Over the last hour, there have been reports that a new over the air update is following out for the Amazon Tap. At present, the Tap requires a button to be pressed prior to being able to invoke a command. Well, the update reportedly changes this and allows the Tap to listen out for the wake word in the same fashion as the Echo and Dot.
I have checked the Amazon help and support page, however, the latest firmware is listed as 564197320 which introduced:
- New celebrity alarm tone
- bug fixes
I have also checked the US product page but this still states "Just Tap And Ask" and no mention of the new feature. I have no reason to doubt the sources. Tech Crunch, CNet and The Verge have all reported the news so maybe we have beat the announcement.
Echo Or The Tap?
The big question if this is true of course is what is the benefit the Echo has over the Tap. After all, they have a similar spec and relatively decent speakers. Why have a device that can only plug-in when you can simply have 1 that is battery-powered and rechargeable?
The downside that I see for the Tap would still be that the Tap would have a fairly low battery requiring the device to be plugged in predominantly, therefore, negating the benefit. As the device would be listening by default the battery would diminish a lot quicker. Reports do suggest however that you could stop the device listening but again this reduces the usefulness over the Echo.
There is, of course, the question of price. The Echo is currently priced at $179.99 and the Tap carries a saving of $50 at $129.99. This, of course, will be a big driver for some.
Some of this comes down to convenience and of course personal preference. I know personally I would opt for the Echo although as the Tap is not released in the UK this decision is fairly moot anyway.