Amazon Developer Blogs Amazon Developer Blogs https://developer.amazon.com 2017-12-15T21:00:43+00:00 Apache Roller Weblogger /blogs/appstore/post/2ef7b757-557e-4464-b4e8-a6cf67ccb598/managing-app-permissions-with-fire-tv-gen-3 Managing App Permissions with Fire TV Gen 3 Emily Esposito Fulkerson 2017-12-15T17:28:40+00:00 2017-12-15T21:00:43+00:00 <p><img alt="1215_AppPermission_Hero2.png" src="https://m.media-amazon.com/images/G/01/DeveloperBlogs/AppstoreBlogs/FireTV/1215_AppPermission_Hero2._CB491147321_.png?t=true" style="display:block; margin-left:auto; margin-right:auto" /><br /> Starting with Android 6 (API 23), users can grant or revoke certain permissions to apps while they are running, instead of when they first install the app. This helps streamline the app install process for the user because he can install an app without setting permissions he doesn't want included.&nbsp;</p> <p><img alt="1215_AppPermission_Hero2.png" src="https://m.media-amazon.com/images/G/01/DeveloperBlogs/AppstoreBlogs/FireTV/1215_AppPermission_Hero2._CB491147321_.png?t=true" style="display:block; margin-left:auto; margin-right:auto" /><br /> Starting with Android 6 (API 23), users can grant or revoke certain permissions to apps while they are running, instead of when they first install the app. This approach helps streamline the app install process for the user as the user does not have to set permissions he doesn't want, but can still be able to install the app.</p> <p>It also enables the user to decide which permissions to grant or revoke at run time. For example, an app may ask for camera access and device location, and the user can choose to deny camera access, but allow device location at run time.</p> <p>To support this Android feature, Fire TV Gen 3 has a new permission setting section which is relevant for apps that target Android 6.0 (API 23) and above to compile.</p> <p>This new permission setting is found under Settings-&gt;Applications-&gt;Managed Applications-&gt; (Selected app for which user needs to change the permission) -&gt;Permissions.<br /> &nbsp;</p> <p><img alt="1215_AppPermissions_1.png" src="https://m.media-amazon.com/images/G/01/DeveloperBlogs/AppstoreBlogs/FireTV/1215_AppPermissions_1._CB490944601_.png?t=true" style="display:block; height:492px; margin-left:auto; margin-right:auto; width:725px" /></p> <p>This setting is relevant for only the dangerous permissions declared in the manifest file of an app. The dangerous permissions are the permissions which explicitly ask for user-specific information, for example, access to location or storage. The normal permissions in the manifest would continue to be automatically granted to the user.</p> <p>The developer must handle the scenarios where the user grants or revokes the permission at run time so that the app continues to run with limited capabilities. It is also a best practice to remove irrelevant dangerous permissions from your manifest file so that they do not show up under the Permissions section. For example, an app requesting access to contacts on Fire TV is irrelevant and might end up confusing the user since he does not have contacts maintained on Fire TV and hence can’t perform any action.</p> <p>You can refer to Android’s best practices for managing runtime permissions for more details, <a href="https://developer.android.com/training/permissions/requesting.html" target="_blank">here</a>.</p> /blogs/alexa/post/da0fab9a-9c7e-46ff-9ccb-863f94236465/wetter-com-enables-customers-to-simply-ask-alexa-whether-to-pack-an-umbrella-or-sunglasses Wetter.com Enables Customers to Simply Ask Alexa Whether to Pack an Umbrella or Sunglasses Kristin Fritsche 2017-12-14T20:15:04+00:00 2017-12-14T20:34:43+00:00 <p>For customers of Wetter.com in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, checking the weather forecast is as simple as asking Alexa. Wetter.com, Germany’s leading website for weather, developed an <a href="https://www.amazon.de/gp/product/B01N5WD3SR?ref=skillrw_dsk_pnps_dp_1" target="_blank">Alexa skill</a> that makes it fast and easy for customers to get their daily and weekly forecasts.