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With the iOS 14.2 update and the HomePod 14.2 software, Apple enabled full functionality for Intercom, a new feature that was introduced alongside the HomePod mini. Intercom is now fully functional and works across all of your devices, and we thought we'd test it out so MacRumors readers can see just how it works.


Intercom, as the name suggests, is designed to let you use your devices as an Intercom platform to communicate with members of your household. It is designed primarily as a feature for the HomePod and the HomePod mini, and to use it, you need at least one HomePod. Intercom is managed and activated through the Home app in the Settings section, and if you want instructions on setting it up and using it, make sure to check out our how to.

With Intercom, you can use Siri to send a message to the people in your home through the HomePod. Just say "Hey Siri, Intercom [message]" and it will be relayed right to all of the HomePods in the household using your voice. You can use any of your devices to send an Intercom message to the HomePod using Siri.

You can also use the little waveform in the top of the Home app to record and send an Intercom message instead of using Siri, but it's generally quicker to use Siri commands.

A HomePod is required for Intercom, but there are some neat little features that involve other devices. If you have multiple HomePod or HomePod mini devices, you can put them in different rooms and direct Intercom messages to all rooms or to specific rooms of the house.

Family members that are not at home can get the Intercom messages on other devices, with the voice memos sent to iPhone, Apple Watch, iPad, CarPlay, and AirPods, so no one in the household will miss an important message.

Replying to an Intercom message is as simple as activating Siri and then saying "reply [message]" for the response to be relayed back to the person who sent the original message.

Intercom is a feature that Apple designed with the HomePod mini in mind, and it is at its most useful when multiple HomePod minis are in the home in different rooms allowing for hands-free room to room communication without the need to shout. Have you tried out Intercom? Let us know what you think in the comments.

Article Link: Hands-On With Apple's Intercom Feature for HomePod and HomePod Mini
 

Goldfrapp

macrumors 603
Jul 31, 2005
5,411
10,337
US&A
What's annoying is that Apple didn't think to add Intercom option to Control Center for quick access. It's such an obvious place for it.

I hate using Siri as she often suffers from retardations, which impedes her instant execution of requests.

My Home app is tucked away in App Library. Finding it and launching it takes a few seconds. As a result, using Intercom on my iPhone becomes a major pain in the ?
 
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CJ Dorschel

Cancelled
Dec 14, 2019
407
807
Berlin
It looks cool... but I can't see a technical reason why it requires a HomePod. Why can't I intercom into my iPhone and have it go to the devices owned by the rest of my family?
You can. In the Home app, there’s an intercom button and you have Siri. Make sure you set it intercom for “Home” or “Everywhere” first inside the Home settings as you can intercom everyone and it’ll go to Apple Watches outside the home.

The only thing I believe cannot be done is receiving a live intercom TO an iPhone. I believe you’ll receive an alert but will have to play it.

I do wish apple would add live intercomming instead of simply sending a recorded audio file as I'd rather have a live instant two-way conversation with multiple people rather than waiting for a pre-recorded response that may not be received then having to reply, etc. - it's clumsy and we've found it's easier to just call or text. It would be faster and easier to keep the communication open.

TO BE CLEAR since some are having a go at me lol: Telephones are not intercoms and you would have to assign a "number" to individual HomePods and other devices that don't have cellular bands. Instant communication via intercoms already exists with many devices such as Alexa's "drop-in" feature, Brilliant Control Panels, etc. This is not the same as traditional and current implementations as you are recording an audio file that is sent and played back once to other devices. If the individual has their device turned off or volume too low, they will miss it which has made for cumbersome usage in my homes. Then other individuals try to reply at the same time and it becomes a mess. A walkie-talkie/live implementation would be a much better solution. Users could join in at any time and specific HomePods and devices can already be called using Siri as their names are assigned during setup in the Home app, essentially assigning them a "telephone number".

This is not what phone calls accomplish.

Y'all need to chill with the jokes and take your iPhones and "intercom" yourselves lol :p
 
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Deinocheirus

Suspended
Oct 5, 2020
380
564
You can. In the Home app, there’s an intercom button. Just make sure you set it for “Home” or “Everywhere” first inside the Home settings. You can intercom everyone and it’ll go to Apple Watches outside the home.

The only thing I Believe cannot be done is receiving a live intercom TO an iPhone. I believe you’ll receive an alert but will have to play it.

