Apple announced its new Intercom feature during a media event yesterday, saying that it will allow families to more easily communicate with each other. It’s similar to Walkie Talkie, but without the need to press and hold a button to communicate. It’s also asynchronous, too.
And while Apple did say during the event that the feature would work with all of our devices, MacRumors has further confirmed that by digging into the latest HomePod beta software.
The feature itself is one that could prove very useful, especially considering its integration with every Apple device we own. Except the Mac, that is.
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. Intercom works with iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, AirPods, and CarPlay, so everyone in the household can get Intercom notifications and send Intercom messages from the backyard or on their way home.
MacRumors has now been able to confirm exactly how the feature will work and has shared screenshots as well.
In the latest HomePod beta software, the setup process explains that users can say “Hey Siri, Intercom,” followed by their message, and then choose which HomePods and/or personal devices the message should be sent to. Other options include “Hey Siri, tell everyone,” and “Hey Siri, reply…” to respond to a message.
Users will receive notifications on their personal devices, telling them that an Intercom message has been received. They can then listen to it and return the message if they want to.
On personal devices, Intercom messages appear as notifications with the option to listen to the audio message. Users can also choose when Intercom notifications are delivered to their iPhone (Never / When I’m Home / Anywhere), and can select who can use Intercom via the Home app if they have remote access. Apple is also including an accessibility option that transcribes spoken messages on personal devices.
We don’t know exactly when Intercom will go live, but we suspect it will be when Apple puts the HomePod mini on sale on November 16.
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