Amazon’s Tap smart ‘Alexa’ speaker just got way better

Amazon has just upgraded its Amazon Tap smart speaker, making it much easier to access the Alexa AI.

The Amazon Tap now supports the “Alexa” wake-word, meaning you no longer have to tap the speaker to activate it.

When the Amazon Tap first launched late last year, you could only begin speaking to the Alexa digital assistant if you pressed a button. That’s in contrast to the Amazon Echo and Amazon Echo Dot, both of which activate when a user says the word “Alexa”.

But the Amazon Tap will now work in a similar way to its forebears thanks to a new software update. However, it’s important to note that the hands-free mode will only work if you’re enable it through the Alexa mobile app. You’ll also need to make sure the Tap is connected to Wi-Fi.

The Tap is similar to the Echo in that it’s a cylindrical speaker, but differs in that it’s designed to be portable, and runs on a portable battery when not plugged in. Amazon tells The Verge that the battery life will get about eight hours of continuous usage per charge, even with the new hands-free function.

What we’re not sure about is whether Amazon is going to stop calling it the ‘Tap’ now…

Related: Amazon Echo vs Dot vs Tap

Watch: Amazon Echo Setup and Tips

Do you own an Amazon Alexa device? Let us know how you’ve got on with it so far in the comments below.