Product Review – August Smart Lock

We purchased an August Smart Lock earlier this year from the Apple Store in the Domain in Austin, Texas. I presented a brief review of this product earlier this month at the CapMac meeting in Austin.

The Smart Lock is a lock that can be added to an existing door which works with your Android or iOS phone to unlock the deadbolt on your door. It is very easy to install if you already have a deadbolt on your door, though it is not compatible with all deadbolts. All that is needed is a screwdriver to remove the inside cover for the deadbolt and install the needed hardware.

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The lock itself looks like a thick, silver hockey puck. It clips onto the door using the hardware you have installed. Once the lock is assembled the lock is operated manually by rotating the silver cylinder. Turn it clockwise to lock and counter-clockwise to unlock. The exterior of your door remains unchanged after installation of the lock. You can still use your regular key to both lock and unlock the door from outside.

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With the lock installed you just download the August iPhone App to your phone, then pair it with the lock. With that configured, you can tell the state of the lock and actuate it from your iPhone. The App will support multiple Smart Locks. In my case both my wife and I have iPhones and can then manage our lock from either of them. Touching the red circle in the App will unlock the Smart Lock and will turn the circle green. Touching the green circle will cause the Smart Lock to lock. You can share access to others if they have the August App installed on their phone, either on a permanent basis or temporarily.

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The August App also installs onto an Apple Watch allowing you to lock and unlock the door from it as well, providing your iPhone is within range. The Auto Lock feature can be enabled through the App Settings to automatically lock the door after a set amount of time. The Auto Unlock feature will sense you nearing the door and will automatically unlock it. This is a “Beta” feature and while it works most of the time, we have experienced some problems. My wife’s iPhone 6 seems more reliable than my iPhone for some reason when it comes to the Auto Unlock feature.

On the whole we are pleased with the August Smart Lock, though we hope that future device firmware and App updates will improve the Auto Unlock feature.

Features

  • Lock can be operated by iPhone or Apple Watch
  • Option to enable Auto Lock
  • Option to enable Auto Unlock


Pros

  • Easy to install
  • iPhone and Apple Watch Apps work well
  • It is also supposed to work with Android phones
  • Works well from multiple iPhones
  • Auto Lock works reliably
  • Existing keys still lock/unlock the door


Cons

  • $250 at Apple, $229 at Amazon
  • “Beta” Auto Unlock works intermittently
  • Lock takes at least 30 seconds to sense the iPhone presence
    once you pull up in the driveway

See my other iOS articles


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