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Velin

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Jul 23, 2008
2,032
1,968
Hearst Castle
So Yale just came out with a new Home Key smartlock. The best writeup I’ve found thus far is this one, which compares the Yale fingerprint reader lock with Yale’s Home Key lock. Most reviews have been uniformly excellent.

If you use Home Key, is it fast, perhaps near instant? The only way I’m using it is in Express Mode, and it better be faster than a regular key and tumbler. Is it? And is it faster than, say, electronic key card access at hotels?

Also, has Home Key been reliable for you? The only smartlock we will consider is no physical key, as physical tumblers are so pathetically easy to defeat (bump key + small hammer will defeat 98% of deadbolts in 10 seconds). If you have had issues or problems, please let us know.
 

pcd213

macrumors 6502a
Jun 24, 2019
569
634
I’ve found that it’s nearly flawless with my Apple Watch Ultra but a little bit more buggy with my iPhone. I think it’s 100% reliable with the watch and I would say about 90% reliable with the phone. There have definitely been times where the phone has shown me an error message (red x or circle with an x in it) with the phone but has oddly still unlocked the lock. Other times it definitely doesn’t unlock the lock and then I need to go to the home app and do it from there. All of this could be problems with the Level Lock+ which I absolutely hate. Looks beautiful, but it’s the worst tech product I’ve ever purchased. All my experiences. Yours may vary.
 
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gwang73

macrumors 68020
Jun 14, 2009
2,435
2,003
California
Using the Schlage Encode Plus and HomeKey is fast and reliable with both the phone and Apple Watch. You do have to basically touch the watch or phone to the lock for it to work. I'd say it's as fast as using a modern RFID hotel key.
 
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pcd213

macrumors 6502a
Jun 24, 2019
569
634
I find it strange that Apple has no tutorial on exactly how to use the feature. They have given customers little information on exactly hose close the phone needs to be to the lock, what part of the phone needs to activate it, etc.. Like all Home things with Apple, it seems that team has the fewest resources and or interest.
 
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Itinj24

Contributor
Nov 8, 2017
4,486
2,568
New York
I find it strange that Apple has no tutorial on exactly how to use the feature. They have given customers little information on exactly hose close the phone needs to be to the lock, what part of the phone needs to activate it, etc.. Like all Home things with Apple, it seems that team has the fewest resources and or interest.
It’s NFC. That tech has been around for a while. It’s no different than using Apple Pay, really.

What would you like to know? Add the key to your Apple wallet. Then tap the upper back portion of the phone to the lock. For Apple Watch, tap the face of the watch. You’ll be a pro at this in no time. I give it one to two tries tops and you can start writing your own tutorials lol.

It’s probably the Level lock giving you the failures. I’ve heard bad things about it. Apple just gives the functionality. Thinks it’s on the manufacturer of the lock to provide instructions on where and how far to tap their lock.
 
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pcd213

macrumors 6502a
Jun 24, 2019
569
634
It’s NFC. That tech has been around for a while. It’s no different than using Apple Pay, really.

What would you like to know? Add the key to your Apple wallet. Then tap the upper back portion of the phone to the lock. For Apple Watch, tap the face of the watch. You’ll be a pro at this in no time. I give it one to two tries tops and you can start writing your own tutorials lol.

It’s probably the Level lock giving you the failures. I’ve heard bad things about it. Apple just gives the functionality. Thinks it’s on the manufacturer of the lock to provide instructions on where and how far to tap their lock.
The average consumer won’t know exactly what part of the phone to tap on the lock. Is it the top, middle, bottom? Do you need to tap the lock or just have it close to it? Does it need to touch? All of these questions are ones that I think the average consumer is right to question. I haven’t seen any non techy description of a step by step tutorial, have you? It’s an Apple feature. I think Apple has the ownous on educating consumers how to use their services.
 
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Itinj24

Contributor
Nov 8, 2017
4,486
2,568
New York
The average consumer won’t know exactly what part of the phone to tap on the lock. Is it the top, middle, bottom? Do you need to tap the lock or just have it close to it? Does it need to touch? All of these questions are ones that I think the average consumer is right to question. I haven’t seen any non techy description of a step by step tutorial, have you? It’s an Apple feature. I think Apple has the ownous on educating consumers how to use their services.
Apple has clearly documented where to tap the phone for NFC to work. That’s the constant. The variable is where the lock manufacturers install their NFC chip. This ain’t on Apple and maybe Level sucks but every other third party NFC tech I’ve owned have clear instructions on where to tap. We’re dealing with adults here, not monkeys. Threat them as such.

If you’re buying into a high tech lock, it’s safe to assume that customer has basic knowledge on Googling. I think you’re giving the average adult customer less credit than they deserve. I was new to NFC, ApplePay, CarKey and HomeKey before they came out. I promise you it’s not that difficult to figure out. Even at a POS, trying to find the NFC chip on the terminal is not that flustering. Just sweep around till it dings and vibrates. It’s not like trying to find a needle in a haystack. What’s so difficult? lol. The documentation is already out there. The onus is on the user to read it.
 
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pcd213

macrumors 6502a
Jun 24, 2019
569
634
Apple has clearly documented where to tap the phone for NFC to work. That’s the constant. The variable is where the lock manufacturers install their NFC chip. This ain’t on Apple and maybe Level sucks but every other third party NFC tech I’ve owned have clear instructions on where to tap. We’re dealing with adults here, not monkeys. Threat them as such.

If you’re buying into a high tech lock, it’s safe to assume that customer has basic knowledge on Googling. I think you’re giving the average adult customer less credit than they deserve. I was new to NFC, ApplePay, CarKey and HomeKey before they came out. I promise you it’s not that difficult to figure out. Even at a POS, trying to find the NFC chip on the terminal is not that flustering. Just sweep around till it dings and vibrates. It’s not like trying to find a needle in a haystack. What’s so difficult? lol. The documentation is already out there. The onus is on the user to read it.
I’m sharing my opinion. You have a different opinion. Great.
 
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srl7741

macrumors 68020
Jan 19, 2008
2,213
87
GMT-6
I've had the Level Lock + w/HomeKey since it came out and it's been 100% never failed and never even delayed. I was skeptical before my purchase. The darn battery is even better than expected and it gets used several times a day. The battery does need changed about every 4 months -/+ a few days depending on use. Works great w/the Apple Watch too.
 
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