A new Amazon Tap firmware update enables hands free usage. For those of you not familiar with the Tap, it is the lesser known brother of the Echo and Dot and is marketed as an “Alexa-enabled portable bluetooth speaker.” Its key benefit is the battery which offers you Alexa-on-the-go embedded with a relatively robust speaker. The key drawback? You had to push a button to talk. That made it only slightly more convenient than a smartphone. That is a drawback no more.
Priced equal to Google Home at $129, Tap fills in the middle ground in the Amazon Alexa product line between the higher cost Echo ($179) and the inexpensive Dot ($49). Android Police reports that the always on microphone will cause the battery to drain faster, but Amazon claims you should still expect eight hours of battery life. Also, the hands free solution only works when connect to WiFi and the firmware update also supports “spacial perception” that enables Alexa devices to coordinate so only the closest one responds to a request.