Yale Releases First Retrofit Deadbolt Smart Lock

We’re always happy to see smart locks at HomeKit News, especially if they’re from companies with a long history of making locks. Possibly one of the oldest companies that fits the bill is Yale, who have just announced their ‘Yale Approach’ Lock with WiFi.

This new lock is being touted as their first ‘Retrofit’ smart lock, which allows you to fit it over existing lock fixtures, without removing the outer portion of you lock (thus retaining your original keys), which makes it ideal for renters. Whilst it’s their first retrofit deadbolt lock, Yale did release the Yale Linus for European mortice locks a couple of years back, so not quite their first.

The lock itself is similar to the old August Smart Lock, which should come as no surprise given that Assa Abloy is the owner of both the Yale and August brands (yes, the wifi bridges look identical…). In fact, the Yale Approach is even advertised and available for purchase on August’s own online store.

The new ‘Approach’ comes with the bridge for a total smart lock solution, with the keypad being an optional extra. The lock – and presumably the keypad – use Bluetooth to connect to the WiFi bridge, which then exposes both to your home network. This approach gives the AAA lock batteries an estimated 12-month battery life, with 7-months for the same batteries in the keypad. The lock comes in two finishes for the internal part – Silver, or Black Suede.

Whilst the lock is only placed on the inside of the door, the keypad will be facing the outdoor elements, and as such comes with an IPX5 rating, designed to “withstand most weather conditions’.

The good news/bad news is that currently, the lock (via the bridge) is reportedly not compatible with Apple Home, so only those using Google Home, Amazon Alexa, and Samsung SmartThings can benefit from this lock. The ‘potential’ good news is that the company state the lock with be updated at a later point to use Matter over Thread, exposing it to all the aforementioned platforms, as well as Apple Home. This would also negate the use of the bridge, although for use with Yale’s own app, the bridge is still a requirement.

All that said, it’s advisable to be cautious of future updates, especially when you consider that the company previously released their Yale Assure Lock, with the promise of selling a Matter over Thread module to update the lock. This has thus far not happened, and since then, the Yale Assure has been replaced with the Assure Lock 2, which does carry the very module they said they’d sell to users of the previous model.

This seems to be the year for retrofit smart locks, with products coming from Aqara with the U200, and Switchbot’s own Smart Lock Pro, both of which are going to offer Matter compatibility out of the box.

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