We are happy to announce a new Alexa skill builder, which provides a more intuitive interface for you to easily create engaging Alexa skills. You can also use this tool to build natural dialogs to provide more intelligent responses to user requests.[Read More]
We are excited to announce our new beta testing tool for Alexa skills which makes it easy for you to get beta feedback on your skill. You can now invite thousands of users to test your Alexa skill and provide feedback before you publish your skill.[Read More]
Since the introduction of the Amazon Echo, users have been delighted by the magical far-field voice experiences it enables. Today we’re excited to announce that we are sharing our high-performance, far-field voice processing solution with third-party device manufacturers.
We are happy to announce tunable lighting control, a new feature in the Smart Home Skill API now available in the US with support for the UK and Germany coming soon. This is great news for those of you targeting color-changing lights or tunable white lights.[Read More]
We are happy to announce the Hack Your World with Amazon Alexa contest for university students. This is our second collaboration with MindSumo, a company that focuses on offering students first-hand experience with industry projects.[Read More]
We’re excited to announce a new beginner course by Treehouse. The “Build an Alexa Skill” course will help guide both developers and non-developers alike through the skill-building process.[Read More]
Have you ever wondered how your skill usage is trending month over month? How many unique customers you have? When your peak times are?
You can now explore the answers to these and other data-driven questions using our new skil metrics dashboard.[Read More]
We are excited to announce two new features that will help you build skills that are even more engaging. Incorporate location information into your interactions using the new Device Address API. And gain deeper insights into your skill’s usage with the new metrics dashboard.[Read More]
With the Flash Briefing Skill API, you no longer need to build a voice interaction model to handle customer requests for the news. When you configure your compatible RSS feed and build skills that connect directly to Flash Briefing, customers will be able to easily access your content via the Alexa Flash Briefing, which delivers pre-recorded audio clips and text-to-speech (TTS) updates.
The availability of Flash Briefing skills in local languages means that you can now deliver truly localized content to customers via voice. Here are a few ideas to get started with Flash Briefing skills:
We all hold interesting data in our heads. Maybe it's a list of all the action figures we played with as a kid, specific details about the 50 U.S. states, or a historical list of the starting quarterbacks for our favorite football team. When we're with friends, sometimes we'll even quiz each other on these nuanced categories of information. It's a fun, interactive way to share our knowledge and learn more about our favorite topics.
You can now bring that experience to Alexa using our new quiz skill template. You provide the data and the number of properties in that data, and Alexa will dynamically build a quiz game for you.[Read More]
Makers Academy is a leading web developer bootcamp based in London, UK. Its highly-selective, full-time program teaches the principles of software craftsmanship. Makers Academy has graduated over 700 students into their dream jobs as junior developers.
We believe natural user interfaces such as those based on speech represent the next major disruption in computing. Now is a great time for developers to take advantage of this new form of interaction and to learn to build voice-first experiences for Alexa, the voice service that powers Amazon Echo. Makers Academy’s mission is to teach students the most used technologies in today's marketplace, and we’re excited to team up to prepare you for the future of voice computing.[Read More]
Amazon today announced a new program that will make it free for tens of thousands of Alexa developers to build and host most Alexa skills using Amazon Web Services (AWS). Many Alexa skill developers currently take advantage of the AWS Free Tier, which offers one million AWS Lambda requests and up to 750 hours of Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) compute time per month at no charge. However, if developers exceed the AWS Free Tier limits, they may incur AWS usage charges each month.
Now, developers with a live Alexa skill can apply to receive a $100 AWS promotional credit and can also receive an additional $100 per month in AWS promotional credits if they incur AWS usage charges for their skill – making it free for developers to build and host most Alexa skills. Our goal is to free up developers to create more robust and unique skills that can take advantage of AWS services. We can’t wait to see what you create.[Read More]
Today we are happy to announce lock control and query, a new feature in the Smart Home Skill API now available in the US, with support for the UK and Germany coming soon. This feature is supported with locks from August, Yale, Kwikset, and Schlage as well as hub support from SmartThings and Wink. Now any developer targeting devices with locking behavior can enable customers to issue a voice command such as, “Alexa, lock the front door.” In addition, developers can build in support for customers asking for the status of a smart locking device with a voice command such as, “Alexa, is the front door locked?”
Much like the recently announced thermostat query feature, the lock query feature simplifies development efforts by enabling specific voice interactive experiences straight from the Smart Home Skill API. This is accomplished under the new Alexa.ConnectedHome.Query namespace.
Developers can report errors using the same namespace. These errors are then used to guide the customer with the proper corrective actions. It’s crucial that developers return meaningful and correct errors so that customers can feel confident about the status of their locks. For example, if the smart locking device is unable to provide a stateful value because a door is open, developers should report this in their directive response as shown below.[Read More]
Today we’re happy to share that developers have published over 10,000 skills, making Alexa even better for customers. We’ve been blown away by the innovation and activity in the Alexa developer community. To put it in perspective, we’ve seen a 3x increase in the number of skills available since September 2016 alone. We’ve come a long way in the short time that the Alexa Skills Kit has been available for developers, and we’ve seen a wide range of unique skills that allow customers to do everything from reorder their favorite morning coffee, stay mindful through meditation, control smart home lighting or check their bank account balance.
In November we unveiled a new way for customers to discover Alexa skills and explore the breadth of the Alexa skills catalog. With Alexa skills on Amazon.com, customers can enable skills directly through the website and leave reviews, just like other items on Amazon. Many skills have hundreds of reviews and are rated 4-star or higher by customers. We’ve also added ways for customers to enable and find popular skills, just using their voice.
To celebrate this 10k milestone of skill selection, here are a few Alexa skill highlights: