Editor's note 3/30/2017: This article has been corrected to indicate that you can use Alexa to both lock and unlock an August Smart Lock.
Google has been slowly adding support for smart home brands to its smart speaker, the Google Home ($59 at Amazon). In addition to launch partners Nest, Philips Hue and SmartThings, support for Honeywell and Belkin WeMo were added in January. Yesterday, it announced support for 12 new smart home integrations with its Google Home smart speaker.
Among the newly supported brands is August, making it the first smart lock to work with Google Home. Here's how to set it up.
Connecting August Smart Lock to Google Home
You may notice that August does not appear where you would expect it to in the Google Home app. When you try to add a new smart home device under Home control, only Honeywell, Lifx, Insignia, Nest, Philips Hue, SmartThings, TP-Link, WeMo and Wink appear.
You can find August in the Services part of the Google Home app.
- Open the Google Home app on iOS or Android.
- Tap the hamburger button in the top left corner of the app to expand the left menu and select More settings.
- Tap Services.
- Scroll down and select August.
- Tap Link Account.
- Enter your August account credentials and tap Sign In.
- Enter the six-digit code sent to your phone and tap Verify.
- Tap Agree to allow Google Assistant to operate and view the status of your locks.
Once the August account is connected, you will be able to use Google Home to list all your locks, check the status the locks and lock the doors. You cannot unlock the doors using Google Home, and you will not be able to use Assistant on your Android device to interact with August.
What's interesting is that the suggested commands listed in the August page in Services did not work for us at all. Those are:
- "Hey, Google, ask August to list my locks."
- "Hey, Google, tell August to lock the front door."
- "Hey, Google, ask August check the front door."
Any time we used "ask August" or "tell August," Google Home mistook it as a command to send a message, which isn't supported on Google Home, and it would respond with, "Sorry, I can't send messages yet."
The only way we were able to use the integration was by saying, "OK, Google, let me talk to August," which is the standard invocation for queueing up any of the third-party services. From there, you can say, "Lock the front door" or "List my locks." But this makes the whole interaction fairly clunky and time-consuming, especially compared with the August integration for Alexa. The Alexa commands are practically identical ("Alexa, tell August to lock the front door"), but they work as intended.
Unlike Alexa, Google Home also doesn't require a 4-digit PIN to lock the door, which seems like a better security feature for unlocking anyway. That's what Alexa currently requires. Google Home won't let you unlock the August lock yet, but August says it is working on that feature for later this year.