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Can You Use HomePod as an Intercom?

Last Updated Nov 14, 2020
Woman speaking into an Iphone on speaker.

The features available with modern smart home tech are becoming more competitive as users seek new and innovative ways to improve their setups. One such device, Apple’s HomePod, can provide unique features catered to various users and applications. But does it have an intercom function?

The HomePod can be set up as an intercom, allowing households to communicate with family members via voice commands. Additionally, added users can send and receive messages with this feature with only a few initial requirements.

A unique feature that users may not be familiar with is the HomePod’s ability to function as an intercom system. This article will provide an in-depth look into using your HomePod as an intercom as well as some tips to get started.

What is the HomePod Intercom Feature?

The intercom feature on Apple’s HomePod is similar to a walkie-talkie or two-way audio device. It effectively allows you to use the HomePod as a communication device and send and receive messages from a range of iOS devices.

As a bonus, if you have multiple HomePods in your household, you can broadcast messages or choose from whichever HomePod you would like to send and receive notifications. This allows for versatility with your smart home setup and provides a range of possible applications. You can even send messages with CarPlay while you’re driving!

Before Getting Started with HomePod’s Intercom

To use the HomePod as an intercom, there are a few requirements you must meet before you get started:

Update Device Software

Before using the HomePod as an intercom, you will need to verify that all connected devices are running the latest software to ensure compatibility. Your HomePod needs to be installed with 14.1 or later.

The intercom feature requires that mobile iOS devices (iPhone, iPad, etc.) run iOS 14.2 or later to be compatible. The HomePod intercom feature also supports Apple Watches running watchOS 7.1 (or later).

Setup HomePods to Function Independently

Multiple HomePods can be connected to form a stereo pairing setup. However, to set your HomePods up as an intercom, they must be configured to function independently, not as a stereo pairing.

Once you’ve met the requirements listed above, setting up your HomePod as an intercom system is straightforward and intuitive.

Next, we’ll look at getting started using your HomePod.

Using Your HomePod as an Intercom

With the intercom feature on your HomePod, you can send short audio messages not only to other HomePods in your house but to anyone with an iOS device (providing they also meet the above requirements).

Sending Messages with Intercom

With the intercom feature, you have a few different ways of sending and receiving messages. You can ask Siri to send messages, or you can also use the Home app.

Using Siri

You can use voice commands with Siri on your iOS device (or with the HomePod) to send messages over the intercom. Here are some examples:

  • “Hey Siri, intercom ‘It’s time to get up!’”
  • “Hey Siri, ask everyone, ‘Is dinner ready?’”

Additionally, you can ask Siri to send messages to a HomePod in a specific room by saying something like:

  • “Hey Siri, announce in the master bedroom ‘“It’s time to leave.’”
  • “Hey Siri, ask kid’s bedroom ‘Are you ready for school?’”

Using the Home App

To send messages via the Home app:

  1. First, open the “Home” application on your connected iOS device and navigate to the “Home” tab.
  2. Next, tap the “Intercom” icon located on the “Home” tab in the upper-right corner.
  3. Like Siri, you can then issue a voice message to be sent through the HomePods intercom. You can also send the message to specific rooms or zones in your house.
  4. When you’re done recording your message, simply tap “Done,” and the message will be automatically sent to the indicated HomePod or device.

Replying to Messages

In addition to being able to send messages, you can also reply to messages using your HomePod. If your initial message is broadcasted to everyone in the household, the corresponding reply will be sent back to all HomePod and iOS devices with notifications enabled.

On the other hand, if an intercom message was only sent to a specific room in the house, the reply will only be sent to the originating HomePod.

Here are some example replies to give you a better idea of what the HomePod can recognize:

  • “Hey Siri, reply ‘Yes, dinner is ready.’”
  • “Hey Siri, reply, ‘I’m ready for school!’”

You can also send your reply to specific HomePod speakers by naming them when you reply, like “Hey Siri, reply to the master bedroom, ‘I’m ready to leave.’”

In Summary

The ability to use your HomePod as an intercom can provide much-needed convenience for multi-user households.

Additionally, with iOS compatibility, you can send and receive messages right from your mobile device, including AirPods and the Apple Watch. The setup requires almost no additional configuration, so you can get started using your HomePod as an intercom right away.

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