Apple lets you turn your HomePod speaker into an intercom, allowing family members to send audio messages from one Apple speaker or device to another in your household. Family members receive Intercom notifications and can send Intercom messages from their devices.
Here’s Apple’s description of Intercom:
A new Intercom feature offers a quick and easy way for family members to connect with each other at home. One person can send an Intercom message from one HomePod to another — whether in a different room, a specific zone or multiple rooms throughout the home — and their voice will automatically play on the designated HomePod speaker.
The feature supports most, but not all Apple devices:. Follow along with us to learn about the Intercom system requirements in terms of device and operating system support.
Intercom system requirements
Intercom requires a HomePod and also works on the iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, AirPods and CarPlay with the corresponding iOS 14.2, iPadOS 14.2 and watchOS 7.1 updates.
Intercom: device support
Here are the Apple devices that support Intercom:
- iPod touch
- Apple Watch
In addition to the aforementioned devices, the Intercom feature is also supported on CarPlay. Intercom works with your AirPods out of the box and requires Siri access to interact with it.
These Apple wireless speakers with compatible software support Intercom:
- HomePod mini
You need at least a HomePod and another Apple device to use Intercom.
The following iPhone smartphones powered by compatible software support Intercom:
- iPhone 12 mini
- iPhone 12
- iPhone 12 Pro
- iPhone 12 Pro Max
- iPhone SE (all models)
- iPhone 11
- iPhone 11 Pro
- iPhone 11 Pro Max
- iPhone XS
- iPhone XS Max
- iPhone XR
- iPhone X
- iPhone 8
- iPhone 8 Plus
- iPhone 7
- iPhone 7 Plus
- iPhone 6s
- iPhone 6s Plus
These Apple tablets powered by compatible software support Intercom:
- iPad Pro (all models)
- iPad (5th generation and later)
- iPad mini (4th generation and later)
- iPad Air (2nd generation and later)
The following iPod touch media players powered by compatible software support Intercom:
- iPod touch (7th generation)
These Apple Watch smartwatches powered by compatible software support Intercom:
- Apple Watch Series 3 and later
- Apple Watch SE
CarPlay support for Intercom is coming in the future.
You can also use Intercom hands-free while working out or running errands with your AirPods and AirPods Pro earbuds, right out of the box, no special software needed.
Intercom: OS support
The following operating system versions must be powering your supported Apple devices before you can take advantage of the Intercom features:
- iOS 14.2 or later on a compatible iPhone or iPod touch
- iPadOS 14.2 or later on a compatible iPad
- watchOS 7.1 or later on a compatible Apple Watch model
- HomePod software version 14.1 or later on a compatible HomePod speaker
What about the Mac?
Apple makes no mention of Mac compatibility for Intercom. When you think of it, it shouldn’t be too hard to send a notification to any Mac on the user’s current home network with a play button. We don’t think the lack of Mac compatibility is due to some limitations with macOS.
Intercom from HomePod to Apple Watch and viceversa (iOS 14.2 b4, watchOS 7.1 b3, HomePod 14.2 beta) pic.twitter.com/JXBVqSUdZH
— domenico panacea (@domenicopanacea) October 21, 2020
Rather, we think that Intercom will be supported on the Mac when Apple releases the macOS 11.0 Big Sur update later this month. We’ll be making sure to update this article to reflect any changes in terms of Intercom’s system requirements and compatibility.
We will detail using Intercom in a standalone tutorial. In the meantime, you can use Intercom on two or more HomePods. If you’re at home, you can make announcements to other HomePod speakers throughout the house (“Hey Siri, intercom ‘Dinner is ready!’”). Or perhaps you’d like to send an audio message to a HomePod in a specific room or zone.
You will however need another Apple device like an iPhone or use CarPlay in case you want to use Intercom remotely. For example, you’ll need an iPhone with an Internet connection to Intercom a HomePod in your house when you’re in the backyard or on your way home.
Intercom’s support for CarPlay makes it a cinch to send and receive messages through Apple’s in-car dashboard while you’re driving. And with support for your AirPods and the Apple Watch, you can even use Intercom during a workout or when running errands, which is great.