Yale Assure Lock Connected by August
An essential aspect of my smart home is door locks. A few years ago, there were very few choices when it came to locks that supported Apple HomeKit.
I've been using 2nd generation August locks for the past few years. August locks look nice and are easy to retrofit into an existing deadbolt. I have two of them in my home.
The August locks require two accessories 1) a digital keypad and 2) connect module so that you can access your lock via Alexa and their iOS app when you are away from home.
The issue is that I would rate the reliability of the keypad as very poor. It would work about 60% of the time. That makes it pretty darned useless, and something you cannot assume will work reliably. In addition to this annoyance - the remote capabilities were poorly integrated into the August iOS app. Finally, these locks burned through batteries.
So when my friend Mike told me about the new Yale locks that are connected by August, I had to give it a try.
The Yale locks are mostly a full replacement scenario. You replace your entire deadbolt with this new one. Yale is now the parent company of August, and there is a little electronic module that the lock comes with that integrates the Yale hardware with the August brains.
Since I was replacing the whole lock, I needed to get the deadbolts "keyed" or matched to my existing keys. If you know a thing about locks, then you know there are two types of keys out there. 1) Those compatible with Quickset keys and those compatible with Schlage. If you have a lock system consistent with one or the other, you can use the same key for all the locks in your house. In my case, I have Schlage keys (actually Baldwin, which is compatible and use brass keys that feel much more substantial). Thankfully Yale makes a kit (part number AYRD200-SCKD-26) that you can use to swap the Quickset key tumbler to a Schlage tumbler. This allowed me to take my deadbolt down to the local locksmith to have them keyed to my existing keys.
Once that was out of the way, I installed each lock. Total installation time was approximately 60 minutes per lock.
So how has it been?
Fantastic. These locks are much more reliable than the previous locks. The keypad is built into the lock and as such, shares power with the locking mechanism.
I've had these locks installed for a few weeks, and their reliability has been 100%. Everyone in the family has a key code and have not reported any problems.
Also, the remote capabilities of this lock work much better in the August app. It's a bit ironic to me that these Yale locks are superior to August's own hardware and software.
There are two models of locks. One with a traditional key (YRD226-CBA-619) and one without any key (YRD256-CBA-619) at all. If you want maximal security get the one without the key.
It’s really important that you get the one that says “Assure Connected by August” as that works with HomeKit, Alexa, Google Home and so on. The others do not.