker.life360] Updating phillip_bruckner. Time since last update: 0:13:47.
2018-05-09 11:36:14 DEBUG (Thread-16) [custom_components.device_tracker.life360] Checking members.
2018-05-09 11:36:25 DEBUG (Thread-4) [custom_components.device_tracker.life360] Checking members.
It’s kind of a neat way to see how often Life360 actually updates its information. FWIW, I’ve noticed, if you’re moving, the updates seem to come about every 45 seconds. But if you’re not moving, then the updates tend to be more in the 10 to 30 minutes range. I believe this is how they keep the information relatively accurate without draining your battery!
Anyway, I don’t use the Life360 check-in feature, but I suppose if you do, that will cause their database to be updated, and then the next time this platform polls it should see a new “last update” timestamp, and hence, update the corresponding device_tracker entity.