Key Takeaways

  • Unlock your door with a simple tap using Apple Home Key support on the Yale Assure Lock 2 Plus.
  • The lock is compatible with Apple Watch and iPhone, making it convenient for Apple HomeKit users—but you’ll need additional hardware for other smart home systems.
  • Choose from three color options and use the app to grant access to others.


You’ll never need to worry about carrying a door key when using a smart lock. If you’re an Apple user with an iPhone or Apple Watch, opening the Yale Assure Lock 2 Plus takes just a tap, thanks to Apple Home Key support.

Yale Assure Lock 2 Plus

The Yale Assure Lock 2 Plus should be on the top of any Apple HomeKit user’s list when looking for a smart lock. The best feature of the lock is compatibility with Apple HomeKey. That support allows you to unlock the door with any compatible Apple Watch or iPhone. Just tap one of those devices onto the lock. Available in three different color options to match existing hardware, there is also a keypad to give others access to your home. If you want to use the lock with another smart home system, like Amazon Alexa, you’ll need to shell out extra for a version with an optional Wi-Fi bridge.

Brand
Yale

Connectivity
Bluetooth; Wi-Fi optional

Integrations
Apple HomeKit

Battery
4 x AA

Keypad
Yes

Hub Required
Optional for remote access

Pros

  • Easy to install and get up and running
  • Apple Home Key support allows hands-free access
  • Keypad provides additional access
  • Grant access easily to others with the Yale Access app
  • Three colors to select from
Cons

  • Access with other smart home system requires additional hardware
  • Apple Home Hub needed to make the most of the smart lock away from home
  • No physical key for an emergency

Simple to Use and Refined Design

yale assure lock 2 plus keypad
Brent Dirks / MakeUseOf

There are various versions of the Assure Lock 2, and the Assure Lock 2 Plus sits squarely in the middle of the lineup. On the lower end is the more basic Assure Lock 2, while on the high end, the Assure Lock 2 Touch offers a biometric keypad.

You’ll want the Plus version if you’re an Apple fan and want to enjoy the convenience and simplicity of Apple Home Key. I tested out the Bluetooth-only version. If you want to spend a bit more, you can snag a version with the Wi-Fi Smart Module integrated, which brings additional away-from-home access without any Apple Home Hub. The Wi-Fi module can also be purchased by itself, which then plugs into the back of the lock.

If you have an Apple Home Hub—that is, an Apple TV, HomePod, or HomePod mini—there’s no reason to spend the extra money for Wi-Fi compatibility. I have both a HomePod and Apple TV, and using the lock away from home has worked just as well as other Wi-Fi-powered smart locks.

There are three different lock finishes to choose from—black, bronze, and nickel. I tried out the black version and was pleasantly surprised. I worried black would show dirt and grime over time, but it still looks great. The lighted keypad also stands out on the black background, even on a sunny day.

The compact design is a big plus of the Yale Assure Lock 2 Plus—both the interior and exterior hardware doesn’t take up a lot of space. The exterior part of the lock is the lighted keypad. Unlike other options in the Assure Lock 2 lineup, the Plus doesn’t offer a version with traditional keys. That was just fine for me, but just something to note if you ever think you might want or need a physical key.

The interior hardware consists of the thumbturn and slot for the 4 AA batteries and optional Wi-Fi module.

Be Prepared to Spend Some Time During Installation

yale assure lock 2 plus box
Brent Dirks / MakeUseOf

Installing many smart home products, like a smart plug, takes just a few minutes. But a smart lock is one of the rare options that will take a bit of work, and some DIY knowledge.

You’ll need a Phillips screwdriver during installation, and make sure to have a drill ready to go, if needed, along with other equipment like a tape measure, wood mortise chisel, and utility knife for a more complex installation.

I’ve used a number of smart locks on my front door, so in my case, the installation was easy with little modification. But if you have an older house and have never changed the lock, it might take longer.

Yale provides all the hardware you need for the installation, including the strike plate/deadbolt, mounting plate, and all screws.

yale assure lock 2 plus installation
Brent Dirks / MakeUseOf

The first part of the installation is to remove the existing deadbolt and other hardware, which could take some time if they are older. You might be tempted to not worry about using the Door Checker page, but it’s vital for an easy installation.

That page will help you measure the clearance between the top of the doorknob and the center of the deadbolt hole. You’ll also measure the door thickness, face bore, and strike pocket diameter/depth. Those measurements will determine how you proceed with the installation. Thankfully, the lock is easily adjustable in a few ways to fit most doors without needing additional hardware.

