How to setup and use Intercom on iPhone, Apple Watch, and HomePod

Posted:
in iOS edited November 2020
Announced during its "Hi, Speed" event, Apple showed off a new feature for iPhone, Apple Watch, iPad, HomePod, and HomePod mini called Intercom that allows you to easily communicate with your family. Here is how to set it up and how to use it.

Intercom welcome screen
Intercom welcome screen

Get started

To use Intercom, you first must have your devices up to date. Intercom requires iOS 14.1, and the new HomePod 14.1 update, or newer.






Once you are up to date, you can launch the Home app. Intercom lives in the Home app and is where it is both set up and configured for your devices.

Upon launching the app post-update you should see a new alert announcing that Intercom is available. That is how you enable Intercom.

How to set up Intercom
  • On the Intercom alert in the Home app, tap Continue

  • Then choose when you'd like to receive Intercom notifications on your iPhone

  • Then choose who should be able to send Intercom messages to your home. These are users who you've added to your Home app.

  • Tap Continue and you're done
Intercom waveform in top corner
Intercom waveform in top corner


Once Intercom is turned on, you should see a new waveform icon in the top right corner of the Home app. The + button that was there before has been relocated to the left side of the screen.

Sending an Intercom message from the Home app
Sending an Intercom message from the Home app


If you tap on the Intercom icon, a modal box appears that lets you speak your message to be broadcast. Once you are finished with your message, tap the stop button to end. The Home app should confirm your message was successfully sent to your home.

HomePod's Intercom settings
HomePod's Intercom settings


For HomePod users, you can go into your HomePod settings where you can toggle Intercom on or off for that device, as well as choose when it should receive notifications such as when you're home, never, or anytime.

Whole home Intercom settings
Whole home Intercom settings


For global Intercom settings, head to the Home app icon in the top-left corner and choose Home Settings. Intercom is now listed among the different accessory types like doors, sensors, and blinds.

Here you can turn the feature on or off in its entirety, toggle individual HomePods, and choose your phone's Intercom preferences.

How to use Intercom

You can easily send messages right from the Home app, but it is by far the most convenient place.

HomePod speaking
HomePod speaking


Intercom broadcasts can be sent at any time using Siri. Just say "Hey Siri, Intercom" and then speak your message. By default, the message will go to the whole home but you can also specificity a room if you have multiple locations. For example, "Hey Siri, Intercom kitchen. Can the kids come to the backyard to help cover the furniture?"

Use Intercom on Apple Watch
Use Intercom on Apple Watch


Since Siri is on multiple devices, Intercom works across multiple devices. You are able to use your iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, HomePod, HomePod mini, or even CarPlay to send messages. Now when you pull in the driveway you can send an Intercom announcement to the whole home to come help carry in the groceries.

Use Intercom in specific rooms
Use Intercom in specific rooms


When an Intercom message is sent, Siri doesn't read the text but instead, it is your voice that comes through the other end.

A great new feature

Intercom is a great use of all your Apple devices and it is dead-simple to set up. Thanks to the new HomePod mini's low price point, smart Apple speakers will be in more rooms throughout homes.

Stay on top of all Apple news right from your HomePod or HomePod mini. Say, "Hey, Siri, play AppleInsider Daily," and you'll get a fast update direct from the AppleInsider team.
«1

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 34
    Can I send an intercom message to everyone in the family group?  Even if they’re in other locations?  So if I send an intercom will everyone in the family group receive them even if they’re not at home?
    NumNutswatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 34
    mobirdmobird Posts: 662member
    Where are you getting the Beta OS update for HomePods?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 34
    Why do you have to say “ Hey Siri, Intercom...” when the presentation didn’t note this? The actor in the video said “Hey Siri, tell everyone...”
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 34
    cg27cg27 Posts: 144member
    Would be great if Homepods could relay doorbell rings and garage door openings for those times you’re at home and don’t have your IPhone with you or your Apple Watch on, perhaps with Intercom announcing “Someone is ringing the front doorbell” (“Would you like to respond?”) or “Someone just opened the garage door”, ...

    Or for when I’m out and about and trying to get hold of my wife who’s taking a nap or long bath or watching TV, with her phone on a different floor.  Happens often.  Say in the second or third text or call attempt (user selectable) Intercom kicks in “Hubby is trying to contact wifey, would you like to respond?”


    edited October 2020 ronnmobirdwatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 34
    mobirdmobird Posts: 662member
    cg27 said:

    Or for when I’m out and about and trying to get hold of my wife who’s taking a nap or long bath or watching TV, with her phone on a different floor.  Happens often.  Say in the second or third text or call attempt (user selectable) Intercom kicks in “Hubby is trying to contact wifey, would you like to respond?”

