With the introduction of the HomePod mini Apple also announced a new feature – Intercom. It does as the name suggests, allowing you to send voice messages between HomePods, either to a specific room or multiple rooms at once.
But unlike the intercoms of old, this will work with most Apple products – you will be able to send voice messages to iPhones, iPads, Apple Watches, AirPods and even CarPlay. Naturally, the list includes the older, larger HomePod as well.
And it’s exactly the large smart speaker that gets the feature first. Apple is currently rolling out HomePod Software 14.1 to enable it. The mini speaker won’t be out until mid-November and Intercom support on other Apple gadgets is coming later this year.
The 14.1 update has other important improvements too. When you ask Siri about a location, the info will be added to Maps as well. Web search results can also be sent to your iPhone. Siri gains the ability to stop alarms, timers and multimedia across HomePods. Speaking of, you can add music to your alarms to make waking up slightly more pleasant.
This update also fixes the out of sync issue when using HomePods as a stereo pair. It adds voice recognition for Podcasts so they can be used seamlessly by multiple people. The speakers should be better at handling voices in general too (especially when multiple people are talking).