Home Tech Using Yale Approach Smart Lock feels like a true smart home experience

Using Yale Approach Smart Lock feels like a true smart home experience

0 comment
Left hand holding white containers of electrical components. Right hand holding a keyboard and batteries

The smart home It doesn’t always feel smart. I try a batch of devices to make a living, and they require a lot of childcare and steps to do everything you want. Whether you’re setting up skills on an Alexa speaker or setting your smart lights to the correct time—thank daylight saving time for ruining the one I already have—it takes work.

While the Yale Approach Lock still has a lot of issues (physical installation! Accessory calibration! App setup!), its ability to unlock itself when it senses you’ve arrived home feels really smart. Everything is done within the Yale app, with the help of your phone’s location. As someone whose arms are often full of kid stuff (why do I never have shoes on my feet?), it’s been a relief to just walk around and not worry about which pocket my keys ended up in after leaving the parking lot.

Elegant setup

Photography: Nena Farrell

Installing Yale Approach was easy with short video clips and in-app steps that guide you through installation. Since you’ll be removing part of your existing lock, I recommend having a sandwich bag on hand in case you want to use it again in the future (or need to replace it when you move, like I will). It took me about 10 minutes, including video viewing time.

You will also be prompted to configure the included Yale Connect Wi-Fi Bridge and Door status at the moment. The Wi-Fi bridge will look familiar if you’ve ever used an August Lock (8/10, WIRED recommended). (Yale purchased in August 2017 and now uses the same Wi-Fi connectors.) The small white square sits in a nearby outlet and connects via Bluetooth to the lock, and then connects the lock to Wi-Fi. Yale Approach didn’t like the location of my outlet, which was around a corner about 3 feet away, and told me so during setup, but it worked perfectly fine.

Meanwhile, Door Status allows the Yale app to tell you if the door is closed and locked. It works great and is easy to attach to the door frame as it is just a small sensor that you will align with the lock. Especially since I have a door that won’t close, I love being able to use Yale to check if it’s open.

Digital keys

Photography: Nena Farrell

You can choose to buy the lock with or without a keypad. The default price includes it and it includes some features that I really liked, but it’s not perfect for installing outside every home, as is the lock.

You may also like