    You are so spot on with this particular comment!!!
    I'll send a text inquiring if she read the text I just sent her...



    watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 34
    great- now in our house my teenager will be able  to send fart sounds to all our devices thx aapl right in middle of dinner, shows etc a hackers heaven
    williamlondon
  • Reply 7 of 34
    laytechlaytech Posts: 242member
    Can I send an intercom message to everyone in the family group?  Even if they’re in other locations?  So if I send an intercom will everyone in the family group receive them even if they’re not at home?
    According to the keynote, I believe it does. It certainly sends the message to everyone whether they are listening to music on their headphones etc. I guess it will need to be tested. I agree, when driving home, you could say, everyone, help me with the groceries, I am home in 5. That would be great. Or everyone, I am leaving the office now and it lets everyone know you're on your way home. I guess there are automations via Shortcuts that can do that though.
    cornchipwatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 34
    cg27cg27 Posts: 144member
    mobird said:
    cg27 said:

    Or for when I’m out and about and trying to get hold of my wife who’s taking a nap or long bath or watching TV, with her phone on a different floor.  Happens often.  Say in the second or third text or call attempt (user selectable) Intercom kicks in “Hubby is trying to contact wifey, would you like to respond?”

    You are so spot on with this particular comment!!!
    I'll send a text inquiring if she read the text I just sent her...


    Funny thing is she expects me to be at her beck and call instantly and constantly because she’s so accustomed to me being responsive thanks to my AppleWatch.  She doesn’t want to wear a watch so Intercom could be the ticket.  But something tells me she’ll ignore Intercom unless she feels it might be important.  😂

    mobirdwatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 34
    JapheyJaphey Posts: 1,066member
    This feature needs a control center toggle. Can’t wait to see how it works with my AirPods Pro.

     Actually, now that I think about it... is it possible to initiate intercom with AirPods, or only respond? I think the event video only showed the actor responding. 
    edited October 2020 watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 34
    "How to setup and use . . . "

    The verb is "set up". No exceptions.
    williamlondonuraharambenz1962
  • Reply 11 of 34
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 6,344administrator
    mac'em x said:
    "How to setup and use . . . "

    The verb is "set up". No exceptions.
    https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/setup

    2a and b. 6a.

    This conversation has concluded.
    ronnwatto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 34
    mike1mike1 Posts: 2,841member
    Sounds like participants need to have access to your Home as a user.
    So, if you don't give your kids or anyone else access to the Home functionality, they wouldn't be able to use Intercom, except though a HomePod.
    Do I have that right?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 34
    If all you have are iPhones in the house and no Home devices, will intercom work?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 34
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 2,555member
    I’m getting really pissed off with the HomeKit/HomePod stuff. Nothing ever seems to work for me. I’ve updated to 14.1 on everything and I never got a bubble asking to enable intercom on my iPhone X, but it’s automatically on on both my HomePods. There is nowhere in the home app to turn it on for my phone, and seemingly nowhere in phone settings either. Trying to intercom from my phone says I can only intercom from one HomePod to another, and trying to intercom from a HomePod says “go ahead...” I speak,  then the HP makes the text message sent sound and nothing else happens.

    I have no idea what’s going on with Apple’s software as of late but whoever’s heading up the HomePod’s software division really needs to be replaced. At least for me, it’s a disaster and unless things drastically improve I wouldn’t dream of getting any more HomePods or HomeKit devices. I have actually created (both hardware and software) my own smart home system and it’s 100% reliable; and I’m just me, not a $2tn company. 
    flyingdp
  • Reply 15 of 34
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 2,555member
    great- now in our house my teenager will be able  to send fart sounds to all our devices thx aapl right in middle of dinner, shows etc a hackers heaven
    Someone in your HomeKit home already is not a hacker, since you have to invite them. If your son is too immature to use the feature, kick him from the home. 
  • Reply 16 of 34
    elijahg said:
    I’m getting really pissed off with the HomeKit/HomePod stuff. Nothing ever seems to work for me. I’ve updated to 14.1 on everything and I never got a bubble asking to enable intercom on my iPhone X, but it’s automatically on on both my HomePods. There is nowhere in the home app to turn it on for my phone, and seemingly nowhere in phone settings either. Trying to intercom from my phone says I can only intercom from one HomePod to another, and trying to intercom from a HomePod says “go ahead...” I speak,  then the HP makes the text message sent sound and nothing else happens.

