Amazon Tap speakers can respond to hands-free Alexa commands with latest software update

Amazon has just pushed a new software update to their Amazon Tap speakers that add the option to enable always listening capabilities for hands-free commands, just like you find on the Amazon Echo and Echo Dot. When the Tap was first released, as the name suggests, the only way to talk to Alexa was to first tap the microphone button on the front of the portable speaker. The new hands-free option brings the device’s Alexa feature set nearly on par with the flagship Echo speaker. Read more ›

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Amazon’s $3.99 Echo-only plan for Amazon Music Unlimited is litterally for a single device

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Amazon Music Unlimited, the new stand-alone music streaming service from Amazon, launched this morning with an enticing $3.99 per month option for Amazon Echo, Echo Dot, and Amazon Tap owners. The catch though is that the $3.99 plan can only be used from a single device. That doesn’t mean a single device at a time, but rather, it literally means only a single Echo, Echo Dot, or Tap can access the Amazon Music Unlimited library. Read more ›

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10 things to know about the Amazon Tap

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The Amazon Tap has arrived, and now that I’ve had a day to use it, here are ten things you should know about the new portable Alexa-enabled speaker from Amazon. Read more ›

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Amazon Tap and Echo Dot pre-orders begin arriving — What would you like to know about each?

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The Amazon Tap and the Echo Dot, the two newest Alexa devices, have been released today and customers who pre-ordered have already begun recieving their devices. Both devices immediately became backordered a few days after they were announced, but it looks like Amazon was able to ramp up production on the Amazon Tap because it’s currently available for immediate delivery. The Echo Dot on the other hand, the far more popular device out of the two, is another story. Orders placed today will not ship until August at the earliest. If you didn’t place your pre-order the day it was announced, and want one immediatly, you’re going to have to resort to eBay or Craigslist and pay a premium. Echo Dot’s on eBay are currently selling for $50 over their retail price.

I have both devices arriving later today. If you have any questions about either the Amazon Tap or Echo Dot, post them in the comments and I’ll do my best to answer them.

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Amazon Tap and Echo Dot sold out for months

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It has been exactly 1 week since the Amazon Tap and the Echo Dot were announced and made available for pre-order. As is often the case with new Amazon hardware, the release day stock of both devices are now sold out. Placing an order today for the Amazon Tap will net you a delivery date that’s about 1 month after the device’s release date of March 31st. The Echo Dot’s expected delivery date for new orders is pushed even further. Pre-orders placed today for that device are receiving delivery dates in June.

Despite only being available for pre-order through an Alexa enabled device like the Amazon Echo or Fire TV, the Echo Dot seems to be the far more popular product between the two new devices. A post about the Echo Dot on popular deal forum Slickdeals currently has over 300 thumbs ups and nearly 1,000 comments. Compare that to the post about the Amazon Tap which, while still respectable, only has 17 thumbs ups and 40 comments. If you’re considering either of the two new devices, you should place your order now and decide later if you really want the device, since you’ll have at least 2 months to decide before it actually ships and can cancel your pre-order anytime.

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Amazon announces new Amazon Tap

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Amazon has announced the new Amazon Tap, an Alexa-enabled portable speaker. The device, which is essentially a battery powered Amazon Echo, is available for pre-order right now for $129.99 and will be released on March 31st. As rumors of the device described, it does not have an always listening microphone. Instead you must press the microphone button, like with the Fire TV remote, to issue commands to Alexa, hence the name Tap.

Included with the Amazon Tap is a docking cradle that charges the device. Alternately, it can also be charged by connected the included power cable to the micro USB port on the back of the device. Amazon says the battery will last for up to 9 hours of continuous playback. The Tap can connect directly to 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi as well as mobile hotspots created by smartphones for on the go streaming. The device can also be used as a simple portable speaker by connecting to an audio source through bluetooth or the 3.5 MM audio input port on the back. On top of the Tap you’ll find play back and volume controls. Also available for purchase separately is the Amazon Tap Sling Cover which is a silicone protective housing for the Tap. The Sling Cover includes a loop to hang the Tap and comes in one of 6 colors for $19.99.

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