Daily Tips

How to use the HomePod and HomePod mini as an intercom

Intercom is a new feature that lets you send and receive messages from one HomePod or HomePod mini to another, or with iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Apple Watch, and CarPlay.

To use Intercom, make sure the wireless speaker is running the latest hardware. By default, the HomePod and HomePod mini automatically install new software updates, but you can manually check for updates in the Home app on your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or Mac. Here how:

Make sure that your device is updated to the latest version of iOS, iPadOS, or macOS. 

Open the Home app and tap or click Home in the upper-left corner.

Select Home Settings > Software Update. Tap or click Install Updates Automatically to turn automatic updates on or off. 

If there’s a new update, tap or click Install. This will install the update on all of the HomePod speakers you have set up in your home. Software Update will also tell you if your HomePod is already up to date, and show you the installed HomePod software.

A white spinning light appears on the top of HomePod while it’s updating. The update might take some time. Make sure that your HomePod stays plugged in while it’s updating. 

Then check that every device that you want to send and receive Intercom messages from—your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or Apple Watch—is running the latest software. After you update, Intercom will be turned on automatically. 

To choose when your device receives Intercom notifications, select which members of your Home have access to Intercom, and choose which HomePod speakers use Intercom:

° Open the Home app on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. 

° Tap Home > Home Settings. 

° Tap Intercom. Choose your Intercom settings. 

° Tap Back, then tap Done.

You can ask Siri or use the Home app to send an Intercom message. You can also send and receive Intercom messages with your AirPods or compatible Beats headphones that are connected to an iOS, iPadOS, or watchOS device. The message will be sent to every HomePod speaker in the Home and every device with Intercom notifications turned on. 

Ask Siri on your HomePod, HomePod mini, iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Apple Watch, AirPods, or CarPlay to send an Intercom message. Say something like, “Hey Siri, intercom ‘It’s time to wake up.’ ”

After your HomePod or device receives an Intercom message, you can reply back. If the message was shared with the whole Home, your reply is sent back to every HomePod and device in your Home with notifications turned on. 

If the message was sent to your specific room, your reply is sent only to the HomePod or device that sent the original message. You can reply with something like: “Hey Siri, reply ‘I’ll be right there.’ “

(This how-to is based on my experiences and info on Apple’s support pages — where the images sometimes come from.)

Dennis Sellers
the authorDennis Sellers
Dennis Sellers is the news editor of Apple World Today. He’s been an “Apple journalist” since 1995 (starting with the first big Apple news site, MacCentral). He loves to read, run, play sports, and watch movies.