</p> <p><em>Note: You can also read this story <a href="https://developer.amazon.com/blogs/alexa/post/1dbb542d-1ed0-42bf-b8a6-46d35d179c09/brauche-ich-einen-regenschirm-oder-eine-sonnenbrille-mit-dem-wetter-com-skill-kann-man-jetzt-einfach-alexa-fragen">in German</a>.&nbsp;</em></p> <p>For customers of Wetter.com in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, checking the weather forecast is as simple as asking Alexa. Wetter.com, Germany’s leading website for weather, developed an <a href="https://www.amazon.de/gp/product/B01N5WD3SR?ref=skillrw_dsk_pnps_dp_1" target="_blank">Alexa skill</a> that makes it fast and easy for customers to get their daily and weekly forecasts. <img alt="" src="https://m.media-amazon.com/images/G/01/DeveloperBlogs/AlexaBlogs/default/wettercom_icon._CB490761976_.png" style="float:right; height:210px; width:210px" /></p> <p>Wetter.com has traditionally provided customers comprehensive weather reports via its website, app, and television. Even before the cloud-based voice service Amazon Alexa arrived in Germany, Severin Orth, Full Stack Developer at Wetter.com, began thinking about the potential of voice as a new form of interaction for Wetter.com customers.</p> <p>“I’m very interested in new technology, and seeing how people were using Alexa in America, I knew this was something we needed to experiment with,” says Orth. “At the time, Alexa wasn’t available in Germany, but because a voice solution aligned so well with our business goals and the other services we provide, we started imagining what eventually became our skill for Alexa.”</p> <h2>From Idea to Prototype</h2> <p>Orth and his team set out to develop a custom skill that delivered forecast information to help customers ask Alexa about the weather. Their goal: Give people the weather information they need, when they need it, and in the most convenient way possible.</p> <p>Orth secured approval from his boss, assembled a team, and built a working prototype.</p> <p>“The <a href="https://developer.amazon.com/alexa-skills-kit" target="_blank">Alexa Skills Kit</a> has great documentation, and building the skill was very easy,” says Orth.</p> <p>The skill enables customers to simply say, “Alexa, ask Wetter.com for the weather today in Berlin,” and Alexa provides the latest forecast and changes throughout the day for that location. Forecast information may include minimum and maximum temperatures as well as relevant notes about wind, sunshine, rain, and clouds by time of day.</p> <h2>‘Create Something That Makes People Want to Listen’</h2> <p>Prior to publishing their skill, Orth and his team collected customer feedback to iterate and refine the user experience. This exercise revealed opportunities for improvement. For example, if a customer asked for the weather in Rome, the skill needed to identify that the user wanted the forecast for the town of Rome, Germany and not Rome, Italy.</p> <p>There were other things to consider when designing for voice, says Orth.</p> <p>“For a webpage, you aim to deliver something that people are excited to read. For voice, your goal is to create something that makes people want to listen,” says Orth.</p> <p>To delight customers, Orth and team added some Easter eggs to the skill. In addition to weather forecasts, customers can ask Alexa whether they need an umbrella or a raincoat, or if they should bring their sunglasses.</p> <p>Orth says the most important part of developing a skill is understanding what the users want to know.</p> <p>“When we watched people use the skill, we were really surprised by what they’d ask,” says Orth. “We planned on delivering weather forecasts, but then we’d hear users asking, ‘Should I plant flowers today?’ It gives us many more ideas for how we can enhance the skill in the future.”</p> <h2>Building the Skill with AWS</h2> <p>For its website and other channels, Wetter.com teams up with a data provider for weather information. Orth and his team use this same data for the Alexa skill. The skill uses an API to collect the data to deliver voice responses for inquiries into weather reports for today, tomorrow, or next week.</p> <p>Wetter.com hosts its skill on <a href="https://aws.amazon.com/lambda/?nc1=h_ls" target="_blank">AWS Lambda</a> which also serves as a bridge between its backend and Alexa. Additionally, Wetter.com’s warning delivery uses <a href="https://aws.amazon.com/api-gateway/" target="_blank">Amazon’s API Gateway</a> as a proxy for two Lambda functions, <a href="https://aws.amazon.com/dynamodb/" target="_blank">Amazon DynamoDB</a> for storing and delivering weather warnings, and <a href="https://aws.amazon.com/cloudwatch/" target="_blank">Amazon CloudWatch</a> for login monitoring.</p> <p>“Since Alexa wasn’t available in Germany when we were developing the skill, the Amazon team was incredibly helpful at assisting us in getting the skill live and providing feedback along the way,” says Orth.</p> <p>While most of the skill’s users are based in Germany, the skill can deliver forecasts for 10 to 16 days in the future, depending on where users are located.</p> <p>“Wetter.com focuses on providing weather for Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. However, you can be located anywhere in the world and get weather forecasts using our Alexa skill—as long as you speak and understand German,” says Orth.</p> <h2>Using Notifications to Alert Customers with Important Information</h2> <p>With the <a href="https://developer.amazon.com/blogs/alexa/post/833b9af4-26e6-47d2-a13d-bdbd9a257512/expanded-developer-preview-of-notifications-for-alexa-skills" target="_blank">new notifications feature</a>, Wetter.com leverages users’ locations to provide notifications with weather warnings from the German Weather Service.&nbsp;</p> <p>“If a storm is coming, users will know and can be prepared,” says Orth.</p> <p>After opting in to receive notifications, the customer is alerted when there is new weather information to retrieve. The customer can simply ask, “Alexa, what did I miss?”, or “Alexa, read my notifications,” and Alexa will inform the user accordingly.</p> <h2>Coming Soon: Pollen Counts and More</h2> <p>Since June, Wetter.com has introduced flash briefings for eight major cities with additional cities coming soon. Flash briefings for pollen counts are also on the horizon.</p> <p>“Our next round of development will include information on pollen counts. So, if a user is allergic to trees or flowers, he or she can simply ask Alexa for their Wetter.com daily pollen flash briefing and know what places to avoid during certain times of the day,” says Orth.</p> <p>And the team has more updates in the works. Next up, Wetter.com plans to enhance their skill to include features such as a <a href="https://developer.amazon.com/public/solutions/alexa/alexa-skills-kit/docs/providing-home-cards-for-the-amazon-alexa-app" target="_blank">card response</a>. For example, if a customer asks if it’s raining in Munich, the card response will display an image of Munich in the rain. Customers can also look forward to additional weather data including snow storm forecasting and allergen information.</p> <p>In just a few months, Wetter.com has come a long way in the field of voice. And Orth says learning to build for voice is as easy as getting started.&nbsp;</p> <p>“Developing this skill has really got us thinking about how we can improve our other services with voice,” says Orth. “My biggest advice for developers is to just get started. Build a basic skill, test it, and improve along the way.&quot;</p> <h2>Build a New Skill, Earn Developer Perks</h2> <p>Bring your big idea to life with Alexa and earn perks through our tiered rewards system. US developers, publish a skill before the end of the year, and receive an <a href="https://developer.amazon.com/alexa-skills-kit/alexa-developer-skill-promotion" target="_blank">Alexa developer hoodie</a>. If 100 customers use your skill in its first 30 days in the Alexa Skills Store, you can also apply to receive a free Echo Dot to help you make Alexa even smarter. If you need inspiration, consider creating a holiday-themed skill to get into the holiday spirit. If you're not in the US, check out our promotions in the <a href="http://developer.amazon.com/en-gb/alexa-skills-kit/alexa-developer-skill-promotion" target="_blank">UK</a>, <a href="http://developer.amazon.com/de/alexa-skills-kit/alexa-developer-skill-promotion" target="_blank">Germany</a>, and <a href="http://developer.amazon.com/alexa-skills-kit/alexa-developer-skill-promotion-india" target="_blank">India</a>. <a href="https://developer.amazon.com/alexa-skills-kit/alexa-developer-skill-promotion">Learn more</a> about our promotion and start building today.