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Home / Tips and Tricks / Apple HomePod’s intercom function is like a whole-house walkie-talkie. How to use

Apple HomePod’s intercom function is like a whole-house walkie-talkie. How to use



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HomePod Mini is Apple’s affordable smart speaker for almost everyone.

Chris Monroe / CNET

One of the few attributes my family and I have consistently used on the different Amazon Echo or Google home speakers we had in the house was the ability to broadcast a message to everyone in the house. Until recently it was a function that Apple’s HomePod was missing. But with the launch of iOS 14 and the release of the more affordable HomePod Mini, Apple added an intercom function.

As the name implies, you can use your HomePods to send voice messages to anyone in your house or to specific rooms with Siri. But Apple took it a step further by allowing you to send and receive the same messages from an iPhone, iPad, or Apple Watch. You can even use CarPlay to send and receive intercom messages.

Before using the intercom feature, make sure that all your Apple devices – iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, HomePod, HomePod Mini and Apple Watch are running the latest version of their respective software. Below we’ll show you how to use your HomePod as an intercom and where to find all the settings.

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Take a few minutes to make sure the intercom is set up the way you want.

Screenshots by Jason Cipriani / CNET

Adjust your intercom settings before you start

Before using Intercom, it is a good idea to check the settings first.

On your iPhone or iPad, open it House app, tap it Home icon in the top left corner and select Home settings > Intercom where you will see three different settings:

  • Choose whether you only want to receive intercom messages on your iPhone, iPad or Apple Watch when you are at home or wherever you are. You can also choose not to receive them at all.
  • Select which members of your home can use the Intercom remote access feature. You must invite someone to share your home before they appear in this section. You can do that by opening the Home app and going to Home Settings > Invite people to give them access to any HomeKit devices you have set up.
  • Finally, you can enable or disable Intercom on specific HomePods in your home.
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You know Siri is listening when you see the top of your HomePod light up.

Chris Monroe / CNET

Learn these intercom commands

Using Apple’s Intercom is easy. With your HomePod within earshot, say something like “Hey Siri, intercom It’s time to eat.A few seconds later, a recording of your message will play on the rest of your HomePods. It will also be sent to members of your home who have chosen to receive alerts remotely.

You can also use Siri on your iPhone, iPad, or Apple Watch to send intercom messages with the same phrases.

I tried a few variations of the command and found something along the lines of “ask everyone“or”to announce‘instead of’ intercom ‘has worked. I also tried ‘broadcast, “but that has resulted in Siri playing a random song with broadcast in the title.

You can reply to an intercom message you hear on a HomePod with the command “Hey Siri, answer. I’ll be right there.

If you want to limit the message to a specific room or area, you can specify that in your command. For example, “Hey Siri, ask the basement what time do we have to leave?“would only send the intercom message to HomePods you have in the basement. You should use the same kind of wording if you want to limit an answer to a specific room, like”Hey Siri, answer the bedroom we have to leave in 15 minutes.

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You can listen to your intercom messages on your iPhone.

Jason Cipriani / CNET

Send messages from the Home app

There is another way to send an intercom message without using Siri. This works on your iPhone, iPad or Apple Watch.

Open it on your phone or tablet Home app and make sure you have it Home tab. Tap the Intercom icon in the top right corner and start talking to create your message. Crane Done to send the message.

On your Apple Watch, open the Home app and tap the Intercom button, record your message, then tap Done to send it.

Now that you know how to use the intercom feature, check out the rest of our tips and tricks for Apple’s HomePod. After that, learn all the hidden features we found in iOS 14, followed by every tip and trick we know for your iPhone.


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