You just updated your iPhone. How do you use this “intercom” feature?

You just updated your iPhone. How do you use this “intercom” feature?

iOS 14.2 comes with a new feature called “intercom.” It lets you send audio messages to everyone you share your HomeKit “Home” with. How do you use it? What do you need to use it?

Here’s how it works: You can tell Siri to ‘tell everyone’ a message, and it will blast it out to all your family members.

Intercom lets you send and receive messages from one HomePod to another, or with iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Apple Watch, and CarPlay.

The requirements:

  • iOS 14.2
  • a HomePod or HomePod Mini
  • A HomeKit home set up through Apple’s Home App
  • Family members invited to share the Home and enabled in Home Settings > Intercom

How does it actually work

Let’s say you want to tell everyone in the family something. The old way would be to have a family iMessage group, and tell Siri to text the family group with your message.

The new way is to say, “Hey Siri, tell everyone” and say your message. If you try and tell an individual person, it defaults to sending a text message.

The prompts here are

  • tell everyone
  • intercom
  • announce
  • ask everyone
  • let everyone know

You can do this from HomePod, your iOS or iPadOS device, your Apple Watch, or CarPlay.

How to reply

To answer, you can say

  • “Hey Siri, reply ‘I’ll be right there.’”
  • “Hey Siri, announce back ‘Just finishing my homework.’”

How it works with HomeKit

In Home, you define zones – upstairs, downstairs, specific named rooms, and so on. If you have a HomePod in those zones or rooms, you can intercom them specifically.

To send a message to a HomePod in a specific room or zone, say something like “Hey Siri, tell the office ‘time for dinner’” or “Hey Siri, announce upstairs ‘I’m going for a walk.’”

In this case, ‘office’ and ‘upstairs’ are zones and rooms in the house defined in the Home.

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