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Apple Releases 14.1 Software for HomePod With Intercom and HomePod Mini Support

tliede20

macrumors regular
Nov 19, 2013
168
51
Los Angeles, CA
I updated my iPhone, iPad and both of my HomePods to 14.1 and I don't see anything for Intercom on it? Maybe that's a bug? Isn't it slated for 14.2?
 
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tliede20

macrumors regular
Nov 19, 2013
168
51
Los Angeles, CA
Hmmm....Siri showed some unusual smarts with me...."You don't have HomePods in other rooms'...Then, try #2: "ok, intercom to everyone in my home'...must be a learning curve involved😃!

I had that same error... I don't see anything for Intercom in the HomePod settings or the Home App either.
 
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rlhamil

macrumors regular
Feb 6, 2010
182
115
Apple software has a latency issue, and it is most apparent on AppleTV and Siri. The lag is shamefully bad, and none of their competitors are any near as bad.

The lag on Homepod makes for a crappy device. Did Siri hear me? Do I repeat myself? Or did it fail as is typical with Siri? If you have time to think these things before Siri responds, it’s way too slow.

I’m hoping the update fixes the latency issue on Homepod to make it usable.

The lag on Siri is probably independent of the lag otherwise. For most requests, Siri has to talk to Apple servers to interpret the request and decide what to do; but other audio lag comes mostly from the massive buffering to have higher-than-Bluetooth quality audio (over WiFi instead of Bluetooth) without dropouts from bursts of network load (like someone else in your house doing a big download or streaming a movie). Smart players such as the TV app on a Mac or an Apple TV know to query what the latency is and delay the video to compensate; but the control responsiveness is necessarily affected by that, there's no magic to totally hide the latency. (If I play a video on a Mac with the Movist app and send audio to a HomePod, I have to adjust Movist for the audio latency, somewhere around 2 to 2.1 seconds worth.)

Given that the focus of a HomePod is really good audio, and NOT zero-latency stuff like gaming on your AppleTV (the latency probably makes that unusable and/or impossible, since a 2+ second delay between control input and response is no biggie for pause/play, but a killer in a game), I don't know that there's a different set of tradeoffs possible that would provide the same quality audio and almost no dropouts, without the latency. Maybe given that WiFi is more than fast enough, smarter buffering might be able to reduce, but not really eliminate, the latency (not low enough for gaming, but say 1/2 second instead of 2 seconds), by having a variable rather than fixed size buffer, so that initially it'd just buffer enough to have some safety margin right after starting, and then grow the buffer to full capacity while playing. I don't know enough detail of AirPlay 2 protocol, how busy it is when playing, etc, to be reasonably sure whether that'd be possible or whether it's a LOT easier said than done. Probably the minimum tradeoff from doing that, if it was possible, would be a greater risk of dropouts in the first few seconds of playing.
 
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rlhamil

macrumors regular
Feb 6, 2010
182
115
Are they actually all in practical use or is this just because you like testing everything? I have Sonos Beam/One(s) and a Sonos Move, and handful of Echo Dots, and I'm thinking about getting some HomePod Mini to replace the Echos but I'm concerned how to make it not confusing for the household.

If you have Apple Music, I think you can make that the default on the Echo devices. Some things, like Philips Vue and iHome device control, can be set up to work with both. Some other things can be done via IFTTT and/or Shortcuts, so that they will more or less work with both. But don't expect them to act identical, they won't.

Too bad you can't say "Alexa, ask Siri xxx" or "Hey Siri, ask Alexa xxx", for a full handoff from any of them to another, but good luck getting Apple, Amazon, and Google to play that nice with each other. :)
 
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rlhamil

macrumors regular
Feb 6, 2010
182
115
probably at your Sonos, they would need some software that they don't have. If you are talking playing Apple Music through a HomePod and connecting to other HomePods, appletVs, it doesn't actually stream from one HomePod to the others

Hmm, after updating my HomePods one at a time (I always do, so I don't risk bricking them all), I wanted to put the bedroom HomePod back on playing Stream from ambient sounds like it does most of the time, without getting up to do it. So I had the living room HomePod play that, and then used control center on the iPhone to transfer it. After doing that, it showed living room HomePod -> bedroom HomePod (streaming from one to the other rather than transferred). So I'm pretty sure HomePods CAN stream to each other, although since they also CAN transfer from an iPhone, I'm not really sure why they would. After the update, I had some account issues to straighten out with the HomePods; maybe they streamed rather than transferring because they thought the accounts were mismatched (they weren't, but if they mostly use a token rather than the password, and the token was expired or obsoleted, I suppose that could happen).

Anyway, while most of the time there's an illusion of simplicity, behind-the-scenes, things aren't really that simple. :)
 
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CamiMR

macrumors 6502
Oct 22, 2012
456
229
iPhone on 14.1 and HomePods on 14.1, Intercom is working as it should between HomePods, but no reference to Intercom at all in the Home app.
I assume iOS interaction and Intercom settings in the Home app will come with iOS 14.2?
 