It took me about 30 minutes to install the Yale Assure Lock 2 Plus, and I had no issues. Even if you have just basic DIY knowledge, Yale makes it easy to complete the task.

Make Sure to Use DoorSense

yale assure lock 2 plus doorsense
Brent Dirks / MakeUseOf

Even though it’s optional, I’d highly recommend installing the DoorSense sensor, which uses a magnetic field to determine whether the door is open or closed. The small sensor sits on a flush doorway, no more than 1 1/2 inches away from the edge of the door frame and right across from the smart lock itself. Two-sided tape and screws will secure the sensor to the frame.

For a cleaner look, the sensor can also be installed inside the door, but that does take some drilling. I took the simple route, which took a few additional minutes during installation.

You’ll calibrate DoorSense along with the lock itself during the setup process. If you’ve installed the lock correctly, you’ll have everything ready in just a few minutes.

DoorSense provides two great features. First, you can receive a notification if DoorSense determines that the door has been open for a set amount of time. So if someone in your home doesn’t completely shut the door, or a guest of wind opens an unlocked door, you’ll always be able to know.

Also, you can automatically activate the lock whenever DoorSense senses that the door is closed. That might not be the best in every situation, especially if you’re coming and going out your door often during the day. But it provides an extra layer of security to know that your door will always be secure.

Both of those features worked well in my testing, providing even more security compared to other smart locks available.

Home Key is a Perfect Choice for Apple Fans

yale assure lock 2 plus home key
Brent Dirks / MakeUseOf

Home Key support is the headlining feature of the Yale Assure Lock 2 Plus, and it’s definitely worth it, especially if you have an iPhone and Apple Watch.

Instead of adding the lock to HomeKit directly from the Home app, you’ll do it through the Yale Access app for iOS during the setup process. Since there’s no Wi-Fi module, you’ll need to ensure you’re standing close enough to access the lock through Bluetooth.

After adding it to the companion app, you can then scan the HomeKit code. While the Yale Access app isn’t particularly well designed and is sometimes confusing to navigate, you’ll still need to have it on your iPhone to adjust settings and add access codes to the keypad for other users who won’t take advantage of Home Key support.

Once the lock is added to your HomeKit home, the option to turn on Home Key support will automatically appear in a dialog box. There are two ways to use Home Key on your iPhone. With Express Mode enabled, you only need to place your iPhone or Apple Watch near the lock to unlock it via NFC technology.

If that is disabled, you’ll need to pull up the My Home card in your Wallet with a double-tap of the Side Button on your iPhone, just like when finding a card with Apple Pay. You will then need to enter your password or use Face ID. On the Apple Watch, you must call up the My Home card with a double-tap of the Side Button.

Even though it’s nice for Apple to include the more secure method, Express Mode really shows the power of Home Key. While I previously needed to enter a code every time I wanted to unlock my front door, it’s easy and quick to put my Apple Watch near the lock to do the same thing.

After seeing how easy Home Key was to use, my daughter and wife also asked to enable the same feature on their iPhone and Apple Watch.

I’ve used Home Key for a few weeks, and it has been very reliable for day-to-day use. While it’s not 100 percent, it’s been very close. As a backup, I’ve set a key code for each of my family members.

A big worry with just using an iPhone or Apple Watch to unlock your door is what happens when those run out of battery. But even if your iPhone battery is depleted, Apple says you might still have enough battery to use Home Key with Express Mode. That’s not something I would depend on, but it’s nice to know just in case.

Yale Assure Lock 2 Plus: An Inexpensive Addition to Your Smart Home

While the smart home world continues to become more interoperable, the Yale Assure Lock 2 Plus is only a good choice if you’re an Apple HomeKit user with an iPhone and Apple Watch. And that’s more than OK.

Home Key is as good as advertised and makes it so easy to unlock your door. Instead of needing to remember a key code or haul around a key, something you’re already carrying can unlock your doors. Other great features like DoorSense help make the Yale Assure Lock 2 Plus the best Home Key-compatible lock on the market. It’s more than worth the retail price to modernize and safely secure your home.

yale assure lock 2

Yale Assure Lock 2 Plus

The Yale Assure Lock 2 Plus should be on the top of any Apple HomeKit user’s list when looking for a smart lock. The best feature of the lock is compatibility with Apple HomeKey. That support allows you to unlock the door with any compatible Apple Watch or iPhone. Just tap one of those devices onto the lock. Available in three different color options to match existing hardware, there is also a keypad to give others access to your home. If you want to use the lock with another smart home system, like Amazon Alexa, you’ll need to shell out extra for a version with an optional Wi-Fi bridge.



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