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August 27, 2019Mohit Mittal
We are excited to announce app-to-app account linking and the Alexa skill activation API, which allow you to enable customers to link their Alexa account and enable your skill from within your mobile application. This reduces the number of steps required for customers to start using your skill, and can eliminate the need for them to re-enter their account credentials in either of the apps. As a result, customers can enjoy your Alexa skill more quickly and easily.
Previously, customers could only link their Alexa account to their account with your service from the Alexa app or at https://alexa.amazon.com/. After opening the Alexa app or navigating to the Alexa website, customers were required to enter their credentials for your service. Some customers dropped off at the beginning of the process, for example, if they did not want to leave your application, and some dropped off in the middle, for example if they did not remember their credentials.
Now, customers can link their account with your service to their Alexa account and enable your skill with a few touches starting in your app. You can prompt users to link their account with Alexa when they set up a new service or device, or surface the option at various places in your experience to improve discovery of your Alexa skill. When a customer chooses to link their account from your app on iOS, the Alexa app launches and asks the user to acknowledge the account linking request. After acknowledging the request, the user is returned to your app. If the customer is signed into the Alexa app, they do not have to remember their account credentials for either your app or the Alexa app to link accounts. The images below show an example user flow.
This two touch flow is available today on iOS, and only if the customer has the Alexa app installed. If the customer is using Android or does not have the Alexa iOS app installed, you can still simplify account linking using Login with Amazon (LWA). In this scenario, you can open LWA in an in-app browser window as shown below, allowing the customer to enter their Amazon credentials, authenticate, and confirm the account linking request. We recommend you implement the LWA flow as the primary approach on Android, and as the fallback in your iOS application. We hope to add support for the Alexa app flow to Android in the future.
In either case, once the user acknowledges the account linking and gets returned to your app, you can use the Alexa skill activation API to enable the skill for the user and complete account linking.
Pandora, iRobot, Tuya Smart, Smart Life and Sensi have already added the App-to-App Account Linking feature in their apps, and Wyze, TP-LINK Kasa, and IKEA are adding it now. “Our users would ask why they have to complete set-up and account linking separately using the Alexa app when they have already set up their device in our app. With this feature, our users will now be more delighted and engaged with our skill.”, says Chris Jones, CTO, iRobot. “With app-to-app account linking and the new skill activation API, our users can more easily discover the Pandora Skill on Alexa, connect their accounts faster, and start playing their favorite music on their Alexa-enabled devices with just a few taps.” says Tony Calzaretta, VP Listener Product and Product Design, Pandora. “Pandora and Amazon have a long history of working together to create great listening experiences for our users, and this is no exception. Users can connect their Pandora and Alexa accounts in their iOS devices here.”
App-to-app account linking is available for developers to use in all Alexa locales. You can find complete information on how to configure app-to-app account linking in our documentation. The documentation also includes code snippets for each of the steps. If you currently have an app or website for your users, we recommend you integrate app-to-app account linking to allow users to link accounts seamlessly from within your app or website. Users can continue to enable your skill and link account in their Alexa app also. For more information about account linking, check out the following resources: