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Tap Calling & Messaging?

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Offline Bo3b

Tap Calling & Messaging?
« on: June 15, 2017, 07:12:34 am »
New to Tap and trying to learn practical capabilities before return period ends.

One feature that would seem very promising is the "Calling & Messaging" option. Although I completely understand currently only available between registered Echo devices and my Contacts list is currently empty so Alexa would not be able to report any Calls or Messages I did expect expect a different response - When I ask  "Play my messages" she responds with "Messaging with Alexa is not supported on this device".

Reading the Official Amazon "Calling & Messaging" info webPage indicates;

Who can I call and message?

You can call or message any contact who also has the free Alexa App on their phone, an Echo, Echo Dot, or Echo Show and has enabled Alexa calling and messaging. Once you update the app, you can see which contacts have also enabled Alexa calling and messaging. Donít see your friends or family in the app? Just send them a link to this page to help them get started.

Not encouraging and raises a few questions;

First and foremost, Why would the Tap be excluded?

Why is my Alexa App Contacts list empty? (Are phone Contacts made available ONLY when Alexa finds an address match to other Echo, "Calling& Messaging: capable, registered Users?)

What is the probability that "Calling & Messaging" will be extended beyond the Echo ecosystem to cellphones, etc?


Re: Tap Calling & Messaging?
« Reply #1 on: June 15, 2017, 01:46:39 pm »
Most of us here have not found this calling feature to be very useful or necessary, so you are not missing much.  In fact, Amazon has already enabled a feature to block these incoming calls!

As to why the Tap does not have this feature, best to ask Amazon, although perhaps because it is quite different tha Echo and Dot in that it is not in an always on status and may not even be near the home wi-fi signal.  If you want this feature buy an inexpensive Dot.
« Last Edit: June 15, 2017, 01:48:33 pm by mike27oct »

Offline Bo3b

Re: Tap Calling & Messaging?
« Reply #2 on: June 16, 2017, 07:30:14 am »
Thanks for the reply.

I believe that "Calling & Messaging" via Tap could be very useful, especially if expanded outside of the Echo ecosystem. And "Blocking" should be enhanced beyond the currently offered option to include "Allow Only Contacts" - Clean and straightforward.

But the question of "Why is Tap excluded from the C&M feature? -or maybe more directly- Can the Tap be made C&M capable with a firmware update?" is the critically important real issue. Originally the Tap was "different" from Dot and Echo in lack of hands-free support but that is no longer true...

IMHO, the answer is very significant, not only for this feature, but if the Tap is for some reason not hardware capable of C&M then it potentially suggests that the Tap will also be "different (excluded)" for other future features that might appear. Not good if the Tap becomes the ugly step-sister of the Echo family left out of ongoing new development. Or worse, the current Tap is discontinued, replaced w/Tap 2, as the latest price reduction might suggest...


« Last Edit: June 16, 2017, 07:41:59 am by Bo3b »

Offline jwlv

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Re: Tap Calling & Messaging?
« Reply #3 on: June 16, 2017, 10:43:41 am »
I believe that Echo devices (such as Tap, Show, Dash Wand, Look, Fire TV & Fire Stick) are designed for specialized products to serve a specific purpose. Only the Echo and Dot are designed as general products. One could ask why the currently talked about Dash Wand can't play music? Well, it wasn't designed for that, even though it could. If Amazon enabled music playback on the Dash Wand, it would sound terrible and the AA battery will last about 30 minutes before you have to replace it. So it's not exactly a good customer experience. Other Echo devices have their own reasons why certain features are disabled. As for the Tap, I can only surmise that the big issue would probably be echo cancellation due to the fact that the Tap does not have a microphone array (like the Echo & Dot). It has one microphone and the speaker is right next to it. Not really a good combination for a speaker phone. Its original design was push to talk. Amazon already budged and enabled hands-free operation. But anyone with a Tap will tell you that it doesn't work as well as a regular Echo.
« Last Edit: June 16, 2017, 10:46:22 am by jwlv »

Offline Bo3b

Re: Tap Calling & Messaging?
« Reply #4 on: June 16, 2017, 12:56:59 pm »
I believe that Echo devices (such as Tap, Show, Dash Wand, Look, Fire TV & Fire Stick) are designed for specialized products to serve a specific purpose.

Respectfully I somewhat disagree, in my opinion the various Echo family models should have value differentiation based on hardware design not software compatibility.

