While Apple haven’t yet released a home only product like Amazon’s Echo and Google’s Home, the possibilities with an iPhone shouldn’t be neglected. As such we’ve rounded up some of the top products that work well with Apple’s HomeKit. In our first episode we are going to cover locks, you’ll be able to see all the articles by checking the homekit-series tag.
Apple has teamed up with over 50 brands worldwide; and to ensure optimal functionality and security, Apple approve each device. That way the moment you see the “Works with Apple HomeKit” logo, you can buy with confidence. Note that many products will have custom apps compatible with iOS, but only those with the HomeKit logo will be able to integrate with the Home app.
Because it’s difficult to hook up locks to a constant power source, they are all powered by batteries. As such it’s impractical to connect them via Wi-Fi. Our three contenders today all operate over Bluetooth. While coming and going, your phone communicates directly with the lock over Bluetooth. If you want remote control ability of the lock, you are going to have to have a 3rd generation or later Apple TV that can connect with the lock.
Schlage’s offering is surprisingly the cheapest on offer (under $200). Schlage are a big name in home security, and have been making locks long before connected locks were a thing. They offer two styles, a Camelot and Century, as well as offering different colors for each. An extra hundred dollars also gets you a matching handle set.
The device connects via Bluetooth to either your phone, or Apple TV, and also features a keypad and key-slot. The lock can store up to 30 keycodes at a time, and includes a door attack alarm which it can trigger if it feels someone is trying to get in.
The lock is powered by 4 AA batteries (included in your purchase), and is expected to last a year before requiring a change. The lock will warn you long before it dies completely to prevent you from being locked out.
The lock receives mostly good reviews from customers, with a few hassles trying to get remote control working. After contacting Apple support they managed to come right. But everyone is impressed by the quality and functionality.
It should be noted that this lock won’t automatically open and close for you by default, although you may be able to set this up through a scene in HomeKit. It can be set to lock itself after a set time though. Installation is easy, and Schalge advises it can be completed yourself.
The August Smart Lock is designed as a replacement to only the inside of your door. This way it requires minimal installation and all your keys will still work (but who wants to use those anyway). Although costing over $200, you don’t get any keypad with this unit, a separate keypad is available that’s going to set you back a third the cost of another lock.
With the same remote control features like the Schlage, August also offer a Connect Wi-Fi bridge. This allows you to remote control your lock, even if you don’t have an Apple TV. However the Connect does not support the Home app. To clarify, if you want to use the Home app to control the lock remotely, you will need an Apple TV. If you don’t mind using the August app, then you can use the Connect bridge instead of an Apple TV. A bridge costs about half that of a new Apple TV. Regardless of this, you can always use your phone to control it while at home.
One of the August Smart Lock’s greatest features is it’s auto-lock, auto-unlock ability. By sensing you (your phone) it will unlock the door as you approach it, and lock it once you’re safely inside. The lock does have a lot other functionality through the August App. A lot of which can be achieved via the Home app as well.
The August Smart Lock allows you to keep your existing hardware with minimal change. It runs off four included AA batteries, but isn’t as highly rated by customers as the Schlage. People complain about difficult setup and a range of issues experienced with continued use. Lots of happy customers means it’s not a bad product, but not our first choice.
One of the newest products to the market is the Kwikset Premis Smart Lock, available in either a nickel or bronze finish, it’s cost is similar to the August Smart Lock. The lock is similar in design to the Schlage, featuring both a keypad and a key-slot to enhance its usability.
The lock includes functionality such as an auto-lock feature, and alarm for incorrect codes. When paired with an Apple TV, the lock allows remote control and notification when others use the lock, for example when your kids get home. You can also see the state of your lock at any time and use Siri to control it.
This new product is also the highest rated by customers. Having a lot more time to develop a final product, it features almost no complaints and is regularly complimented for its ease of installation. Not much more to say about this product. Solid design and functionality, although at a slightly premium price.
Automation Haus Verdict
The new Kwikset Premis is probably our favorite product. Being very similar to the Schlage in functionality, it seems to have slightly less problems, exactly what you’re looking for in a lock. Ultimately style and price will come into it, so choosing the Schlage is not a bad decision either.
While the August Smart Lock has a lot of functionality, we feel like it’s trying to be everything all at once, and this ultimately impacts on reliability.