Amazon’s Alexa ecosystem is skyrocketing in popularity. The company’s own options, the Echo and Echo Dot, have been selling like hotcakes. However, Amazon’s third in-house Alexa device, the Amazon Tap, has always felt like a bit of an outlier.
While the Echo and Echo Dot both plug into the wall and are always listening for the “Alexa” wake word, the Tap requires users to press a button on the device to start a command. The advantage to that was that the Tap was powered by a battery and could thus be used anywhere.
However, Alexa feels less useful when it isn’t always ready to go — so Amazon is fixing that. The latest firmware update for the Amazon Tap, applied through the Alexa app on your phone, activates always-listening commands on the Tap.
Even with this added strain on the battery, Amazon still claims a full eight hours of battery life, and it works whenever a Wifi connection is available. You can toggle the feature on or off through the Alexa app.
Given the added functionality, the Amazon Tap becomes a nice middle ground between the standard $179 Echo and the less expensive $49 Echo Dot. At $129, it becomes a solid investment that works as a portable speaker and a home assistant, all in one package.