</p> /blogs/alexa/post/577069bd-d9f9-439a-b4bf-3b0495e3d24b/announcing-new-test-simulator-beta-for-alexa-skills Announcing New Test Simulator (Beta) for Alexa Skills Shiraz Datta 2017-12-14T14:50:22+00:00 2017-12-15T00:11:28+00:00 <p><img alt="1_(1).png" src="https://m.media-amazon.com/images/G/01/DeveloperBlogs/AlexaBlogs/AlexaSkillsKit/1_(1)._CB490993374_.png?t=true" /></p> <p>We are happy to announce the next evolution of our testing tools for Alexa skill developers. Now you can use the <a href="https://developer.amazon.com/docs/custom-skills/test-a-custom-skill.html#test-simulator">Test Simulator (Beta)</a> to test your Alexa skill without owning a device.</p> <p><img alt="1_(1).png" src="https://m.media-amazon.com/images/G/01/DeveloperBlogs/AlexaBlogs/AlexaSkillsKit/1_(1)._CB490993374_.png?t=true" /></p> <p>We are happy to announce the next evolution of our testing tools for Alexa skill developers. Now you can use the <a href="https://developer.amazon.com/docs/custom-skills/test-a-custom-skill.html#test-simulator" target="_blank">Test Simulator (Beta)</a> to test your Alexa skill without owning a device. The new simulator expands existing testing capabilities such as text input, JSON debugging, and visual display by adding features like the ability to test multi-turn conversation, entity resolution, dialog management, and more.</p> <h2>New Capabilities with the Test Simulator (Beta)</h2> <p>With the new voice input capability, you can validate Alexa’s understanding of the spoken word and how the skill responds. The new device event log shows the directives that are sent to the devices, which allows you to understand how the skill interacts with the device.</p> <p>Additionally, the new dialog style UI pattern helps you keep track of the interaction with Alexa and allows you to click back to previous interaction bubbles to inspect relevant debugging information.</p> <p><img alt="skill-simulator-dialog-example.png" src="https://m.media-amazon.com/images/G/01/DeveloperBlogs/AlexaBlogs/AlexaSkillsKit/skill-simulator-dialog-example._CB490991630_.png?t=true" /><em>Example of testing a skill that uses the Dialog.Delegate</em><em> directive in the test simulator</em></p> <p>To further improve programmatic automated testing, we are also enhancing the skill-testing API to support features such as entity resolution and dialog management. These enhancements will roll out in the next week. <a href="https://developer.amazon.com/docs/smapi/skill-testing-operations.html" target="_blank">Learn more about the skill testing API </a> and <a href="https://developer.amazon.com/docs/smapi/ask-cli-command-reference.html" target="_blank">how to use the CLI</a> with your skills.</p> <h2>Start Testing Your Alexa Skills Today</h2> <p>As of today, the new Test Simulator (Beta) is available for Alexa skill testing. The visual display testing capability for Echo Spot will be available next year. <a href="https://developer.amazon.com/docs/custom-skills/test-a-custom-skill.html#test-simulator" target="_blank">Learn more</a> and start testing your skills for Echo devices.</p> <p>Connect with the Alexa community on our <a href="https://forums.developer.amazon.com/spaces/165/index.html" target="_blank">developer forums</a> for more tips on skill testing and certification. We can't wait to see what you build.