Getting started with August: The missing manual to the smart lock master

We guide you through what you'll need and what's on offer

August smart home essential guide

Our doors are getting smarter. No longer do you need to fumble around in pockets in search of the right key – now you’re able to pick up a smart lock, replace the inside end of your deadbolt and bring your door into 2018.

One of the biggest names in the space is August, now owned by Yale's parent company Assa Abloy. And while August's best play is still its smart door locks, it’s also getting into connected keypads and especially smart doorbells. And, as we’ll explore further down, its integrations are some of the strongest in the business.

So, once you’ve got the inevitable considerations out the way, such as making sure a lock is the right fit for your door and deciphering which features you prioritise, you can explore exactly what's on offer.

Below, we’ll guide you through everything August. Whether you’re just getting started and want to know exactly what August’s smart locks do, or you’re looking for more advanced details on the company’s wares, you’re in the right place – read on.


August: Getting started

Getting started with August: The missing manual to the smart lock master

The requirements – what you'll need

We’ve covered this more intensely through our roundup of the best smart locks, but it’s worth reiterating some of the basics you’ll need to have in place in order for an August lock or doorbell to work.

You are, unsurprisingly, going to have to be the owner of a door. But not just any old flimsy wooden rectangle. No, before you get started here, check that your door actually closes properly (especially if you live in an older house), otherwise this could cause problems further down the line.

That goes for all locks, to be honest, but here’s the August-specific info: the company’s devices work pretty much exclusively with single-cylinder deadbolts. Thankfully, if you’re in North America, thisis the most common lock standard, but it also means you’ll likely have to explore elsewhere if your door uses a mortice, rim cylinder or interconnected lock.

If you have a single-cylinder lock (as a refresher: these operate with a key on the outside and a thumb-turn on the inside — the deadbolt and handle are not connected in any way), you’re pretty much good to go. You won’t need a locksmith to completely replace your existing lock, with August’s locks retrofitting to your existing deadbolt, letting you keep existing keys and setting up in around 10-20 minutes. However, there are a few exceptions, and August has compiled an extensive list of which single-cylinder bolts its locks are compatible with.

If you have an existing Yale Assure lock, you're in luck as there's now a $129 Connected by August kit which will turn your Yale lock into an August smart lock (with auto unlock, voice controls etc) via a module for the lock, a DoorSense sensor and a Wi-Fi bridge. This is one of the first announcements since Yale's parent company Assa Abloy bought August last year.


The features – what it actually does

Getting started with August: The missing manual to the smart lock master

So, you have a door that’s compatible with August’s wares. But that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the right smart lock for you. Relatively speaking, the features packed inside the company’s devices are more extensive than its rivals, and while that’s great for some, others may find it a bit overwhelming.

The most obvious and important feature is how August controls your door. You can lock, unlock and monitor your door from anywhere through DoorSense, but Auto-Lock and Auto-Unlock are two clever staples of the August feature set.

Both rely on the Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and GPS in your phone talking to the August app, with your door status changing depending on your distance from the lock. Home mode is in place until you’re 200 yards away from your home, with the lock then settling into Away mode until you return to that 200m radius. And with this all being controlled through your smartphone, you can use it as a key if the automatic features don’t quite work.


August integrations

Getting started with August: The missing manual to the smart lock master

Unlike any other smart locks, August (and the Pro model, specifically) plays nicely with all three of the major AI assistants – Google Assistant, Alexa and Siri. That means you can unlock the door through spoken commands, plus support to Z-Wave Plus compatible security systems lets you connect with the likes of Nest, AirBnb and HomeAway.

Then there's August Access. Announced at this year's CES, it's August's in-home delivery service that's similar to Amazon Key. It lets couriers from retailers like Walmart get temporary access to your home, porch or garage, via a one-time PIN, to make deliveries and it's on an expanded trial run in the US.


August: Smart home devices

August Smart Lock Pro

Getting started with August: The missing manual to the smart lock master

From $229, august.com | Amazon

The big daddy of the August range, and one that lives up to the Pro name. With this smart lock, and the August Connect bridge ($79 individually, or coupled with the lock for $279), you’ll be able to control your lock from anywhere, know when it’s closed and locked, and keep track of when people come and go.

The automatic features discussed above are also involved, and you’ll even be able to send keyless access to family, friends and others. As we mentioned above, the Pro also works with Apple HomeKit/Siri, Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.

August Smart Lock

Getting started with August: The missing manual to the smart lock master

From $149, august.com | Amazon

The older of the two locks from August, the smart features here are stripped back slightly with a cheaper price to reflect that. You’ll still get the likes of Auto-Unlock and Auto-Lock, DoorSense and the ability to use your phone as a key (as well as your regular key, since this installs separately), but the integrations with smart assistants are more limited, requiring the Connect bridge for Alexa, Siri and Google Assistant. Unlike the Pro model, Z-Wave Plus support is absent.

Yale Assure Lock SL - Connected by August

Getting started with August: The missing manual to the smart lock master

$299, yalehome.com | Amazon

Yale has taken its popular Assure SL Lock and brought August powers to it. It's completely touchscreen and app controlled. There are no keys or nobs or switches here. It's got Yale's lock prowess with August's smarts on top of it.

That means it will auto-unlock and auto-lock as you approach or leave the door. You can also control the lock via the August app and see who is coming and going. Guest keys are also available, natch. Best of all, you can use Alexa, Google Assitant and Siri to lock, unlock and even just check on the status of your door.

Yale Assure Lock Touchscreen - Connected by August

Getting started with August: The missing manual to the smart lock master

$279, yalehome.com | Amazon

This slightly cheaper and bulkier model in Yale's new Connected by August series comes with a traditional key lock below its touchscreen keypad. Slightly less futuristic feeling, but it still has plenty of the smart features you expect. It will automatically unlock when you get home and lock when you're away, and you can keep track of who comes and goes with the companion August app.

And yes, you can still control it via Alexa, Google Assistant or Siri. The battery should last for about a year, too. Of course, if you don't want to use old fashioned keys, you can simply type in your code on the keypad.

August Doorbell Cam Pro 2

Getting started with August: The missing manual to the smart lock master

$199, august.com | Amazon

You thought it was all about locks, didn't you? With the second-gen Doorbell Pro, you’ll be able to get live alerts whenever anybody approaches, and August’s free Basic Video Recording subscription lets you replay any video from the last 24 hours. HindSight will also record the moments up to a motion alert, which you can also replay in the last 24 hours.

Really, though, this is at its best when paired with the August Smart Lock, allowing you to open the door to visitors or have two-way interactions through a smartphone, thanks to the 1080p video recording. This is also possible at night, thanks to the built-in floodlight, which enables full color HD video in the dark. Groovy.

August Smart Keypad

Getting started with August: The missing manual to the smart lock master

$59, august.com | Amazon

Great for anybody who doesn’t feel comfortable with leaving keys under the mat, the Smart Keypad lets you generate unique codes for yourself, guests, housekeeper or others to access your home. Temporary entry codes can allow access for a specified number of days (great if you’re renting out your place) or recurring codes to allow access for a specific time each week. As you might guess, it’s compatible with both August door locks, too.



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