The Original Echo has the best speakers for music, the Dot is small for easy placement, the Tap has a battery for flexible portability, the Wand a scanner for ease of shopping, etc. BUT if the device accepts voice commands, and/or has common hardware, then it should support all related available software features - It just makes good long term sense. For instance, and in particular for the "Calling & Messaging" feature, the larger the device community base the better for everyone. In the case of common hardware - Want to play music on the Wand, if it has a speaker, let the Customer decide with understanding of the trade-offs.

FWIW, I waited to purchase the Tap until the firmware allowed hands-free same as the other models. But most likely will return Tap if precluded from "Calling & Messaging". (And also worth noting, after a few days experimenting I'd say the Tap recognizes hands-free just fine, well across a room and multiple family voices without issue so I would think the microphone is entirely capable...)

Thanks for the reply,

Offline Bo3b

Re: Tap Calling & Messaging?
« Reply #5 on: June 19, 2017, 06:27:43 am »
Official 16-Jun-17 word from Amazon Technical Support-

Please be informed that our team is currently planning to include this Calling and Messaging Feature in the next update of the Alexa on Echo Tap devices. Once this feature is rolled out, it will be directly installed on your Echo Tap.

Re: Tap Calling & Messaging?
« Reply #6 on: June 19, 2017, 02:10:18 pm »
Thanks for the update info.  I can hardly wait for the feature to show up in my Taps.   ;)

Offline Bo3b

Re: Tap Calling & Messaging?
« Reply #7 on: September 05, 2017, 06:14:04 am »
Anyone know the status of Amazon promised Tap firmware update to support Calling & Messaging?

Offline Bo3b

Re: Tap Calling & Messaging?
« Reply #8 on: October 04, 2017, 06:18:42 am »
Still waiting for Calling & Messaging support on the Tap - Especially now that, as I projected, the feature allows communications outside the Echo ecosystem...

Are you listening Amazon? Tap Users want this feature and no real reason not to offer it. Why the delay?

Other Tap owners and readers of this thread - If you would like C&M, voice your opinion to Amazon. Don't let the Tap become an unsupported orphan with enhancements passing it by!

Re: Tap Calling & Messaging?
« Reply #9 on: October 23, 2017, 10:48:23 am »
Last night I had a chat  with an amazon rep and I asked about the firmware update on the Tap. This was his response:

 'To be honest as of now we are not sure with the exact information .
If the features are available in the near future the specs will be displayed in the Amazon website.' 

I am still hoping for the call, messaging and drop-in feature....I sure hope it happens
2 Echoes 3 Dots 1 Tap
1 smart bulb
7 smart plugs
2 Outdoor smart yard stake outlets

Offline Bo3b

Re: Tap Calling & Messaging?
« Reply #10 on: October 24, 2017, 05:46:54 am »
Amazon not upgrading the Tap to keep pace with the other models would be very disappointing.

Thanks for the update and voicing your Tap concerns to Amazon...

Re: Tap Calling & Messaging?
« Reply #11 on: December 01, 2017, 10:21:09 am »
I'm yet another user who will be returning a Tap due to the lack of calling and messaging. Even my car allows hands free calling and messaging (reads messages for me). Surely an "intelligent" device like Tap should allow it. It also doesn't allow unlocking doors through my Samsung SmartThing, just locking. When I want to change the temp on my thermostat, it tells me the current temp after I tell it the new temp I want. It never confirms changing to the temp I requested. I have to look at my phone to find the new target temp.

Can't find a skill to play my Pandora or Spotify stations. I've already configured numerous stations there. I don't want to have to establish more stations elsewhere when I already have what I want.

I'm not impressed with its functionality. Everything it can do, I can do with my phone and/or with my phone and a good quality speaker (which I already have) - plus I can do even more with the phone.

Weak product.

Offline Bo3b

Re: Tap Calling & Messaging?
« Reply #12 on: December 01, 2017, 11:21:00 am »
Actually I like the Tap, for my needs it seems a good blend of functionality and portability.

BUT Amazon definitely needs to propagate the "Calling and Messaging" feature across ALL products in the line. Makes good business sense for all parties.

If you know of channels and/or forums (tech support, social media, etc) to raise this Tap omission and related feature request please take the time to voice your opinion.


Re: Tap Calling & Messaging?
« Reply #13 on: December 29, 2017, 05:48:27 am »
The only reason I bought a Tap was to augment the echo and three dots that I have. I want a portable device to use when working on my vehicles in my driveway. As of now the Tap is pretty much useless to me and sit in a drawer waiting for the mythic update.

Offline Bo3b

Re: Tap Calling & Messaging?
« Reply #14 on: January 02, 2018, 07:11:08 am »
Let Amazon know you expect the Tap to support Calling & Messaging.