August on Friday announced a surprise halt to sales of its iPhone-connected, battery-powered View doorbell, saying it will return sometime "in the near future" after connectivity problems are solved.
CEO Jason Johnson acknowledged "performance challenges in specific user environments," and promised August would analyze both feedback and internal testing. Customers can return a View for a full refund, or through May 3, optionally keep the doorbell and still get a refund by agreeing to help with testing.
Owners and reviewers alike have complained about streaming issues or long app connection delays. CNET, for example, said it typically encountered a 15-second wait. That may only be an annoyance when dealing with guests and delivery people, but potentially serious when trying to catch thieves and vandals.
Unaffected are August's prior Doorbell Cam and Doorbell Cam Pro. Those products are no longer on sale however, and rely on a home's own wiring for power — the View is easier to install, even if it has to be recharged.
During March's SXSW festival August said it doesn't expect to bring HomeKit to its doorbells anytime soon, even if it remains a "possibility" and the company is continuing to "explore integration opportunities" with Apple. The problem is that the Home app doesn't offer seamless doorbell/lock integration, August said, and HomeKit is simply harder to develop for than platforms like Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.