Amazon has seemingly released the second generation of the Amazon Echo, its voice-controlled cylinder to access the Alexa assistant. Instead of this latest release being an improvement or refresh of the previous generation, the Echo has seemingly been split into two components to expand functionality and reduce price.
The Amazon Tap is priced at $129.99. It is a portable version of the Echo for $50 less. It is similarly WiFi enabled and plays music in 360 degrees. It can search the Internet for topics from weather and beyond like ordering pizza from Domino’s. It can also control smart home devices like lights and thermostats. The Amazon Tap is available for pre-order now and will be released on March 31st, 2016.
The Echo Dot lacks the built-in 360-degree speaker of the Echo but it can pair with Bluetooth speakers or connect to them with a cable. Beyond the speakers, it has all the same capabilities of the Echo such as utilizing Alexa, controlling smart home devices, and more. It is priced at $89.99 and shows how much more useful the Echo would be if it were in every room. The Echo Dot is available in limited quantities and to be able to order one, you have to use Alexa from your Amazon Echo or Amazon Fire TV. You can say “Alexa, order an Echo Dot.”