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How to Use Apple's New Intercom Feature

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macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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Alongside the HomePod mini, Apple introduced a new Intercom feature that's designed to let Apple device owners communicate with one another throughout the home, sending messages to specific rooms, areas, or people.


Intercom works with the HomePod, HomePod mini, iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, AirPods, and even CarPlay, so you can dictate a voice message on any of your devices that you can have delivered to a single person in the family or all family members. Intercom is primarily designed as a feature for the HomePod and HomePod mini.

We have a demo and walkthrough video on the new feature:



How to Set Up Intercom

After updating to HomePod software 14.2 and iOS 14.2, Intercom can be set up in the Home app. Intercom works if you have a HomePod or another compatible device, and there is no dedicated interface on the iPhone for using Intercom outside of the Home app.
  1. Install HomePod 14.2 software.
  2. Open up the Home app.
  3. Tap on the little house icon in the upper left corner.
  4. Tap on "Home Settings."
  5. Scroll down to "Intercom" and tap it.
  6. Adjust your notification settings and select the people in the home who are able to use the Intercom feature.
Those who have remote access to your Home app can send or receive Intercom messages even when away from home, with those messages displaying as audio notifications on iPhone and Apple Watch.

Note that anyone who wants to be able to use Intercom will need to be added as a person with access to the home. This can be done by entering the Home Settings screen and tapping on "Invite People."

Intercom Requirements

Using the Intercom feature on HomePod, iOS devices, CarPlay, and AirPods requires the HomePod 14.2 software update or later and iOS and iPadOS 14.2 or later. On Apple Watch, it appears to work with watchOS 7.1 and later.

How to Use Intercom to Send a Message to a HomePod

Intercom messages can be sent to the HomePods throughout a home using Siri on iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, another HomePod, and more. To send an Intercom message, just activate Siri on your iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, CarPlay, or AirPods and then say "Intercom" and your message.


So if you wanted to tell everyone that dinner is ready, just say "Intercom, dinner is ready" and the message "Dinner is ready" will be relayed to all of the HomePods in the Home.

Other commands like "Hey Siri, tell everyone dinner is ready" also work as an alternative phrase for communicating through Intercom.


In the Home app on iPhone and iPad, there's also an option to tap on the small waveform in the upper right corner to record a message that's then sent to Intercom devices in the home.



How to Use Intercom to Send a Message From a HomePod to Another Device

You can use the HomePod to send a message to other HomePods in the home or to the devices that belong to members of the family.

It's as simple as activating Siri, saying "Intercom" and then the message, with the message able to be sent to every person in the family regardless of who's at home. It will play on HomePod speakers in the house as well as on individual iPhones, iPads, and Apple Watches.
How to Send a Message to a Specific Room

If you have HomePods in separate rooms, you can direct a message to that room by activating Siri and then saying "Intercom [room name] [message]."


So for example if you wanted to tell everyone in the living room that dinner is ready, you would say "Hey Siri, intercom living room dinner is ready."

Note that to use the room command, HomePods need to be correctly assigned to a room in the Home app. Assigning or changing a room can be done by following these steps:
  1. Open the Home app.
  2. Select the HomePod or HomePod mini from the device list.
  3. Long press on the HomePod icon.
  4. Tap on the gear icon at the bottom of the interface that pops up or scroll down forcefully.
  5. Tap on "Room."
  6. Select a room from the list of available rooms or tap "Create New."
  7. When done, close the interface by tapping the "X" at the top of the window.
How to Reply to an Intercom Message

If you receive an Intercom message in one room of the house and want to send a message back, you can activate Siri and then say "reply" along with your message.

So if you received an Intercom message that said "Dinner's ready," you can say "Hey Siri reply I'm on my way" to send a message right back.

Devices Compatible With Intercom

You can use iPhones, iPads, Apple Watches, and AirPods to send Intercom messages to the members of your household, and you can even send messages through CarPlay if you're driving.

Note that if your devices are using different languages, such as Spanish for the HomePod and English for the iPhone, Intercom may not function properly.

Guide Feedback

Have questions about Intercom or want to offer feedback on this guide? Send us an email here.

