SecuritySpy iOS App Notifications and Preview Image to Apple Watch
  • Hello, All. Over the years I've used many iOS apps to interact with SecuritySpy and they've been great. But I have to say, I'm really enjoying the native SecuritySpy iOS app. It's well designed, easy to use, and reliable. Many clients need to prescreen an entry gate call prior to admission- in other words we need to automatically send them an image of who is at the gate before the phone rings.

    A specific challenge: an arriving guest presses a call button on the gate access system and a phone call is placed to the residence. Admission is granted when the host answers the call and presses the 9 key. Many clients want these calls sent to their iPhone. On a locked iPhone, when a call comes in, you can either unlock the phone, which answers the call, or send the call to voicemail. You can't unlock the phone, open iOS SecuritySpy to make an admittance decision, then answer the call. Earlier I had macOS SecuritySpy send email or text messages on motion events, but the automated iOS notifications in response to motion are fast and direct.

    On my test system, I enabled iOS notifications for the gate camera, and I'm getting reliable messages on both iPhone and Apple Watch 4 as visitors approach.

    I've searched here for an explanation, but hadn't found it yet. In about half a dozen instances, the motion notification on my Watch included a still image from the gate camera. In between these episodes I don't think I changed any settings. I thought it might have to do with whether the iPhone was locked or unlocked at the moment the notification arrived but so far I haven't seen consistent behavior with that, either. I don't know whether links to images are welcome in this forum, but here's what I'm talking about: 2019-02-21 08.08.23.png?dl=0

    Is there a way to always get motion triggered SS notifications with an attached preview image delivered to iPhone and Watch?
  • With our app and an Apple Watch, you should get a notification with an image on both the phone and the watch. Are you saying that sometimes, the notifications are appearing on the phone but not on the watch? Or that the notifications are appearing on both but there is an image on the phone but not the watch?

    When the phone receives the notification, it has to then make a connection to the SecuritySpy server to obtain the preview image. If there is a temporary problem with the Internet connection to the phone at that time, then the notification image won't be received and the notification will be displayed without the image. We have chosen quite a short timeout for this connection, so as not to delay the notification too much if the preview image can't be obtained immediately.
  • Greetings and thank you for this feedback. I'm getting a clearer understanding of how the notifications flow works.

    I'm just becoming familiar with SS Notifications and settings. To answer your question, I have seldom looked at my iPhone as it's so often locked in my pocket but I am receiving reliable notifications on my Watch. 95% of the time the SS notification on the Watch is a banner with words but a handful of times I received a preview image on the Watch.

    I've adjusted the iPhone Notification Settings to Always and the Notifications>SecuritySpy settings to include Lock Screen, Banner style to Persistent, and Show Previews to Always. In the Watch app on iPhone I have SS Notifications to mirror iPhone alerts. I'm still very interested in this topic and I'll followup again here when I have additional reliable experiences to share.
  • Sorry to resurrect an old thread, but recently I've found the image on the watch to be intermittent, whereas it used to be very reliable.

    I'm not sure what triggered it, but I *think* it was iOS 13 and / or WatchOS 6. I messed around with quite a lot (new phone, then decided to return it so back to old phone, then a different new phone and finally a new watch). My wife is still using exactly the same hardware however, other than upgrading to the latest iOS and WatchOS versions.

    Weirdly my wife had stopped getting any notifications at all after she upgraded, but we just sorted that out by turning them off and back on again in the iPhone settings.

    So as of now the notification comes through to the watch every time, but I'd say I get an image on my watch less than half the time and the rest just the text. I seem to get the image on the phone every time. My wife's very limited testing now she's getting notifications again suggests it's the same for her.

    Both of us had images very reliably on iPhone X with iOS12 and Series 4 with WatchOS 5. She is on the same hardware as before with iOS 13.1.3 and WatchOS 6.0.1, I am on the same software versions but with 11 Pro and Series 5. I'm not sure how to check what version of SS we have on our phones, but in both cases we're not being offered a newer one through updates, so I assume the latest.
  • I’ve seen similar issues.
    On my iPad running v13.1.3 I get instant feedback with the image.
    On my iPhone 11 running v13.1.3 it is noticeably slower and no image, unless I put on a VPN or use 4g then it’s good again! Can you offer any suggestions where I can look? I have deleted and reinstalled the app...
  • Further to this I have tried an older iPhone 7 on latest IOS, loaded the app cleanly and that isn’t working properly either, exactly the same as the iPhone 11.
  • I think the problem I'm having is eerily related to your problem:

    Basically, notifications on home wifi = slow and no snapshot


    notifications on LTE = instantaneous and always includes a snapshot

    I'm referring to notifications on my phone, not Apple Watch
  • Hello, everyone, I'm the OP, I'd meant to come back around to this topic. I had similar experiences, essentially I wouldn't get thumbnail attachments on the notifications at home (commercial broadband provider modem) but they came through on LTE (mobile data). I'd experienced similar challenges for years and came across a router functionality called NAT Loopback. Here is Netgear's explanation: "NAT loopback is a feature which allows the access of a service via the WAN IP address from within your local network. ... However, if you required internal users to access this web server using the same public IP address instead its local IP address, your router needs to support NAT loopback."

    What I found was my ISP's router did not support NAT Loopback. So I replaced the router (now using a UniFI USG 3P) and suddenly the notifications and thumbnails starting coming in to my Watch instantly and with no further adjustments to SS. Ben and other network experts will know if there are other ways to get around this other than replacing a router.

    Moreover, here's a short video to make sure you are interacting appropriately with the Notification at your Watch. In my case I get a banner notification on my Watch saying an event occurred. The gist is: I need to tap that notification to see the photo thumbnail. I apologize for the poor out of frame quality of the video but it should give you the idea.

    BTW, my SS notifications are coming in beautifully, spontaneously, and are super helpful. I'm running SS on macOS 10.14.6 (but will soon test it on Catalina.) iPhone 11 Pro Max iOS 13.1.3, Watch Gen 4 watchOS 6.0.1

    What do you think?

    Short demo video on interacting with SS Notification on Apple Watch
  • That's helpful information - my new router has that loopback setting...I saw it when I was looking around the configuration page the other day

    I will enable it when I get home and see if that does the trick
  • Just enabled NAT loopback on my new router (Araknis 310) and no luck for me...notifications are still delayed and lacking snapshots when on the home network

    I made sure to restart my Mac which, in turn, also restarts SS, but still didn't work
  • You restarted everything, right, modem, router, computer, iPhone, Watch, toggled Notifications in the SS iOS app off and on, etc.? I’m using the service. In the iOS SS app on your iPhone, when you click and hold on the web server name do you see .local and addresses and port #?
  • Thats not the issue (at least not for me) and pinkoos's problem sounds like its the same issue.
    I tracked down (and reported) the NAT loopback issue on here a number of months ago that did fix my initial issue, but this is new since I upgraded either or both the IOS and SS software. The NAT issue also cannot explain why my iPAD sat next to the iPhone on the same wifi works perfectly, NAT loopback will affect the whole network.
  • I did not restart the modem or hard restart the router

    Yes, I see the addresses and ports when tapping and holding in the iOS app (BTW, I didn't know about that)

    I have a feeling there's a bug or incompatibility with the new SS software and iOS 13 and/or Catalina
  • We've got two threads abut this, so more details in the other one, but just for completeness, in my case at least it was the connection using HTTPS that was causing the issue, switch to HTTP and it all works perfectly.
  • For anyone discussing problems with notifications that aren't related to the Apple Watch, please head over to the other discussion topic that is currently active: Notifications on home wifi vs LTE Issues - delay and no snapshot when on home wifi.
  • Thanks for the comprehensive update OP, but that isn't my issue (I've actually been running a Unifi USG 3P for 18 months or so.

    Also when it used to work my interaction on the watch was different; I used to get the image immediately without touching the watch if I raised wrist when I felt the tap - I only had to interact if I got more than one notification of motion detected in quick succession. I don't get any image on the watch now no matter what I do (yes; it's worsened to the point I don't think I have had a single image on the watch since my first post in this thread).

    It's interesting to see that everything works for some people with the same software versions but it isn't just me with the problem either.

    I'm running SS 5.0.1 on Mojave 10.14.6. I'm not looking to go Catalina for a while on the dedicated SS Mac mini especially after reading on 9to5Mac of some 2012-2015 era Macs being bricked by the Catalina upgrade and Apple (at least initially) charging for system board replacement repairs to fix them.
  • All fixed for me in iOS 13.2

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