Two NEW Amazon Alexa devices announced

Two NEW Amazon Alexa devices announced

I’ve written about the details here, but I wanted to give you my readers here a heads-up, since these could sell out and/or get long waiting lists:

The Alexa family grows! Two NEW devices from Amazon

Update: here’s my new post comparing the five (counting the Fire TV and Fire TV Stick separately) Amazon Alexa devices…

Echo, Dot, Tap, or Fire TV? Which Amazon Alexa device is right for you?

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All aboard our new The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project!

*When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :) Shop ’til you help! :) 

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy  Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.

14 Responses to “Two NEW Amazon Alexa devices announced”

  1. Phink Says:

    I ordered the tap because I was afraid of a long wait list if I waited. I could always cancel it before it ships after all. I keep going back and forth on which one to get. At first I was sure I wanted the tap but not so sure now. Here is the way I look at it.

    Tap — No microphones. The reason is probably because if it had a microphone it’d have to be active 24/7 waiting for the wake word which would drain the battery. That is nothing more than a hypothesis by the way. I have no way of knowing for sure but hitting the button is kind of a pain in some situations. If I am cooking and have ground beef on my hands when suddenly a timer goes off I have to wash my hands before I can touch the Tap to order Alexa to stop the timer. That is a big negative.

    On the positive side I hope it works like the remote with the original Echo. When you tap the microphone on the remote you do not need to say Alexa. You simply say “What’s the weather?” I do like that. I quite often use my remote now when in the living room listening to audio books. The reason is because it’s easier to turn it up or down, or pause the book with the remote. I simply grab it and hit the pause button. I like that.

    I love the fact that it’s portable because now when I’m doing laundry and have an audio book playing or a radio station I have to take the remote into the bedroom (where I fold clothes). The echo cannot hear me through the walls in there so I need the remote in order to turn it up. I have to turn it up from 4 to 6, maybe 7 to hear it in the bedroom. Then I have to turn it down when going back. I also cannot hear it when I take the folded towels to the bathroom. With the tab (and it’s $20 optional do-hickey) I can attach it to my wheelchair and it goes through the house with me. I love that. Love it.

    Another risk is I have no idea how the speaker sounds. I love the speaker on the original Echo. If it’s bad quality I can send it back I guess so it’s not really that big of a risk.

    The Dot — So they pretty much chopped off the top of the Echo and sold the top part only. The negative on this is you have to hook it to a speaker through blue tooth or Aux in. According to Verge it does have a built in speaker but it’s very weak. Amazon did not mention this that I can find or I overlooked it. Anyway, for me to be happy with the sound it would have to be hooked to a speaker. If I use bluetooth then after a while of inactivity the bluetooth speaker will turn itself off as all or almost all of them do. Therefore, to use it I’d have to say “Alexa connect to my bluetooth speaker.” Then after a few seconds “Alexa play my music.” I’d rather hit a button then all that. Of course I have a Bose that I love. I could hook it up to that with a cable but then the Bose has to be on 24/7 with that little power light shining the entire time which would bother me or I have to grab my Bose remote, hit that to turn it on, and then “Alexa Play my music.”

    On the plus side it’s pretty darn cheap and the music would be sweat coming through my Bose. The cost difference is $89 or $149 with the tap’s do-hickey which I would for sure want to carry easily on my wheelchair. That’s a $60 difference. Man, I don’t know. I just don’t know. Bufo, tell me which one to buy LOL.

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Phink!

      The Tap does have a speaker (I read some about it in the Amazon material), but it appears that’s really just there to give Alexa a voice to answer your questions and such…it wouldn’t be the same sound quality as the Echo is for music.

      There are really two very different use cases for the two devices.

      The Tap is for on-the-go and when you are doing Alexa-centric activities. It’s like a transistor radio in that way…or maybe like a cellphone versus a landline. Cellphones have gotten so much better than landlines, of course, so that’s not an apt comparison, but when they started out, they were also just sold on the point that they were mobile (that’s even what they call them in England).

      My adult kid wouldn’t have an Echo, because of it “always listening”. The plan is for me to unplug ours when our kid is visiting next week. We’ll use the voice remote with the Fire TV for some things, and the phone app for our home automation.

      The Dot is just the interface without the music quality speaker. It’s going to stay plugged in. I think it will be a big hit…it’s what I would have wanted originally to make the house a “Smart Home”, or to make it feel more like the Enterprise.

      My guess is that for you, the Tap would be more valuable…you can probably put it in a Ziploc in the kitchen.🙂 If it can’t hear you well enough, maybe a piece of Scotch tape…or a bandaid…over the button?

      I have a piece of clothing over the ready light on the TV in our bedroom…or can it face the wall?

  2. Elaine Jordan Says:

    So the dot will be like the echo, in that it will do the shopping list? But the tap doesn’t?
    Will it add to the existing shopping list I already have with alexa?
    I am actually kind of looking for something for in our rv, we have a device (I believe you suggested it) that creates a WiFi network that you take traveling with you

    Oh, the dot you hook up to a Bluetooth speaker and it plays your music. The tap is a speaker already, but doesn’t do the shopping list?

    I want to order but not sure which one either

    Don’t know if I should call Amazon?

    I use my alexa mainly shopping list, second weather, third calendar, fourth music…….

    Also if one or the other works like alexa, can let me aunt use it to add to grocery list

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing!

      I will obviously need to expand on this this evening after work.🙂

      The Tap should do your shopping list and as long as things are registered to the same profile then the same shopping that should work. For example, my significant other can use the shopping list on an iPhone using the Alexa app and it shows up on my Alexa app. It can also be read aloud by our Echo.