I do wish apple would add live intercomming instead of simply sending a recorded audio file. i’d rather have a two-way instant conversation rather than waiting for a pre-recorded response.
Not without the obligatory HomePod first to allow you to set it up.
 

jz0309

Contributor
Sep 25, 2018
5,742
16,121
Temecula, CA
if my kids were 10 years younger and still living at home, this would be useful ... for just my wife and I, not so much.

Thanks for putting it together!
 
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Jgltno

macrumors member
Jul 21, 2014
65
98
This is a neat feature. I already ordered my HomePod mini in white to place in the bedroom. This will enhance the main HomePod that’s already in the living room. Eventually I’ll have a HomePod mini installed in every corner of the house to use intercom effectively ;). Thanks for putting this together.
 

Seoras

macrumors 6502a
Oct 25, 2007
709
1,780
Scotsman in New Zealand
What's annoying is that Apple didn't think to add Intercom option to Control Center for quick access. It's such an obvious place for it.

I hate using Siri as she often suffers from retardations, which impedes her instant execution of requests.

My Home app is tucked away in App Library. Finding it and launching it takes a few seconds. As a result, using Intercom on my iPhone becomes a major pain in the ?

Yep, and the Apple watch. There's a control button for Walkie Talkie. Why not Intercom too.
Activating Siri is a pain.
 

tgara

macrumors 65816
Jul 17, 2012
1,108
2,858
Connecticut, USA
Yep, and the Apple watch. There's a control button for Walkie Talkie. Why not Intercom too.
Activating Siri is a pain.
If you set the Home app as a watch complication, activating it will show a big Intercom button at the top of the watch display. I’ve found this is a fast way to access Intercom from the watch.
 
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diego.caraballo

macrumors 6502
Oct 18, 2013
373
960
I agree with posters, this below to the Control Center.
Also, would be nice to have “pre-recorder” messages, or phrases that Siri will spoken out loud. Much better than recording the same stuff multiple times.
Finally, the audio plays at really low volume when recorded at normal voice level.
 

LeeW

macrumors 68040
Feb 5, 2017
3,164
6,176
Over the hill and far away
I tried hard to like my new homepod, the sound is great but Siri is so bad I am going to eBay it and go back to an Echo, never had a single issue with Alexa. Shame, hopefully, they will improve Siri.
 

iapplelove

Suspended
Nov 22, 2011
5,324
7,635
East Coast USA
I can’t even remember the last time I summoned Siri for anything. It’s been years. Sometimes by accident I bring her into a conversation but then quickly apologize for bothering her
 
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iStorm

macrumors 6502
Sep 18, 2012
470
624
What's annoying is that Apple didn't think to add Intercom option to Control Center for quick access. It's such an obvious place for it.

I hate using Siri as she often suffers from retardations, which impedes her instant execution of requests.

My Home app is tucked away in App Library. Finding it and launching it takes a few seconds. As a result, using Intercom on my iPhone becomes a major pain in the ?
If 'Show Home Controls' is enabled for your Control Center, you can launch the Home app from there. No need find the app in your App Library.
 
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Bistroengine

macrumors 6502
Jan 16, 2004
273
288
If you set the Home app as a watch complication, activating it will show a big Intercom button at the top of the watch display. I’ve found this is a fast way to access Intercom from the watch.
Thanks, this is a great tip!
 

Seoras

macrumors 6502a
Oct 25, 2007
709
1,780
Scotsman in New Zealand
If you set the Home app as a watch complication, activating it will show a big Intercom button at the top of the watch display. I’ve found this is a fast way to access Intercom from the watch.
Doesn't seem to work on my watch (S4 running 7.1) all I get is my Home Pod and my Apple TV and neither allows me to do anything other than play/pause. I did check before I posted here!
My iPhone now shows the Intercom icon button top right in the Home app now. iPad Pro (both iOS14.2) still doesn't.
Weird...
 

harper101

macrumors member
Jun 27, 2006
67
22
Fountain Valley, California
You can. In the Home app, there’s an intercom button. Just make sure you set it for “Home” or “Everywhere” first inside the Home settings. You can intercom everyone and it’ll go to Apple Watches outside the home.

The only thing I Believe cannot be done is receiving a live intercom TO an iPhone. I believe you’ll receive an alert but will have to play it.

I do wish apple would add live intercomming instead of simply sending a recorded audio file. i’d rather have a two-way instant conversation rather than waiting for a pre-recorded response.
Imagine being in an important business meeting or even better...cheating on your spouse...when suddenly your other half STRIKES AGAIN with another poorly timed, lame-assed “com” asking you to bring a load of bread home. Total boner killer...total boner killer. ??‍♂️
 
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