    I have no idea what’s going on with Apple’s software as of late but whoever’s heading up the HomePod’s software division really needs to be replaced. At least for me, it’s a disaster and unless things drastically improve I wouldn’t dream of getting any more HomePods or HomeKit devices. I have actually created (both hardware and software) my own smart home system and it’s 100% reliable; and I’m just me, not a $2tn company. 
    Have you at least contacted Apple Technical support?  If not maybe that would be the first step.  Also I was having issues with my HomePods.  this past Friday, I factory reset all of them and viola EVERYTHING is working.  All the issues I had have been resolved. 
  • Reply 17 of 34
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 2,555member
    PassingBy said:
    elijahg said:
    I’m getting really pissed off with the HomeKit/HomePod stuff. Nothing ever seems to work for me. I’ve updated to 14.1 on everything and I never got a bubble asking to enable intercom on my iPhone X, but it’s automatically on on both my HomePods. There is nowhere in the home app to turn it on for my phone, and seemingly nowhere in phone settings either. Trying to intercom from my phone says I can only intercom from one HomePod to another, and trying to intercom from a HomePod says “go ahead...” I speak,  then the HP makes the text message sent sound and nothing else happens.

    I have no idea what’s going on with Apple’s software as of late but whoever’s heading up the HomePod’s software division really needs to be replaced. At least for me, it’s a disaster and unless things drastically improve I wouldn’t dream of getting any more HomePods or HomeKit devices. I have actually created (both hardware and software) my own smart home system and it’s 100% reliable; and I’m just me, not a $2tn company. 
    Have you at least contacted Apple Technical support?  If not maybe that would be the first step.  Also I was having issues with my HomePods.  this past Friday, I factory reset all of them and viola EVERYTHING is working.  All the issues I had have been resolved. 
    Regarding the Intercom thing, not yet; I probably will tomorrow. I’m sick of resetting everything over and over though, which is the only solution Apple Support ever seem to have. 

    I have reported some of the other issues I have with HP to Apple's radar bug reporter (well, feedback assistant now) but as usual it goes ignored or classed as duplicate. I recently reset my phone and watch to fix the battery drain bug, and I reset both HomePods about once a month to fix the “personal requests must be turned on before I can do that” bug. PRs are on in the home app, and toggling it off and on does nothing. The only way to get PR’s so work again is unpair and re-pair the HP.

    I have a feeling there’s some corruption in my iCloud account, since it’s really old (migrated from iTools >.Mac>MobileMe>iCloud). 
    edited October 2020 flyingdp
  • Reply 18 of 34
    elijahg said:
    I’m getting really pissed off with the HomeKit/HomePod stuff. Nothing ever seems to work for me. I’ve updated to 14.1 on everything and I never got a bubble asking to enable intercom on my iPhone X, but it’s automatically on on both my HomePods. There is nowhere in the home app to turn it on for my phone, and seemingly nowhere in phone settings either. Trying to intercom from my phone says I can only intercom from one HomePod to another, and trying to intercom from a HomePod says “go ahead...” I speak,  then the HP makes the text message sent sound and nothing else happens.

    I have no idea what’s going on with Apple’s software as of late but whoever’s heading up the HomePod’s software division really needs to be replaced. At least for me, it’s a disaster and unless things drastically improve I wouldn’t dream of getting any more HomePods or HomeKit devices. I have actually created (both hardware and software) my own smart home system and it’s 100% reliable; and I’m just me, not a $2tn company. 
    I'm getting the same thing you are. Nothing on the phone and my HP pretends it's going to intercom and then nada. 
  • Reply 19 of 34
    elijahg said:
    I’m getting really pissed off with the HomeKit/HomePod stuff. Nothing ever seems to work for me. I’ve updated to 14.1 on everything and I never got a bubble asking to enable intercom on my iPhone X, but it’s automatically on on both my HomePods. There is nowhere in the home app to turn it on for my phone, and seemingly nowhere in phone settings either. Trying to intercom from my phone says I can only intercom from one HomePod to another, and trying to intercom from a HomePod says “go ahead...” I speak,  then the HP makes the text message sent sound and nothing else happens.

    I have no idea what’s going on with Apple’s software as of late but whoever’s heading up the HomePod’s software division really needs to be replaced. At least for me, it’s a disaster and unless things drastically improve I wouldn’t dream of getting any more HomePods or HomeKit devices. I have actually created (both hardware and software) my own smart home system and it’s 100% reliable; and I’m just me, not a $2tn company. 
    I'm getting the same thing you are. Nothing on the phone and my HP pretends it's going to intercom and then nada. 
    Same.
    Just spent some time with Apple support and they said they don't have anything on their phone or HomePod either, maybe because – like me – they only have one HP.
    So possible that:
    - HP14.1 brings support to HP only, allowing to use between multiple HPs
    - iOS14.2 will bring the functionality to iPhone as well (note the video above is iOS 14.2 beta)

    EDIT:
    If you tell Siri on iPhone to "tell everyone to..." it will reply that "you can only intercom from one HomePod to another." So seems like iOS 14.1 does not support intercom; need to wait for iOS 14.2 for full duplex between iPhones/iPads and HomePods.
    edited October 2020 chaickaflyingdp
  • Reply 20 of 34
    I never got a pop-up in my Home app, and I don't see anywhere in the app where I can change any intercom settings.  However, it does work between HomePods in my house.
    mike1
Sign In or Register to comment.