If you're ready to put away your house keys for good, the August Smart Lock can now be purchased for $249.99. The Bluetooth LE lock will be available at Apple Stores nationwide beginning this week — though it's not appearing in Apple's search results just yet — and also from August's web store. If you've already pre-ordered, August will of course honor the original introductory $199.99 price point.
In a blog post today, the company said a retail partnership with Apple makes sense because most consumers will want to see the lock in person before spending so much on it. August is also acknowledging that some early customers will be upset to see the product launching at retail before their pre-orders have shipped. August says going this route was a "tough call."
The main reason we are going to retail is because many of our early supporters have consistently asked for alternatives to a purely-online purchasing experience. They’d like to see the product in person, understand the installation requirements and ensure the look and feel fits with their home
Designed by Yves Béhar, the lock module takes the place of your existing deadbolt, and August says most people should be able to install it within about 10 minutes. If you'd rather pass the hassle (and more money) off to someone else, August has assembled a network of 300 locksmiths across the US who've been trained on installing the device.
The Smart Lock relies on Bluetooth Low Energy and August's mobile app on Android and iOS to function. Through the app, you can give friends and family either permanent or temporary permission to unlock the door, and even upload photos or comments that will greet them. When you're near the front door, unlocking takes a single tap, and there's also an Auto-Unlock option that will detect you nearing the door and open things up even if your phone's in your pocket.
Remember that August Smart Lock replaces the deadbolt on a door's interior, so from the outside nothing will look different. As a result, you can always fall back on a hidden key somewhere if you're caught without a phone. That's kind of a shame considering how great the lock hardware looks, but at least you'll always be able to glance over at your $249.99 aluminum lock while setting the temperature on your Nest thermostat.