</p> /blogs/alexa/post/1dbb542d-1ed0-42bf-b8a6-46d35d179c09/brauche-ich-einen-regenschirm-oder-eine-sonnenbrille-mit-dem-wetter-com-skill-kann-man-jetzt-einfach-alexa-fragen Brauche ich einen Regenschirm oder eine Sonnenbrille? Mit dem Wetter.com Skill kann man jetzt einfach Alexa fragen Kristin Fritsche 2017-12-13T08:00:00+00:00 2017-12-15T00:11:01+00:00 <p><img alt="ASM0624-DE-DeveloperStory-BlogPost.jpg" src="https://m.media-amazon.com/images/G/01/DeveloperBlogs/AlexaBlogs/default/ASM0624-DE-DeveloperStory-BlogPost._CB490761977_.jpg?t=true" style="display:block; margin-left:auto; margin-right:auto" /></p> <p>Kunden von Wetter.com in Deutschland, &Ouml;sterreich und der Schweiz k&ouml;nnen jetzt Alexa fragen, um die Wetterprognose zu erhalten.</p> <p><img alt="ASM0624-DE-DeveloperStory-BlogPost.jpg" src="https://m.media-amazon.com/images/G/01/DeveloperBlogs/AlexaBlogs/default/ASM0624-DE-DeveloperStory-BlogPost._CB490761977_.jpg?t=true" style="display:block; margin-left:auto; margin-right:auto" /></p> <p><em><a href="https://developer.amazon.com/blogs/alexa/post/da0fab9a-9c7e-46ff-9ccb-863f94236465/wetter-com-enables-customers-to-simply-ask-alexa-whether-to-pack-an-umbrella-or-sunglasses">Diesen Artikel auf Englisch lesen</a>.</em></p> <p>Kunden von Wetter.com in Deutschland, &Ouml;sterreich und der Schweiz k&ouml;nnen jetzt Alexa fragen, um die Wetterprognose zu erhalten. Wetter.com, die f&uuml;hrende deutsche Website zum Thema Wetter, hat einen <a href="https://www.amazon.de/wetter-com-GmbH/dp/B01N5WD3SR" target="_blank">Alexa Skill</a> entwickelt, mit dem Kunden schnell und einfach Wetterprognosen f&uuml;r den Tag und die Woche abrufen k&ouml;nnen.</p> <p>Bisher hat Wetter.com Kunden seine umfassenden Wetterberichte &uuml;ber eine Website, eine App und das Fernsehen bereitgestellt. Schon bevor der Cloud-basierte Sprachdienst Amazon Alexa in Deutschland verf&uuml;gbar war, dachte Severin Orth, Full Stack Developer bei Wetter.com, &uuml;ber Sprache als einen neuen Weg der Interaktion f&uuml;r Kunden von Wetter.com nach.</p> <p>„Ich interessiere mich sehr f&uuml;r neue Technologien und als ich sah, wie Menschen Alexa in Amerika verwenden, wusste ich, dass wir damit experimentieren m&uuml;ssen,“ so Severin Orth. „Zu der Zeit war Alexa noch nicht in Deutschland verf&uuml;gbar. Da eine sprachbasierte L&ouml;sung aber so gut zu unseren gesch&auml;ftlichen Zielen und den anderen Services passte, begannen wir, etwas zu entwickeln, was letzten Endes zu unserem Alexa Skill wurde.“</p> <h2>Von der Idee zum Prototypen</h2> <p>Severin Orth und sein Team begannen mit der Entwicklung eines eigenen Skills, der Prognosen bereitstellte und so Kunden half, Alexa Fragen zum Wetter zu stellen. Das Ziel: Menschen sollen Wetterinformationen erhalten, die sie ben&ouml;tigen, wenn sie diese ben&ouml;tigen, und das so einfach wie m&ouml;glich.</p> <p>Severin Orth erhielt die Genehmigung seines Vorgesetzten, stellte ein Team zusammen und entwickelte einen funktionierenden Prototyp.</p> <p>„Das <a href="https://developer.amazon.com/de/alexa-skills-kit" target="_blank">Alexa Skills Kit</a><a href="https://developer.amazon.com/de/alexa-skills-kit" target="_blank"> </a>verf&uuml;gt &uuml;ber eine hervorragende Dokumentation. Daher war es sehr einfach, den Skill zu entwickeln,“ so Severin Orth.</p> <p>Der Skill erm&ouml;glicht Kunden, einfach zu sagen „Alexa, frag Wetter.com, wie das Wetter in Berlin heute ist.“ Anschlie&szlig;end stellt Alexa die aktuelle Prognose und Ver&auml;nderungen w&auml;hrend des Tages f&uuml;r den betreffenden Ort bereit. Die Prognosen k&ouml;nnen Mindest- und H&ouml;chsttemperaturen sowie relevante Anmerkungen zu Wind, Sonnenschein, Regen und Wolken nach Tageszeit umfassen.</p> <h2>„Etwas entwickeln, dem die Menschen zuh&ouml;ren m&ouml;chten“</h2> <p>Bevor der Skill ver&ouml;ffentlicht wurde, sammelten Severin Orth und sein Team Kundenfeedback, um die Benutzererfahrung zu optimieren. Dieser Schritt zeigte, dass Verbesserungen m&ouml;glich waren. Wenn ein Kunde nach dem Wetter in Rom fragte, musste der Skill in der Lage sein, festzustellen, dass der Benutzer die Prognose f&uuml;r ein Rom in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern und nicht Rom in Italien erhalten wollte.