With Siri, you can use your HomePod or HomePod mini to send messages to others in your household, provided they are within earshot of a smart speaker. This feature is called Intercom and you can use it from any device that supports Apple̵
While the intercom feature is primarily designed for home use, it also works with the iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Apple Watch and CarPlay.
What is intercom?
Intercom lets you send pre-recorded voice messages to Apple devices, much like the short voice clips that Apple has built into its Messages app. The feature is primarily designed for use with the HomePod and HomePod mini smart speakers, so you can send a message to any speaker in your house at the same time.
You can also send messages to specific rooms, provided you have set up your smart speakers to reflect your home layout. If you have an iPhone, iPad and / or Apple Watch, you can choose to receive intercom messages on your devices as well.
Intercom is intended for home use, although devices such as the iPhone can receive messages sent to your household even when you are not at home. You can choose not to receive these messages at all on your personal device or to receive them only at home.
To use Intercom, you must enable it under the Home app. Fortunately, not everyone needs to be under a Family Sharing plan. You can also authorize Apple accounts outside of the family to send intercom messages within your home, which is ideal for shared homes or student housing.
When you send an intercom message, the recording will be played on all target devices. There is no speech-to-text via Siri, so make sure to speak loud and clear.
Using Intercom with HomePod and more
To use Intercom, you must first enable it on your HomePod and any personal devices on which you want to receive messages. To do this, start the Home app and tap “Home” at the top left. In the menu that appears, tap Home Settings> Intercom.
You can then choose whether to receive notifications on devices (non-HomePods) in the “Receive notifications when” section. Make sure to turn on all of the HomePod speakers at the bottom of the menu, along with anyone in your house who wants access to the intercom feature. If you want to exclude a particular HomePod, just turn it off.
After Intercom has been enabled on all the speakers you own, it’s time to test it out from your iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch or CarPlay connected engine.
You can use Intercom in the following ways:
- Hey, Siri. Intercom I’ll be home late. “
- “Hey Siri, tell everyone I’m home late.”
- Hey, Siri. Intercom living room, has the game started? “
However you invoke the feature, it will always play whatever your microphone picks up after ‘intercom’ or ‘tell everyone’.
Info: To use Intercom, you must have iOS 14.2 or higher on the device (your iPhone or iPad) that you use to send the message. If your HomePod or Apple device is not up to date, you may get an error telling you to enable the feature even if you have already done so.
If you encounter an error sending a message, please update your iPhone to the latest version of iOS and relaunch the Home app. Tap and hold the HomePod icon, scroll down and tap the Settings gear. Perform any software updates that are listed as open; if you don’t see one, your HomePod is up to date.
Let others use intercom by adding them to your home
You can allow others to use intercom by adding them to your Home app and then enabling the intercom function. However, anyone you add will need an iPhone or iPad to actually use this feature.
To do this, start the Home app and tap “Home” at the top left. From the menu that appears, tap Home Settings.
In the “People” section, tap “Invite people” and start typing the name, email or phone number of the person you want to add. Tap “Send Invitation” and that person will receive a request on their device. After they accept, they will appear under the ‘People’ section.
Under ‘Home Settings’, tap ‘Intercom’ to turn this feature on next to the person you just added. They can now use the same commands to send recorded messages throughout your home.
More tips for HomePod owners
Considering grabbing a HomePod mini or two for full Siri coverage around the house? Apple’s latest (and smallest) smart speaker is competitively priced, but there are a few things you might want to consider first.
If you already own a HomePod or two and are wondering what else you can do with Apple’s smart speaker, check out our best HomePod tips and tricks.
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