The August Smart Lock - dummies

By Dwight Spivey

While August has been around for only a short time (just a few months at the time of this writing), the company’s Smart Lock is a nifty piece of engineering, and is a welcome addition to any smart home automation setup.

[Credit: Image courtesy of August.]
Credit: Image courtesy of August.

The August Smart Lock lets you unlock or lock your deadbolt with your iOS or Android smartphone. You can either manually use the August app on your smartphone to control the lock, or you can program it to automatically unlock when you (and your phone) are within a certain range of the deadbolt.

The August app and the August website allow you to change codes for your lock, and to also invite others to use your lock by sending them their own codes. You can use this feature in a variety of ways:

  • Give your housekeeper a key that only works during certain hours of the day, and adjust the hours if you need to.

  • Create individual keys for each family member so that you know who’s coming and going.

  • Allow your trusted neighbors to have a temporary key while you’re away, say, on vacation or a business trip. Don’t worry; you’ll be notified the moment anyone enters the house using the key, so you can keep tabs on who’s in the house and when.

Those are just a few examples, but you get the idea.

The August Smart Lock works with Bluetooth, so you won’t have to worry about wiring the new lock or whether electrical outages will be a problem. The only downside to that is you have to leave Bluetooth running on your smartphone, which could diminish its battery life. It’s fairly simple to turn Bluetooth on and off on most smart devices, but who wants the hassle? Just leave it on and deal with having to recharge more often.

The encryption August uses in its locks and key codes is the same stuff used by banks to secure online banking transactions. I’d say that’s pretty safe, wouldn’t you? Nothing’s foolproof, of course, but neither is your current deadbolt.

Here’s the genius of the August Smart Lock, though: It replaces the interior portion of your currently installed deadbolt. Nothing changes on the outside of your door, and you can still manually open the door from the inside by simply turning the outer rim of the Smart Lock, just like you would a door knob.

[Credit: Image courtesy of August.]
Credit: Image courtesy of August.

Installation is simple and only takes about 15 minutes per lock. The Smart Lock even comes with three different adapters and three different mounting plates to ensure a proper fit to your current hardware. The folks at August have really thought this thing through.

The process of setting up an account involves several steps, which include verifying your identity through both text message and email, but as August explains on its support site, the goal is to make sure you are safe and secure with your purchase. A few extra steps to ensure your family’s safety? Sounds pretty good.

If you want to take a look at the lock in a retail setting, cruise on over to your local Apple Store, where you’ll find an August Smart Lock sitting on a shelf.

At the time of this writing, August isn’t able to function remotely using third-party home automation systems, but the company is planning to unveil that feature in the future. For now, all updates to the lock’s software must be done through the app with the phone in close proximity. That really is my only beef with the August Smart Lock, and it won’t be a problem for long, it seems.

Curious about whether your iOS or Android device (yes, iPads are supported after initial setup, but no Android tablets are listed) will work with your new August lock?

Use your smartphone’s security features, such as a passcode or fingerprint recognition, to protect your phone and your home in case your smartphone is lost or stolen. In the event that this does happen, you can also log in to your account and change the codes to your lock.