How to use Intercom on HomePod, iPhone, AirPods and more

By

How to use Intercom
Intercom is on its way. Here's all you need to know.
Image: Apple/Cult of Mac

Apple’s new Intercom feature lets you use HomePods to send short audio messages to almost anyone with an Apple device. While Apple showcased Intercom when unveiling the upcoming HomePod mini smart speaker, the feature also works with the regular HomePod as well as iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch and more.

If you a HomePod, and you’ve updated it (and your other Apple devices) with the latest software, you can use Intercom to communicate with your family or housemates in new ways.

How HomePod’s new Intercom feature works [Cult of Mac Magazine 373]

By

The new Intercom feature turns HomePods (and other Apple gear) into ... an advanced intercom.
The new Intercom feature turns HomePods (and other Apple gear) into ... an advanced intercom.
Cover: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

Apple’s new Intercom feature for HomePod (and HomePod mini) sounds really interesting and useful. Depending on what Apple gear you own, and what software versions you’re running, you might be able to give it a spin right now.

Our lead story this week will show you how to get Intercom set up (and why you’ll want to). But there’s also plenty of Apple news, rumors and recommendations. Highlights include our iPhone 12 review and a wrap from this week’s surprising financial update: 7 nuggets of truth from Apple’s latest earnings call.

It’s all in this week’s free issue of Cult of Mac Magazine. Download it now to read on your iOS device, or get the headlines below in your browser.

Apple’s big plans for next-gen AirPods, plus our $100,000 AAPL investment update! [The CultCast]

By

The CultCast 464: Big changes are coming to your beloved AirPods. Find out what in our free Apple podcast.
Big changes are coming to your beloved AirPods.
Photo: Cult of Mac/The CultCast

This week on The CultCast: Next-gen AirPods might bring massive changes — we’ll tell you what we know!Plus: The original HomePod remains absolutely outstanding, but the new Intercom feature needs work. And we’ve got another update on Erfon’s $100,000 AAPL stock investment!

The CultCast is now available in video! Or subscribe to our audio episodes if you don’t like our faces.

With HomePod mini, Apple goes small, cheap and smart

By

HomePod mini lives up to its name
HomePod mini offers a smaller and cheaper Apple smart speaker experience.
Photo: Apple

Apple took the wraps of the HomePod mini Tuesday, showcasing a pint-size smart speaker that promises high-end audio at a lower price than its big brother. But the most interesting parts might have nothing to do with music.

With Apple’s custom U1 ultra-wideband chip inside, the HomePod mini also can serve as an advanced hub for home automation. A new Intercom feature promises to connect family members wherever they are. And, in typical Cupertino fashion, the speaker will work closely with other Apple devices.

Like the larger HomePod, the small, round smart speaker comes wrapped in a mesh fabric. A backlit touch surface on the top offers volume controls and shines during Siri interactions.

The HomePod mini measures just 3.3 inches high by 3.9 inches wide, and weighs just 0.76 pounds. It packs one full-range driver and dual passive radiators, and it leans on what Apple calls “computational audio” to deliver high-quality audio out of this smaller form factor. Despite many of Apple’s glamor shots making it look totally wireless, the HomePod mini relies on a cord just like its big brother.

An experience ‘only Apple can deliver’

Long-time Apple fans might not be too shocked to hear that the $99 smart speaker will offer an experience “only Apple can deliver.”