Article Link: How to Use Apple's New Intercom Feature
 
Last edited:
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v4111

macrumors newbie
Jun 10, 2009
8
8
"You can only intercom from one HomePod to another." is all I get on my watch and phone. Am I missing something?
Scratch that. I re-read the guide:
Intercom works with the HomePod after installing the HomePod 14.1 update, and it is functional on the iPhone and iPad after installing the iOS 14.2/iPadOS 14.2. On Apple Watch, it appears to work with watchOS 7.1 and later.
 

Relentless Power

macrumors Nehalem
Jul 12, 2016
34,693
36,152
Or just walk a few steps closer to the person and tell them

Or...some of us have multi story homes where not everybody is in the same room or on same level. It’s weird you would say that, given the obvious of how this feature is intended for separation and convenience where not everyone is a ‘few steps away‘. (But then Again, you wouldn’t say that if you were actually purchasing this product, which you’re obviously not.)
 

JosephAW

macrumors 68040
May 14, 2012
3,384
4,015
Be nice if this would work from speaker to speaker on my intranet.

Also wasn’t Apple working on a two way communication between cell phones without using the cell towers?
 

Relentless Power

macrumors Nehalem
Jul 12, 2016
34,693
36,152
Also wasn’t Apple working on a two way communication between cell phones without using the cell towers?

Well, the Apple Watch has a feature where you can use it as a walkie-talkie, but I see why they used it for an Apple Watch. Now, if they were to this as a standalone feature kind of like with the Nextel phones used to be, It’s a possibility, but I’d say say coming from Apple, given it’s not really a feature I think that would probably be widely used, although convenient.
 

ignatius345

macrumors 68040
Aug 20, 2015
3,021
4,015
This is a great walkthrough! Thanks. I’m definitely looking forward to scaring the heck out of my dog when I see on the camera that she’s jumping off the couch when I’m gone.
Yeah, these "how-to" articles are really top notch. It can be surprisingly hard sometimes to find a clear guide to using things like this.
 
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ignatius345

macrumors 68040
Aug 20, 2015
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We currently use an old iPhone as an improvised baby monitor. I found an app called Microphone (lame, generic name) that does one simple thing, which is to let you output your iOS device's mic directly to speakers connected by AirPlay or Bluetooth. So we get that going and then leave the phone in the room where the kid is sleeping.

I wonder if Intercom could do the same thing, or if it's strictly limited to snippets that go from device to device -- as opposed to continuous channeling of sound.
 
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Gsmaniac

macrumors regular
Apr 3, 2014
134
104
So resetting my HomePod has allowed intercom to work. However on my iPhone X the notification comes through that’s there is a message but it doesn’t actually play.
 

Saturn007

macrumors 6502a
Jul 18, 2010
508
190
Well, this beats people yelling at one another in a house... a terrible practice that Emily Post and Miss Manners properly frown on.

But I agree with Now You See It... just get up off your chair and walk to another part of the house to talk to people. It's not only good for you to walk a bit more, and personal human interaction is healthy, too!

Also, if dinner is usually served at a particular hour, it’s up to the family members to be there.
 

Sev_11

macrumors newbie
Oct 24, 2020
1
2
Same here Im on 14.1 on my iphone 11 pro max amd homepod has been updated as well but no way of activating intercom... on home settings nothing there and with siri it tells me to update my iPhone to 14.1 lol but I am on it.
 

krfr

macrumors regular
Sep 11, 2015
126
221
Same here Im on 14.1 on my iphone 11 pro max amd homepod has been updated as well but no way of activating intercom... on home settings nothing there and with siri it tells me to update my iPhone to 14.1 lol but I am on it.

Same. My 12 Pro doers the same thing.
 
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Statusnone88

macrumors 68000
Jun 19, 2010
1,549
787
Same thing here with my HomePod on 14.1 and my iPhone 12 Pro. Can’t figure it out. It just doesn’t have the option to activate it.
 
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calimed

macrumors member
Jan 7, 2008
91
4
All updated on current iPhone and HomePod. No intercom feature. No toggle in settings available.
 
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