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winks360

macrumors member
Mar 20, 2009
74
11
Time Capsule
Apple software has a latency issue, and it is most apparent on AppleTV and Siri. The lag is shamefully bad, and none of their competitors are any near as bad.

The lag on Homepod makes for a crappy device. Did Siri hear me? Do I repeat myself? Or did it fail as is typical with Siri? If you have time to think these things before Siri responds, it’s way too slow.

I’m hoping the update fixes the latency issue on Homepod to make it usable.

You’re not supposed to wait for her to respond. It should be natural. “Hey Siri turn off the lights” as opposed to “Hey Siri...(Siri saying mmhmm)...turn off the lights”

Give it a shot. With the HomePod she can hear you from pretty far away.
 
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winks360

macrumors member
Mar 20, 2009
74
11
Time Capsule
Newsflash....the HomePod has a bass driver and seven tweeters. On what planet would your suggestion make sense?
[automerge]1603215521[/automerge]


I have 6 HomePods and never seen any lag at all in a 5200 sq ft house. Airplay 2 avoids this by providing a large buffer and streaming faster than real time, check your wifi. I also have Sonos, Alexa, and Google devices and Apple's response times beat the pants off of all of them.
Doesn't the HomePod have 7 tweeters and the Mini has 2? Could be mistaken, but I thought I remember them saying this.

  • Full-range driver and dual passive radiators for deep bass and crisp high frequencies
 
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RowellE

macrumors 6502
Mar 5, 2012
351
608
Can I intercom *from* an iPhone to a HomePod speaker and can the person near the HomePod respond to the speaker and have it sent to the iPhone?
 
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BarrettF77

macrumors 6502a
May 24, 2015
637
730
Newsflash....the HomePod has a bass driver and seven tweeters. On what planet would your suggestion make sense?
[automerge]1603215521[/automerge]


I have 6 HomePods and never seen any lag at all in a 5200 sq ft house. Airplay 2 avoids this by providing a large buffer and streaming faster than real time, check your wifi. I also have Sonos, Alexa, and Google devices and Apple's response times beat the pants off of all of them.

8 is the very Max you can steam to at one time without them going out of sync.
 
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winks360

macrumors member
Mar 20, 2009
74
11
Time Capsule
Hmmm I might be going crazy here, but the Intercom section within HomePod settings momentarily appeared after updating both iPhone and HomePod then disappeared?

When prompting Siri on HomePod - “hey, Siri make an announcement” she replied, “looks like intercom is turned off for my home” how does on turn on intercom?

i got mine to work by asking Siri on my phone (14.2) to make an announcement. And it told me to set it up then kicked me to the home app and a card slid up to set up intercom asking what people can make intercom announcements and if I want to receive only when I’m home or anywhere. Now in the home app in the upper right corner there is a button to make announcements. And in the ‘home settings’ there is a section for intercom.
 
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gpspad

macrumors 6502a
Feb 4, 2014
628
27
Can two home pods intercon each other if they are signed on with different apple id’s?

Also can a Homepod intercom someone’s iPhone?
 
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The_Gream

macrumors member
Jul 16, 2020
31
29
My goodness. It is sad how poor reading and comprehension of what’s been read has become these days. The patch notes for
HomePod 14.1 includes intercom.
iOS 14.1 does not include intercom.
 
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Deinocheirus

Suspended
Oct 5, 2020
380
558
Not a big deal either way but do we know for sure it’s not just taking time to roll out on iOS 14.1? Apple Insider just did an intercom how-to and said “Intercom requires iOS 14.1, and the new HomePod 14.1 update, or newer.”

This was posted a week ago and referenced 14.2 beta then. AI authors probably updated it thinking 14.1 included everything based on the mention of Intercom in the HomePod release notes but they are mistaken.

Adding to the confusion are people randomly posting it about "working" while failing to mention they are using 14.2 beta.
 
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gcmexico

macrumors 6502a
Dec 22, 2007
895
96
Littleton, CO
Apple software has a latency issue, and it is most apparent on AppleTV and Siri. The lag is shamefully bad, and none of their competitors are any near as bad.

The lag on Homepod makes for a crappy device. Did Siri hear me? Do I repeat myself? Or did it fail as is typical with Siri? If you have time to think these things before Siri responds, it’s way too slow.

I’m hoping the update fixes the latency issue on Homepod to make it usable.
never had latency issues at all...it always responses, now is the response correct or what I was looking for 9 out of 10 times yes...latency??? never heard that before, you should check out your network to be honest...latency is not an issue with homepod
 
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gcmexico

macrumors 6502a
Dec 22, 2007
895
96
Littleton, CO
intercom is AMAZING!! ah the little things...no more screaming to get attention in the house...lol I wish you could just respond without having to say intercom, maybe siri can say “would you like to respond”...hopefully they do something like that down the road
 
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