Review: August Smart Lock

Released two years ago, the original August Smart Lock was a revolutionary device allowing you to automatically lock and unlock doors. After Apple introduced HomeKit, it was expected from the August Smart Lock to adopt this new technology, which finally happened. Since HomeKit enables numerous innovative and easy-to-control home automation options, I was very interested in what the new August Smart Lock can offer. Continue reading to learn more.

 

August Smart Lock

 

The August Smart Lock is a HomeKit enabled second-generation lock that comes with a modern design and several new features. The $250 asking price places this product on the more expensive end, but it also brings a couple of highly useful features that you won’t find any similar smart lock.

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You can find several HomeKit-enabled smart locks on the market, but this one is quite different. August actually relies on your existing components for the locking hardware, and simply adds the electronics that are enabling your lock to work digitally.

 

Installation: Hardware

 

The August Smart Lock is designed to replace the thumb latch used to lock/unlock your deadbolt, which allows for much simpler installation. You will receive very detailed instructions on how to install this unit, so you shouldn’t be afraid of the process of installation. Even inexperienced users will find this process to be quite simple, which shouldn’t take more than 15 minutes of your time.

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The installation requires you to take off the thumb turn and use your lock’s existing screws to attach this smart lock. In order to hang the August itself on the mounting plate, you will have to lift two little “wings”, position the lock on the plate, and push those wings to hold the lock in place. Even though the August is designed to be compatible with more than one hundred different types of thumb turns, my suggestion is to take a look at the company’s official website, where you’ll find the full list of supported hardware.

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This device comes with the main locking unit with a circular design, a single mounting plate, and three adapters to fit the majority of deadbolt tailpiece styles. In addition, it runs on four AA batteries and relies on Bluetooth for communication with devices (iOS and Android as well). It works with iOS 7 and newer devices, which means that it works with the iPhone 4S and newer devices.

 

Installation: Software

 

Once the lock is in its place, you need to download and launch the August Home application on your iOS device. This will take you to the process of setting up a new August account (which is a requirement) as well as pairing the unit with your phone for HomeKit use. Upon setting up a new account, you will get to manage your own keychain.

 

Functionality

 

Once fully configured, this smart lock can be used with standard Siri controls for locking, unlocking, and checking the status of the door. As expected, these commands and instructions need to be issued with an additional layer of authentication, which can be an unlocked iPhone, a Siri request that’s authenticated with Touch ID or using an Apple Watch with Wrist Detection enabled.

What is important to be said is that the August Smart Lock is the first fully functional system thanks to two features. First one is the ability to create virtual keys with other members of your household or with guests. You will be able to check a detailed report on the device’s activity, as well as instruct different keys how to behave or to time-limit them.

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Furthermore, you can set up the unit to automatically unlock the door when you’re near your home. This works thanks to geolocation fencing and works actually quite well. This eliminates the need to fumble for keys or to reach for your iPhone in order to tell Siri to unlock your door.

The auto-unlocking is perhaps the most interesting feature of this smart lock. You should know that this feature only works with iOS devices, so in case you have an Android device, you shouldn’t count on it. The company says that it’s working on offering auto-unlocking to Android users by the end of this year.

There is also another similar feature, called the Everlock. This feature instructs the August Smart Lock to lock itself automatically 30 seconds after you’ve opened it. This is a good security measure. Furthermore, the company says that we can expand this feature to be expanded soon by allowing us to customize the timing.

 

Connectivity

 

Since this device is relying on Bluetooth for connectivity, this means that you’ll have to bridge the device to your home Wi-Fi network to control it from afar. The only way to do this at this point is by purchasing the company’s Connect Wi-Fi, priced at $50.

The August Connect plugs directly into a wall outlet, and you must position it within 30 feet from the lock. The official iOS application is needed to create a connection between the two devices. You will have to find the “Wi-Fi Settings” option on your lock’s settings menu, where you will encounter a short brief prompt to map it to your wireless connection. Once you’ve done this, you will be able to use the smart lock from anywhere you can get online.

 

Conclusion

 

The August Smart Lock shows how mature the HomeKit is, as well as its possible uses. This device is not just a gimmick, but can instead help you in your everyday life. It is pricey, but I think this smart lock is worth the price. From the ability to add electronic keys to the reliable auto-unlock feature, this smart lock can really make a difference. The only obstacle at this point is its asking price of $250, but this could be seen as a smart investment.

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