Some questions about how HomeKit works with door locks and with remote access

Cupertino, October 13, 2020

Hi everyone, I've always been an Android guy so all my home automation is usually Zigbee or Z-Wave. Decided to go iPhone this round when the 12 comes out, so wanted to see about switching my Yale Z-Wave door lock to the HomeKit model and set it on my iPad. I bought it but I just have some questions that I'm confused by.

1. The first one is I was disappointed when I opened the box to see that step 1 says download Yale Secure and that you have to use a 3rd party app. I was hoping you just scanned a code or something to add it. When checking the app store, the Yale Secure app has like a 1.7 star review with everyone saying it's garbage. I checked the back of the lock and didn't see a HomeKit code so I removed it all and packed it up to return it based on needing this other app. However, I got bored tonight so unpacked it and tried again and it all works even with that app, but my question is what is that app doing? Like from what I understand, HomeKit in this case is using Bluetooth, and with my Apple TV that's how I can get remote access. But is that going through Yale servers or this app or something? Or is the app used JUST to set up the lock, where as now the Home app talks to it directly etc? I just don't want the functionality of the lock to rely on the app. It's not bad if it's just used to add it but not if I have to use it all the time.

2) The second question I have is I have the Apple TV 4K which I understand allows me to do remote access to the lock. Am I correct in assuming that the Apple TV is connecting to the lock via Bluetooth and when I access the Home app remotely that's what is telling the lock to lock or unlock?

3) How do you know if the lock is connected to AppleTV or the signal strength? Is there somewhere I can check, or am I expected to just go drive down the street and see if it works?

4) My last question is when trying it again I realized the HomeKit code is on the manual in the box. What happens if you lose that code? You just can't use the lock ever again? I don't get why it's on the manual vs the lock itself as that makes me nervous as well that losing that piece of paper could mean the lock can't ever function as HomeKit again?

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