      Basically, the Dot is an Echo without the speaker, and the Tap is a mobile Echo without the microphones.

      • Phink Says:

        I am under the impression that both will do anything the original echo will do (minus the obvious such as you would expect without a microphone). I also think the shopping list would work on the tap.

        Me getting the tap will save me money later as well because I’ve always said I wanted three eventually. I have one in the living room. I want one in the bedroom, and the home office. A 4th one in the guest room someday down the road. With it being battery powered and easily moved I no longer need one in the bedroom and home office. One tap will work for both.

        Oh one important thing I did notice. The dot does not come with a remote. To me that is quite important but to some it may not matter.

      • Bufo Calvin Says:

        Thanks for writing, Phink!

        Yes, that’s right…all three should do all the same basic functions.

        The Echo doesn’t come with a remote any more, either…you have to buy it separately. I don’t know at this point if the Voice Remote will work with the Dot or Tap, though…I’m going to check on that.

      • Phink Says:

        No remote on the full size Echo? I don’t like that. Of course my wild guess is that 90% of the owners never use theirs. That is just a guess but even me at first I thought ‘Why would I need a remote?’ As a matter of fact I’m not sure I even touched it for roughly 2 months. Then I realized it had a microphone on it. Then I used it to mess with my 5 year old Grandson. While he was watching a movie I sneaked into another room and told the Echo through the remote “Simon Says that movie sucks Gavan.” Alexa said “That movie sucks Gavan.” I was not in there to see it but my wife said his eyes got as big as saucers and he said “Alexa can see what’s on TV?”

        I then realized I actually liked the physical buttons when listening to an audio book.

  3. Phink Says:

    OK I now see that the Amazon description page for the Dot does say it has a speaker. I have no idea how I missed that. I’m sure that speaker would be fine for weather reports and whatnot. I could turn my Bose on for music and such.

    I could not decide which one to buy. Boy how I miss being a kid. I didn’t have to make decisions then. They were made for me LOL. I decided if I could not decide then just get the cheapest one. I ordered the Dot today through my Echo and was going to cancel my tap order. It told me April 19th was the ship date. Yesterday, it was March 30th. That is no surprise and why I ordered the tap yesterday before I even knew I wanted it. Why I was too stupid to order both with the idea of cancelling one in a few days I have no idea.

    I’m posting this mainly in case anyone is on the fence you better order now or it might be back ordered till May soon. Now I think I’l keep both orders and test the tap when it comes in and if I like it I can then cancel the Dot. Of course that is dangerous. At any time Amazon could change the delivery date and I get an email saying the Dot has shipped. Oh well, danger is my middle name LOL.

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Phink!

      You didn’t have to make decisions as a kid? I guess you didn’t have a penny candy store.🙂

      I’m getting both, but partially to write about them for people and answer questions. I expect we’ll use the Dot in the bedroom, which is a bit far from the Echo in the family room. I’m less convinced that I’ll get daily, practical value out of the Tap…but I don’t think it’s really designed for daily use. It’s possible I’ll take it to work, though…

      • Phink Says:

        Good point about the candy store and that decision was just as hard to make looking back on it.

  4. Phink Says:

    One more thing and I’ll shut up. You saying you’d take yours to work made me think of something. I used to be with one of the big name cell phone companies. About 10 months ago I went to a household name company but not as big. My cell phone bill dropped by quite a bit but with Big Name I got to hotspot my phone. With Smaller Name I cannot do that. Now with the tap I sure wish Smaller Name would let us hotspot.

    If a tap owner can hotspot their phone and they are not afraid of going over on data that is a very nice feature. Taking the tab with you to a park or wherever and hotspoting would be nice.

  5. Phink Says:

    You may already know this but the Dot is back ordered till July 25th as of today. Three days ago I told my Echo to order a Dot just because I wanted to see how far it’s back ordered. It told me the price and said it’d ship by May 18th. I then said “no” when it asked if I wanted to order it. Today, it said July 25th. WOW! I’m getting mine April 19th. Those ordering today have to wait 4 1/2 months unless something changes, which very well may happen. It seems to be adding almost a month every day. That will change however. I ordered mine on March 4th for April 19th delivery. It’s 4 days later now and expected delivery is July 25th so 3 1/4 months in 4 days.

    I did cancel my tap today. Once I found out you cannot charge it on the base with the $20 case attached that pretty much did it. I love the case with it’s hook for hanging and I love the charging port that comes with the Tap. If I can’t have both it drops its value a little and it was a close call anyway so I’m getting the Dot. I still want the Tap someday however but it can wait a long time if I need to. I just don’t want to have to take the case off every time it needs charging.

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Phink!

      On your last part, I suppose that depends for me on how hard it is to get in and out of the case.🙂 Does it fit like a skin or like a sling? We’ll see. I did order both, partially to be able to give people those sorts of field tests.

      Our Tap, Dot, and Sling are all still set for 3/31 delivery.

      It’s a bit unusual that you can’t see the estimated delivery date without starting an order, but Amazon has been moving that way. Ive noticed that with other things as well.

      I’m more convinced that the Dot will be a big hit and the Tap will be a gadget (that doesn’t mean unsuccessful). I was speaking with a very techie person who wasn’t sure about the Dot…but once I explained the connection to other speakers, that person was on board since it will work with a very sophisticated sound system they already have.

  6. Phink Says:

    Never mind of the July delivery. That was what it was saying about 10 hours ago. I told my brother this and he tried and got May 18th. I got that same date just now. Sorry about the mis-information. I should have checked again before posting it but I never thought it’d change to a quicker date in just a few hours.

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