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How to use Intercom on HomePod, iPhone, and more

How to use your iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, or HomePod as an Intercom. Intercom feature displayed on an iPhone 11 in front of a white HomePod.
How to use your iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, or HomePod as an Intercom. Intercom feature displayed on an iPhone 11 in front of a white HomePod. (Image credit: Christopher Close / iMore)

If you want to get someone's attention without having to grab your iPhone, then you need to know how to use Intercom. With Intercom, you can send messages directly to all iPhones, Apple Watches, HomePods, and Siri-enabled devices in your home using your voice. Unlike a standard audio message, Intercom messages play automatically on your family's devices— perfect for letting everyone know when dinner is ready. Here's how to use Intercom and manage your home's settings in the Home app.

Requirements

To use Intercom, you must be running iOS 14.2 or later on your iOS devices and HomePods and have a home set up in the Home app. The Intercom feature is also available on Apple Watches running watchOS 7.1 or later and with AirPods and CarPlay. Unfortunately, the Intercom feature is unavailable on macOS and tvOS.

How to setup Intercom in the Home app

Setting up and managing the Intercom feature takes place in the Home app. Intercom will appear the first time you launch the Home app, guiding you through the setup process. During setup, you will choose notification settings and user permissions.

  1. Launch the Home app.
  2. Tap Continue when the Intercom prompt appears.
  3. Select when you want to receive Intercom Notifications with a tap.

How to setup Intercom in the Home app by showing steps on an iPhone: Launch the Home app, Tap Continue on the Intercom Prompt, Tap on your Notification preference (Image credit: iMore)
  1. Tap Continue.
  2. Tap the switch next to a person's Name to enable or disable Intercom access.
  3. Tap Continue to finish.

How to setup Intercom in the Home app by showing steps on an iPhone: Tap Continue, Toggle on the Switch next to a person's name to enable or disable Intercom access, Tap Continue to finish setup (Image credit: iMore)

How to use your iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, or HomePod as an Intercom with Siri

The simplest way to send an Intercom message is with your voice via Siri. This option is available through Siri on all your devices, and with Hey, Siri enabled, you can send messages hands-free anytime.

Note: We are using iPhone screenshots to illustrate the Siri interactions of the commands, but you can use Siri directly on your HomePod, Apple Watch, or iPad to achieve these results.

  • Activate Siri and then give a voice command like "Intercom" or Send an Intercom" followed by your message. When you finish speaking, Siri will automatically send the message to everyone in the Home. If you want to send an intercom message to a specific HomePod or room in your home, give a command like "Intercom to the Living Room" followed by your message.

How to use your iPhone as an Intercom with Siri (Image credit: iMore)

How to use your iPhone or iPad as an Intercom with the Home app

You can also use the Home app available on your iPhone or iPad to send Intercom messages with just a few taps. Messages will still include your actual voice through the Home app, and your messages require confirmation before sending them.

  1. Launch the Home app.
  2. Tap the Intercom icon located near the top right.
  3. Speak the Message that you would like to send to the home, then tap Done to send.
    • To cancel a message, tap the X icon or anywhere outside the intercom screen.

How to use your iPhone or iPad as an intercom by showing steps on an iPhone: Launch the Home app, Tap the Intercom icon, Speak your message then tap Done (Image credit: iMore)

How to use your Apple Watch as an Intercom with the Home app

Like iOS, you can use the Home app on watchOS 7.1 or later to send Intercom messages. You can also cancel a message using the Home app before it goes out, which will undoubtedly come in handy.

  1. Launch the Home app.
  2. Tap Intercom.
  3. Speak the Message that you would like to send to the home, then tap Done to send.
    • To cancel a message, tap the Back icon.

How to use your Apple Watch as an Intercom with the Home app by showing steps on an Apple Watch: Launch the Home app, Tap Intercom, Speak your Message and then tap Done when finished (Image credit: iMore)

How to manage Intercom notifications on your iPhone or iPad

You can manage when Intercom notifications are active on your iPhone or iPad through the Home app. You can disable Intercom notifications altogether if desired and limit the delivery of Intercom notifications to only when you are home or at all times.

  1. Launch the Home app.
  2. Tap on the House icon.
  3. Tap Home Settings.

How to manage Intercom notifications on your iPhone or iPad by showing steps on an iPhone: Launch the Home app, Tap the House icon, Tap Home Settings (Image credit: iMore)
  1. Tap Intercom.
  2. Select when you want to receive Intercom Notifications with a tap.
    • Available options include Never, When I'm Home, and Anywhere. These options utilize the location data from your iPhone or iPad to determine when to send Intercom notifications and are only available if you have Location Access set for the Home app.

How to manage Intercom notifications on your iPhone or iPad by showing steps on an iPhone: Tap Intercom, Select when you would like to receive Intercom notifications with a tap (Image credit: iMore)

How to manage Intercom notifications on your iPhone or iPad in iOS 16

Apple occasionally offers updates to iOS, iPadOS, watchOS, tvOS, and macOS as closed developer previews or public betas (opens in new tab). While the betas contain new features, they also contain pre-release bugs that can prevent the normal use of your iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, Apple TV, or Mac, and are not intended for everyday use on a primary device. That's why we strongly recommend staying away from developer previews unless you need them for software development, and using the public betas with caution. If you depend on your devices, wait for the final release.

