HomePod Intercom Works Everywhere Except the Mac

Apple HomePod Intercom connects all your devices, except your Mac

During Apple’s “Hi, Speed” event, Cupertino unveiled a new addition to the HomePod product line. The HomePod Mini not only brings in a more economical Siri-enabled smart speaker, but also a new feature for family members to keep in touch. The new HomePod Intercom feature enables sending and receiving spoken messages using almost any Apple device. It doesn’t, however, work with the Mac.

HomePod Intercom Keeps Family Members Connected

Cupertino explains that the new Intercom feature provides family members with a quick and easy way to stay connected with each other at home. Amazon began offering a similar feature in 2017, amid privacy conerns that Apple has addressed by promising that “only after “Hey Siri” is recognized locally on the device, or the user activates Siri by touch, will any information be sent to Apple servers”. Furthermore, Apple doesn’t associate that information in any way with your Apple ID.

*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.

The latest HomePod beta software includes the setup process for Intercom. Users can say, “Hey Siri, Intercom” to activate the feature. They follow with their message and choose which HomePods and/or personal devices should receive it. You can also say, “Hey Siri, tell everyone” or “Hey Siri, reply” to respond to a message.

Customizing Your Intercom

On your personal devices, like iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, AirPods, or CarPlay, the HomePod Intercom messages show up as notifications. You’ll have the option to listen to the audio message. You can also choose when you’ll get Intercom messages delivered to your iPhone. Choose from Never, When I’m Home, or Anywhere.

Apple Intercom setup on personal devices
You can set up when HomePod Intercom delivers notifications to your iPhone or iPad

From the Home app, users can also select who is able to use Intercom. An accessibility option allows personal device to transcribe those spoken messages.

HomePod Intercom Works Everywhere, Except on Your Mac

The Intercom seems like it could be either fantastic or tragic, depending on your views on folks being able to intrude on your privacy with messages. It works on almost every device Apple makes, with one notable omission. Even though macOS has had Siri support for years, Intercom apparently won’t be available on your Mac.

See also: iOS 14.2 Enhances HomePods as Apple TV Speakers

4 thoughts on “HomePod Intercom Works Everywhere Except the Mac

  • ‘The new HomePod Intercom feature enables sending and receiving spoken messages using almost any Apple device. It doesn’t, however, work with the Mac.’
    I think you should have concluded that sentence with, ‘…at least, not yet’. Remember, the Apple Silicon-powered Macs, which will be engineered from the ground up to exploit many of the capabilities now found elsewhere on the Mac, and may well extend those capabilities across the entire platform on these new Macs, have not even been announced yet. Apple only ever intentionally tip their hand on the eve of a product rollout, if then, but prefer to surprise. 
    It would be a missed opportunity, and an omission worthy of being what we call in my profession a ‘skip lesion’ (something missing that should be there, resulting in clinical pathology) were to fail to make this available across the entire platform, provided the technology permitted it. Distributing and harmonising core capabilities desired by users has to be part of the calculus in migrating to the new chipsets. The opportunity, at least, is in plain sight. 

  • Thing is new Macs will let you run iPhone apps on it, so you’ll be able to use some of those apps on the new Macs that way.
    What is really weird is this brings up point I made on pop.0 long time ago (which was weirdly overmatched by a lot of people in Northern California) of the one OS to rule them all.
    If you have a new tiny MacBook running on an apple silicon chip… and that macOS lets you run iPhone apps… What is to stop apple from making an iPad Pro that can run macOS when conjoined to the magic keyboard with trackpad. Why isn’t that a Mac with a touch screen. A toaster fridge. I would buy that.

  • I can sort of see it. Most Mac users probably have other devices in the room with them already that can do the job. And those who have a Mac and no other devices such as iPads or iPhones are probably not a target audience.

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