Apple announced its new Intercom feature during a media event yesterday, saying it will make it easier for families to communicate with each other. It’s similar to Walkie Talkie, but without having to press and hold a button to communicate. It is also asynchronous as well.
And while Apple said during the event that the feature would work with all of our devices, MacRumors has further confirmed this by digging into the latest HomePod beta software.
The feature itself is one that can prove to be very useful, especially considering the integration with all Apple devices we own. Except for the Mac, that is.
A new Intercom feature provides a quick and easy way for family members to connect with each other at home. A person can send an intercom message from one HomePod to another – whether it is in another room, a specific zone or several rooms throughout the home – and their voice will be played automatically on the selected HomePod speaker. Intercom works with iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, AirPods and arCarPlay, so that everyone in the household can receive intercom alerts and send intercom messages from the backyard or on the way home.
MacRumors has now been able to confirm exactly how the feature will work and has also shared screenshots.
In the latest beta software HomePod, the installation process explains that users can say “Hello Siri, intercom”, followed by the message, and then choose which HomePods and / or personal devices the message should be sent to. Other options include “Hello Siri, tell everyone,” and “Hello Siri, reply …” to reply to a message.
Users will receive notifications on their personal devices and tell them that an intercom message has been received. They can then listen to it and return the message if they want.
Personal devices display intercom messages that alert you to the ability to listen to the audio message. Users can also choose when Intercom alerts are delivered to iPhone (Never / When I’m Home / Anywhere), and can choose who can use Intercom via the Home app if they have remote access. Apple also includes an accessibility option that transcribes voicemails on personal devices.
We do not know exactly when Intercom will be operational, but we suspect it will be when Apple sells the HomePod mini on November 16.
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