Apple's Intercom Feature Works on iPhone, iPad, HomePod, Apple Watch, AirPods, and CarPlay

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
49,941
11,225


During the unveiling of HomePod mini at Tuesday's Apple event, Apple introduced an upcoming new feature called Intercom that works across all Apple devices with the exception, it would seem, of Mac.


Intercom will enable family members to communicate with each other wherever they are in the home, with the ability to send and receive spoken messages via HomePod speakers. If a family member is in the garden or away from home, they can still use Intercom on their iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and even CarPlay. Apple explains:
A new Intercom feature offers a quick and easy way for family members to connect with each other at home. One person can send an Intercom message from one HomePod to another — whether in a different room, a specific zone, or multiple rooms throughout the home — and their voice will automatically play on the designated HomePod speaker. Intercom works with iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, AirPods, and CarPlay, so everyone in the household can get Intercom notifications and send Intercom messages from the backyard or on their way home.
In the latest HomePod beta software, the setup process explains that users can say "Hey Siri, Intercom," followed by their message, and then choose which HomePods and/or personal devices the message should be sent to. Other options include "Hey Siri, tell everyone," and "Hey Siri, reply..." to respond to a message.


On personal devices, Intercom messages appear as notifications with the option to listen to the audio message. Users can also choose when Intercom notifications are delivered to their iPhone (Never / When I'm Home / Anywhere), and can select who can use Intercom via the Home app if they have remote access. Apple is also including an accessibility option that transcribes spoken messages on personal devices.

The Intercom feature will arrive in upcoming software updates, which are likely to roll out in step with the launch of HomePod mini on November 16.

Article Link: Apple's Intercom Feature Works on iPhone, iPad, HomePod, Apple Watch, AirPods, and CarPlay
 
Last edited:

itsmilo

macrumors 68040
Sep 15, 2016
3,792
8,337
Berlin, Germany
This is definitely a first world problem but I wish they would allow a different word besides Siri. The word Siri just sounds so unpleasant to the ears in my language that I am sure this is one of the reasons Siri has never really picked up here. Siiiiiiiiri just ugh lol it sounds so unfriendly and robotic. Alexa sounds better cuz it makes you feel like you are talking to a person (positive) and not a robot (negative association)
 

LiE_

macrumors 6502a
Mar 23, 2013
820
1,516
UK
I use this feature on my Nest home devices (have done for over a year), works really well. It doesn't pop up on phones etc but you can initiate an intercom from an assistant powered device like a phone. Useful if I'm at the end of the garden in my home gym and my wife wants to interrupt my loud music with a message :p
 

Poindexter333

macrumors member
Jul 6, 2010
93
11
NYC metropolitan area
"Hey Siri, tell everyone, dinner's ready."

Siri's reply: "Just a moment, I'm on it..."

After waiting for Siri for 30 seconds: Mom yells through the hall: "Dinner's ready!"
Actually what I really think will most likely happen is after 30 seconds you’ll hear mom screaming at the top of her lungs “hey Siri answer me goddamnit!” ....from the other side of the house.
 

dhoughal

macrumors regular
Jun 29, 2017
124
236
Actually what I really think will most likely happen is after 30 seconds you’ll hear mom screaming at the top of her lungs “hey Siri answer me goddamnit!” ....from the other side of the house.
With all that alleged machine-learning power of Ax SoCs, I wonder if Siri ever will be able to process language on-device, instead of requiring internet connection even for simple things like setting a timer, creating a reminder or playing a playlist.
 

Stevez67

macrumors regular
Dec 24, 2016
130
567
Iowa
This is definitely a first world problem but I wish they would allow a different word besides Siri. The word Siri just sounds so unpleasant to the ears in my language that I am sure this is one of the reasons Siri has never really picked up here. Siiiiiiiiri just ugh lol it sounds so unfriendly and robotic. Alexa sounds better cuz it makes you feel like you are talking to a person (positive) and not a robot (negative association)
From Wikipedia ... Siri is a Scandinavian female given name. It is a short form of Sigrid, of Old Norse origin, and literally meaning "beautiful victory", from Old Norse sigr (victory) and Old Norse fríðr (beautiful). The name Siri has been widely used since the Middle Ages, and is a common name in Norway, Sweden and the Faroe Islands.
 

m2m2k

macrumors newbie
Oct 7, 2020
11
3
Should also work on my Mac. Like this I could send / receive other intercoms when writing letters. Why is this limited to these other devices ?

Would also be cool to add it to aTV (the remote has a mic anyway)
 

cyprian.pl

macrumors member
Feb 25, 2007
44
9
Poland
Very very neat.

Hopefully it works much better than the Walkie-Talkie feature, which fails to work most of the time.
Me and my wife use Walkie-Talkie daily and it works well, no issues. It used to be faster to connect (or it was not disconnecting that quickly as it is ), but no major issues.
 

Steveuk82

macrumors member
Sep 19, 2014
59
28
i might have missed this in the demo yet i wonder if Apple will eventfully allow actual real time conversations; not just recorded messages.

in our household we use alexa 'Drop-in' alot and it is great allowing for actual conversations.
 

211

macrumors member
Feb 27, 2020
31
31
51.531011,-0.023979
This is a great feature, but I hope it will work for multiple houses and know which house I'm in. For example, based on my location, intercom knows I'm at my mother's or my brother's house so will only get notifications at whoever's house I'm in. The Settings screenshot implies this will only work in one house and/or I get notifications anywhere I am.
 
  • Like
Reactions: LotusLord

tonyberinson

macrumors member
Jul 19, 2008
78
35
Someone did it was available on beta 3 but I can’t find it doesn’t anyone know or found it or was it click bait by another person ?
 

recoil80

macrumors 68040
Jul 16, 2014
3,064
2,699
It is a convenient feature, even if you don't have HomePod at home you can still broadcast the message to your family on their phones, even if they're not home. Is like using an iMessage chat with the family, but with voice and without interacting with iMessage itself.
 
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.