Review: Yale Assure Lever brings HomeKit to all door locks
The Yale Assure Lever is the first smart lock to support HomeKit on non-deadbolt doors, finally brining Apple's smart home platform to garages, sheds, basements, offices, and much more. We hooked one up in our own studio to test it out.
Yale Assure Lever we first demoed earlier this year at CES 2019. We were excited by the prospect of HomeKit expanding into more areas of the home and not being limited to just the front door.
The Assure Lever Lock is a well-designed device that will fit into many homes aesthetic, whether used on an interior door, to a garage, or external shed. There are two models available each with the option of the dark and light finishes, for a total of four versions. Any of the locks can be picked up with physical rubberized buttons or a touchscreen, depending on preference.
Ours is the lighter satin nickel finish with the touchscreen in place of a keyhole. It runs off of batteries so the house power going out won't prevent the lock from functioning.
If the batteries in the door lock do in fact die and you need to get in, there are two metal contacts on the front that will allow the lock to be momentarily powered up with a simple 9V battery touched to the contacts from the outside — but you'll still need access permissions either on the touch pad or from your iPhone.
The touchscreen is used to enter a PIN, and the inside has additional components such as the battery housing and where the module is installed. There is also the usual twist lock on the back of the handle, like any non-smart lever door lock.
Installation and setup
The August app has a walkthrough installation video. Use that instead of the written instructions.
There are quite a few steps to install the lock, but none of them are difficult to anybody with a modicum of do-it-yourself experience. It will fit any interior door that has a single hole so no additional drilling will be necessary.
First, the August app must be downloaded and the processes started in-app. Then the sensors should be installed, the lock installed, the Connect Wi-Fi brick plugged into the wall, and the module registered. It does take a few minutes, but luckily, as with all the other August products we've used, we had no hiccups along the way.
An Apple-friendly interior smart lock
The most headline-worthy feature of the Assure Lever Lock is that it is the first such lock to support Apple's HomeKit smart home technology — at least with the correct module installed.
Like many Yale locks, there are different "Smart Modules" that can be installed the bring different features. If your home is primarily automated over Z-Wave, use the Z-Wave Plus Yale Smart Module. Or, swap it out for the Connected by August module which brings HomeKit support.
The model we picked up comes with the Connected by August HomeKit module right out of the gate. Aside from HomeKit, that module also ensures this can support Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant as well, all over Wi-Fi.
HomeKit's inclusion also brings all the other benefits it affords. It can be included in scenes, automated on a schedule, triggered with other accessories, and controlled via Siri.
With an interior lock, there are many different automations one may want to employ, aside from manually locking/unlocking in different situations. For instance, a motion sensor near the room could trigger the lock to engage whenever you aren't home.
The lock could also engage whenever you leave the home, as defined by a geofenced limit. Or, it can toggle something else in the house whenever you lock or unlock the front door. There is a lot that can be done with a little imagination.
Connected by August
We wanted to dive a bit more into the Connected by August experience, aside from the HomeKit functionality. There are certainly going to be those who aren't using HomeKit and may be happy solely using the August app. Even if you do use HomeKit, there are still times the August app will be used.
August, was one of the early smart lock companies that excelled before being picked up by Yale's parent company Assa Abloy. Now we've seen August release new products as well as have their tech integrated into various other accessories — such as the Assure Lever Lock.
With August, not only do you get the HomeKit, Alexa, and Assistant support we mentioned, but much more. The Connect Wi-Fi wall plug brings remote support to control and check the status of the lock in the August app.
It also affords users the ability to have the device automatically lock itself and unlock as you arrive.
Instead of relying on HomeKit to add users, guests and family can be invited in the August app to control the lock. Then a history of all usage is kept within the August app. Keys can be permanent or can be restricted to a length of time or certain hours.
If outside, it can be connected to the August Doorbell cam so when a ring is answered in the August app, the door can be unlocked if needed.
Protect your home
The Yale Assure Lever lock is an easy to use, versatile, well-connected smart lock that plays with Apple's smart home platform as well as many others. It looks stylish and works reliably. The inclusion of the Wi-Fi Connect module and Door Sense open detector makes it a complete package for a wide swath of situations.