Amazon’s Tap speaker gets a hands-free update in defiance of its name

Amazon’s Tap set itself apart from its Echo brethren with better sound – positioned more as a Bluetooth speaker with Alexa functionality than an Alexa device that happened to have a speaker built in when it was introduced last year. The other key difference was right there in the name, requiring users to tap the microphone to enable voice functionality.

A new over-the-air software update arriving today, however, circumvents the need to actually touch the thing. Users can now enable a hands-free mode through a connected Alexa App that fires up Amazon’s smart assistant with a mention of her name.

The update is available now, and needs to be enabled through the aforementioned app. You can always opt out if you want to keep tapping the thing — or are just concerned about having an internet connected device in your home that’s always listening.

The over the air update also brings Echo Spatial Perception (ESP) to the hardware, so connected devices can determine which Amazon product is closest to the user and answer accordingly.