Review: Yale Assure Lever brings HomeKit to all door locks

Posted:
in General Discussion edited August 5
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.

Unlocking the Assure Lever with the August app
Unlocking the Assure Lever with the August app


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.




Design

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.

Yale Assure Lever lock
Yale Assure Lever lock comes in light and dark finishes


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.

A 9V battery can power the lock when the batteries die
A 9V battery can power the lock when the batteries die


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.

All of the parts for installing the Yale Assure Lever lock
All of the parts for installing the Yale Assure Lever lock


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.

Installing the Connected by August module
Installing the Connected by August module


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.

Assure Lever lock works with HomeKit
Assure Lever lock works with HomeKit


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.

Using Siri to unlock the Yale Assure Lever lock
Using Siri to unlock the Yale Assure Lever lock


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.

August settings for the Yale Assure Lever lock
August settings for the Yale Assure Lever lock


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

Yale Assure Lever lock box
Yale Assure Lever lock box


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.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Where to buy

The Yale Assure Lever lock is available in multiple finishes as well as button or touchscreen versions right now on Amazon. No module and Z-Wave module kits are also available between $217 and $279.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 18
    I’m curious to know if it can be integrated into a Shortcut in iOS 13. That would be particularly useful for our household where we already use Shortcuts and Siri to arm/disarm our alarm system. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 18
    mwhitemwhite Posts: 209member
    Can it work on our 47 year old mobile home?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 18
    mwhite said:
    Can it work on our 47 year old mobile home?
    If it has doors :) 

    Be aware that older homes use a smaller hole for locks. Our (mid-1940's) home has much smaller door holes that need to be enlarged to work with newer locks, including these Yale locks. 
    GeorgeBMacRayz2016watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 18
    sandorsandor Posts: 556member
    mwhite said:
    Can it work on our 47 year old mobile home?
    as long as you have a standard backset & door width. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 18
    Batteries where traditionally no battery is required (pure mechanical solution) is a problem for me.
    I hope future versions will have some sort of a solar sell or integrated charger (hook up to usb) because with all these smart solutions charging becomes a full time job. 
    lolliverGeorgeBMac
  • Reply 6 of 18
    Batteries where traditionally no battery is required (pure mechanical solution) is a problem for me.
    I hope future versions will have some sort of a solar sell or integrated charger (hook up to usb) because with all these smart solutions charging becomes a full time job. 
    I bought the z-wave version of this for our home and opted for a model with a key that can be used as a backup. I don't like the idea of not being able to get in to my house because the batteries have died, or because the mechanism fails...
    GeorgeBMac
  • Reply 7 of 18
    Batteries where traditionally no battery is required (pure mechanical solution) is a problem for me.
    I hope future versions will have some sort of a solar sell or integrated charger (hook up to usb) because with all these smart solutions charging becomes a full time job. 
    I bought the z-wave version of this for our home and opted for a model with a key that can be used as a backup. I don't like the idea of not being able to get in to my house because the batteries have died, or because the mechanism fails...
    There is a way around dead batteries by allowing you to use a 9-volt battery jumped across outside facing terminals. I guess you’re need to have a charged up 9-volt stashed away somewhere nearby. 
    GeorgeBMaclibertyforallwatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 18
    mknelsonmknelson Posts: 369member
    I take it the 9V Wgkrueger said:
    There is a way around dead batteries by allowing you to use a 9-volt battery jumped across outside facing terminals. I guess you’re need to have a charged up 9-volt stashed away somewhere nearby. 
    I've been watching too much of the Lock Picking Lawyer on Youtube. I was looking at that as a potential sabotage point. 12V anyone?

    It must be on the inside only from the looks of things.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 18
    Batteries where traditionally no battery is required (pure mechanical solution) is a problem for me.
    I hope future versions will have some sort of a solar sell or integrated charger (hook up to usb) because with all these smart solutions charging becomes a full time job. 
    I bought the z-wave version of this for our home and opted for a model with a key that can be used as a backup. I don't like the idea of not being able to get in to my house because the batteries have died, or because the mechanism fails...
    Frankly you made the wrong call. Anyone can pick the lock on any typical deadbolt after watching a 5 minute YouTube video. Keyed locks are simply less secure than newer alternatives. And this unit has its own backup solution for the impossibly rare scenario of the batteries dying before you can replace them. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 18
    I have 2 of the Yale Assure locks for the front doors, and the Connected by August module is not all it is cracked up to be. It is by far the most expensive module, and requires an ugly wall wart hub PER door to be plugged in within close Bluetooth range. The range on this part is terrible, so anything beyond a few feet and line of sight is out of the question. 

    This a big weak point in the design. 

    Yes this module gives you both HomeKit and Alexa control, but it does not allow you to use the z-wave integration with Ring. 

    I regret buying this module. I should have just purchased the HomeKit module which would work as I need to, without any unsightly and unreliable wall hubs. 
    caladanianlibertyforallwatto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 18
    Batteries where traditionally no battery is required (pure mechanical solution) is a problem for me.
    I hope future versions will have some sort of a solar sell or integrated charger (hook up to usb) because with all these smart solutions charging becomes a full time job. 
    I bought the z-wave version of this for our home and opted for a model with a key that can be used as a backup. I don't like the idea of not being able to get in to my house because the batteries have died, or because the mechanism fails...
    Frankly you made the wrong call. Anyone can pick the lock on any typical deadbolt after watching a 5 minute YouTube video. Keyed locks are simply less secure than newer alternatives. And this unit has its own backup solution for the impossibly rare scenario of the batteries dying before you can replace them. 
    Or... you can break a door or window, regardless of the lock.  

    Entry points are designed for convenience not security.  A little piece of metal inserted into a flimsy wooden (door) frame isn’t going to keep a door closed.

    You might be better off bribing the local police (with donuts) so they get to your house quicker.  And, invest in a better security system (instead) to make sure they know there’s a problem.

    Don’t forget (preemptively) to bribe your local firemen (women) for when one of your electric devices bursts into flames...
    edited August 5
  • Reply 12 of 18
    mobirdmobird Posts: 316member
    Batteries where traditionally no battery is required (pure mechanical solution) is a problem for me.
    I hope future versions will have some sort of a solar sell or integrated charger (hook up to usb) because with all these smart solutions charging becomes a full time job. 
    Just wire it into the wiring for the doorbell.
    davgreg
  • Reply 13 of 18
    Quite ugly, so I hope for alternatives. 
  • Reply 14 of 18
    Needs more door handle/design options, like Schlage has for their HomeKit Sense deadbolt locks!
  • Reply 15 of 18
    I have 2 of the Yale Assure locks for the front doors, and the Connected by August module is not all it is cracked up to be. It is by far the most expensive module, and requires an ugly wall wart hub PER door to be plugged in within close Bluetooth range. The range on this part is terrible, so anything beyond a few feet and line of sight is out of the question. 

    This a big weak point in the design. 

    Yes this module gives you both HomeKit and Alexa control, but it does not allow you to use the z-wave integration with Ring. 

    I regret buying this module. I should have just purchased the HomeKit module which would work as I need to, without any unsightly and unreliable wall hubs. 
    As far as I can tell there’s no HomeKit only module.  Do you have a link to one?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 18
    macguimacgui Posts: 1,518member
    Locks, particularly residential lock sets, are rarely picked, despite what YT loons would have you believe. They're most often pried, kicked, or in some cases the door frame is opened up with a car jack. But rarely picked, even with all the bump key videos.

    The article references this lock as being used for interior doors, closet doors, doors not leading to passageways. For a front door, there is a version with a keyway instead of that RF bit. That would no more vulnerable than whatever cheap contractor supplied lock set it replace.

    I imagine the app will warn you of a low battery in plenty of time to replace it without having to go to the kitchen drawer for a 9V. 

    I'm not crazy about the exposed contacts. I don't think feeding them 12V will do anything other than possibly kill the lock. They probably aren't on the front door version since it has a keyway.

    I agree there are better locks available other than pin and tumbler, and there are greater efforts to be made to make locks and their environment  more secure.

    But people don't seem to understand that increased security isn't the point of these various smart locks. The point is to increase convenience without sacrificing security. For the average homeowner, this lock fits that bill, whether or not any other features appeal to the customer.

    There is the issue of BT or other wireless technology adding another point of failure to a lock. I imagine that there exists the tools to hack a smart lock. There are variables that can make that more or less likely. And I have to think that likelihood is a direct function of the attractiveness of a target.

    Most of us will never be on the radar of a burglar sophisticated enough to pick a lock or hack its network. So as long as the smartlock we choose isn't less operationally secure as the lock it replaced, it's all good. Sleep tight. And keep your .40 under the pillow.




    beowulfschmidtwatto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 18
    mknelsonmknelson Posts: 369member
    djames4242 said:I bought the z-wave version of this for our home and opted for a model with a key that can be used as a backup. I don't like the idea of not being able to get in to my house because the batteries have died, or because the mechanism fails...
    Frankly you made the wrong call. Anyone can pick the lock on any typical deadbolt after watching a 5 minute YouTube video. Keyed locks are simply less secure than newer alternatives. And this unit has its own backup solution for the impossibly rare scenario of the batteries dying before you can replace them. 
    … and special equipment and a lot of practice. The lock sport folks (like the aforementioned Lockpicking lawyer) spend hours every day practicing to pick that quickly.

    You should watch his videos where he bypasses all sorts of smart locks. Many of them are designed by folks new to the lock business and they leave all sorts of insecure bypass openings.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 18
    Found the HomeKit only module:

    https://shopyalehome.com/Products/Accessories/AYR202-IM1-USA.aspx

    Can anyone confirm if it works in this model unit?!
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