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

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.

Related Roundups: HomePod, HomePod mini
Buyer's Guide: HomePod Mini (Neutral)

Top Rated Comments

jzuena Avatar
16 months ago

Is intercom replacing walkie talkie?
I just tested intercom and it actually works, so not a direct replacement for walkie talkie.
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Digital Jive Avatar
16 months ago
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?
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
trip1ex Avatar
16 months ago

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.
Like a phone call. :)
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TheDailyApple Avatar
16 months ago

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.
I know right? You could even assign everyone a unique number so that anyone with the number can request a conversation. Since it would be speaking across a distance it could be called “tele-phone”.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Deinocheirus Avatar
16 months ago

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.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
tgara Avatar
16 months ago

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!
So you’re going to continue to shout or text across the house like we do? :cool:
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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