You can manage when Intercom notifications are active on your iPhone or iPad through the Home app with the iOS 16 beta. You can disable Intercom notifications altogether if desired and limit the delivery of Intercom notifications to only when you are home or at all times.

  1. Launch the Home app.
  2. Tap the Ellipses icon.
  3. Tap Home Settings.
  4. Tap Intercom.
  5. Select when you want to receive Intercom Notifications with a tap.
    • Available options include Never, When I'm Home, and Anywhere. These options utilize the location data from your iPhone or iPad to determine when to send Intercom notifications and are only available if you have Location Access set for the Home app.

How to manage Intercom devices

If you have multiple HomePods or Siri-enabled accessories like an ecobee SmartThermostat around your home, you can use the Home app to manage which devices can use Intercom. By disabling specific HomePods or accessories, you don't have to worry about nuisance notifications in particular locations.

  1. Launch the Home app.
  2. Tap the House icon.
  3. Tap Home Settings.

How to manage HomePod Intercom access by showing steps on an iPhone: Launch the Home app, Tap on the House icon, Tap Home Settings (Image credit: iMore)
  1. Tap Intercom.
  2. Toggle the HomePods or devices that you wish to use with Intercom.

How to manage HomePod Intercom access by showing steps on an iPhone: Tap Intercom, Select the HomePods that you wish to use Intercom with by toggling the switch next to the HomePod's name (Image credit: iMore)

How to manage Intercom devices in iOS 16

Apple occasionally offers updates to iOS, iPadOS, watchOS, tvOS, and macOS as closed developer previews or public betas (opens in new tab). While the betas contain new features, they also contain pre-release bugs that can prevent the normal use of your iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, Apple TV, or Mac, and are not intended for everyday use on a primary device. That's why we strongly recommend staying away from developer previews unless you need them for software development, and using the public betas with caution. If you depend on your devices, wait for the final release.

If you have multiple HomePods or Siri-enabled accessories like an ecobee SmartThermostat around your home, you can use the Home app to manage which devices can use Intercom. By disabling specific HomePods or accessories, you don't have to worry about nuisance notifications in particular locations.

  1. Launch the Home app.
  2. Tap the Ellipses icon.
  3. Tap Home Settings.
  4. Tap Intercom.
  5. Toggle the HomePods or devices that you wish to use with Intercom.

How to manage Intercom permissions

If you share HomeKit accessories with friends and family through the Home app, you can manage who has access to the Intercom for your home. By default, everyone you share your home with will have access to the Intercom, which may not be ideal for people you don't live with, so you can disable access in these cases.

  1. Launch the Home app.
  2. Tap on the House icon.
  3. Tap Home Settings.

How to manage Intercom permissions by showing steps on an iPhone: Launch the Home, Tap the House icon, Tap Home Settings (Image credit: iMore)
  1. Tap Intercom.
  2. Toggle the switch next to a person's Name with a tap to enable or disable Intercom access.
    • This feature works with the Remote Access option for your home, so anyone with permission can send and receive messages even while they are outside the home.

How to manage Intercom permissions by showing steps on an iPhone: Tap Intercom, Toggle the switch next to a person's Name with a tap to enable or disable Intercom access (Image credit: iMore)

How to manage Intercom permissions in iOS 16

Apple occasionally offers updates to iOS, iPadOS, watchOS, tvOS, and macOS as closed developer previews or public betas (opens in new tab). While the betas contain new features, they also contain pre-release bugs that can prevent the normal use of your iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, Apple TV, or Mac, and are not intended for everyday use on a primary device. That's why we strongly recommend staying away from developer previews unless you need them for software development, and using the public betas with caution. If you depend on your devices, wait for the final release.

If you share HomeKit accessories with friends and family through the Home app, you can manage who has access to the Intercom for your home. By default, everyone you share your home with will have access to the Intercom, which may not be ideal for people you don't live with, so you can disable access in these cases.

  1. Launch the Home app.
  2. Tap the Ellipses icon.
  3. Tap Home Settings.
  4. Tap Intercom.
  5. Toggle the switch next to a person's name with a tap to enable or disable Intercom access.
    • This feature works with the Remote Access option for your home, so anyone with permission can send and receive messages outside the home.

Get everyone's attention with Intercom

Now that you know how to use Intercom, you can grab the attention of everyone in your home with just a shout. With Intercom, you can summon your family when dinner is ready without having to lift a finger, ask a quick question without walking across the house, or even use it to brighten someone's day with a personalized voice message.

Updated June 2022: Updated for iOS 16 beta.

Christopher spends most of his time writing and dreaming about all things HomeKit. If you wish to join him on his quest to automate everything, you can follow him on Twitter at @itschrisclose.