Amazon Tap revisited: Why it's a wise move by Amazon

The Amazon Echo with Alexa technology gets a boost when people see the Amazon Tap in action.
Written by James Kendrick, Contributor

Amazon Tap with Alexa technology

It's not a surprise that the Amazon Tap impressed me when it was released, given how the Amazon Echo became a big part of my home life from the beginning. What has surprised me is how the Tap is opening the eyes of my friends to the Amazon Echo, especially how it might fit in their own homes.

The beauty of the Amazon Tap is how it has a full Echo inside. It's a portable speaker like many on the market, yet it adds Alexa technology inside. This quickly became useful to me when I got the Tap, and it still brings a lot of value after using it for months.

Audio streaming aside, the ability to ask Alexa, the AI in both the Echo and Tap, continually shows the value of the technology. Many times the Tap has been streaming music for a group of friends to the enjoyment of all. That it can stream music from the web, usually from Pandora or Spotify, is impressive in addition to streaming music from my iPhone.

Once I show my friends what Alexa can do, the enjoyment ramps up. My friends start asking Alexa things of interest with great frequency. We might be having a discussion about a local sports team and someone will usually ask the Tap when the next game will be, and the Tap will tell us all.

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Whatever we might be talking about, my friends quickly get used to asking Alexa something that adds value to the discussion. This is a regular occurrence and is appreciated by all in attendance.

These sessions almost always result in one or more folks asking about my Amazon Echo at home. Many admit they've never given much thought to the useful Echo, much less considered getting one. Seeing the technology in action gets people thinking about it for the first time. Seeing the Amazon Tap in action has them wondering if an Echo might work in their own home.

I've even had several friends ask me if they can come see my Echo working in my home. I always say yes and when they come over they are very impressed by how the Echo is totally operated by voice.

This is the main difference between the Echo and the Tap, and it's a big one. That the Echo is always listening, not just to me but for anyone who gets its attention by saying "Alexa" gets my friends thinking hard about the benefits of an Echo in their own home.

So far three of my friends have purchased an Echo, and all tell me they love it. As it did for me, it quickly becomes a useful technology for each of them. Alexa becomes an invisible assistant in daily life.

This is why introducing a portable Echo is a good move for Amaon. While Alexa technology often impresses those exposed to it, many folks never see it in action. Getting exposure to it through the mobile Amazon Tap gives the opportunity for many to see it in person and start thinking about having an Amazon Echo in the home. This is a very good thing for Amazon to get Alexa technology spread further than would normally happen.

I still love my Echo and use it more than any other gadget in my home. I also enjoy the Tap and regularly take it to outings with my friends. They usually end up enjoying it as much as I do.

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