</p> <p>Es gab noch weitere Dinge, die bei der Entwicklung f&uuml;r Sprachinteraktionen ber&uuml;cksichtigt werden mussten, f&uuml;gt Severin Orth hinzu.</p> <p>„Auf einer Webseite m&ouml;chten Sie etwas bereitstellen, was Menschen interessant zu lesen finden. Wenn es um Sprache geht, m&uuml;ssen Sie etwas entwickeln, das Menschen h&ouml;ren m&ouml;chten.“ erkl&auml;rt Severin Orth.</p> <p>Um Kunden etwas zu bieten, f&uuml;gten Severin Orth und sein Team dem Skill einige versteckte Features hinzu. Au&szlig;er nach Wetterprognosen k&ouml;nnen Kunden Alexa auch danach fragen, ob sie einen Schirm oder Regenmantel ben&ouml;tigen oder eher eine Sonnenbrille mitnehmen sollten.</p> <p>Severin Orth sagt, dass es bei der Entwicklung eines Skills am wichtigsten ist, zu verstehen, was Benutzer wissen m&ouml;chten.</p> <p>„Als wir Nutzer bei der Nutzung des Skills begleiteten, waren wir wirklich von den Fragen &uuml;berrascht, die gestellt wurden.“ so Severin Orth. „Wir wollten eigentlich Wetterprognosen bereitstellen. Als wir dann aber h&ouml;rten, dass Benutzer fragten, ob sie heute Blumen pflanzen sollten, erhielten wir zahlreiche weitere Ideen, wie wir den Skill zuk&uuml;nftig erweitern k&ouml;nnen.“</p> <h2>Entwicklung des Skills mit AWS</h2> <p>Wetter.com arbeitet f&uuml;r die Website und andere Kan&auml;le mit einem Anbieter von Wetterdaten zusammen. Severin Orth und sein Team nutzen diese Daten auch f&uuml;r den Alexa Skill. Der Skill verwendet eine API, um die Daten zu sammeln und Sprachantworten auf Fragen zu den Wetterprognosen f&uuml;r heute, morgen oder n&auml;chste Woche bereitzustellen.</p> <p>Wetter.com hostet den Skill auf <a href="https://aws.amazon.com/de/lambda/?nc1=h_ls" target="_blank">AWS Lambda</a>, das auch als Br&uuml;cke zwischen seinem Backend und Alexa dient. Dar&uuml;ber hinaus nutzen die Wetterwarnungen von Wetter.com den <a href="https://aws.amazon.com/api-gateway/" target="_blank">API-Gateway von Amazon</a> als Proxy f&uuml;r zwei Lambda-Funktionen, <a href="https://aws.amazon.com/dynamodb/" target="_blank">Amazon DynamoDB</a> f&uuml;r das Speichern und Bereitstellen von Wetterwarnungen, und <a href="https://aws.amazon.com/cloudwatch/" target="_blank">Amazon CloudWatch</a> f&uuml;r die &Uuml;berwachung der Anmeldungen.</p> <p>„Da Alexa in Deutschland nicht verf&uuml;gbar war, als wir den Skill entwickelten, unterst&uuml;tzte uns das Team von Amazon in vorbildlicher Weise bei der Live-Schaltung des Skills und durch Feedback,“ so Severin Orth.</p> <p>Die Mehrzahl der Benutzer des Skills lebt in Deutschland. Der Skill kann auch Prognosen f&uuml;r 10 bis 16 Tage in der Zukunft bereitstellen, abh&auml;ngig vom Standort der Benutzer.</p> <p>„Wetter.com stellt vor allem Wetterinformationen f&uuml;r Deutschland, &Ouml;sterreich und die Schweiz bereit. Sie k&ouml;nnen sich jedoch &uuml;berall in der Welt aufhalten und &uuml;ber unseren Alexa Skill Wetterprognosen erhalten, solange Sie Deutsch sprechen und verstehen,“ erkl&auml;rt Severin Orth.</p> <h2>Stets auf dem aktuellen Stand mit Benachrichtigungen</h2> <p>Mit der <a href="https://developer.amazon.com/blogs/alexa/post/833b9af4-26e6-47d2-a13d-bdbd9a257512/expanded-developer-preview-of-notifications-for-alexa-skills" target="_blank">neuen Benachrichtigungen-Funktion</a>, kann Wetter.com die Standorte von Benutzern daf&uuml;r verwenden, Benachrichtigungen mit Wetterwarnungen des deutschen Wetterdiensts bereitzustellen.&nbsp;</p> <p>„Wenn ein Sturm aufzieht, wissen die Benutzer Bescheid und k&ouml;nnen sich vorbereiten,“ so Severin Orth.</p> <p>Nachdem der Nutzer dem Empfang von Benachrichtigungen zugestimmt hat, erh&auml;lt er aktuelle wichtige Wetterinformationen. So kann der Nutzer einfach fragen: „Alexa, lies meine Benachrichtigungen“ oder „Alexa, welche Benachrichtigungen habe ich?“, und Alexa informiert den Nutzer entsprechend.</p> <h2>In K&uuml;rze werden Informationen zu Pollenmengen und mehr verf&uuml;gbar sein.</h2> <p>Im Juni hat Wetter.com Kurzinfos f&uuml;r acht gr&ouml;&szlig;ere St&auml;dte eingef&uuml;hrt. Weitere St&auml;dte werden in K&uuml;rze hinzugef&uuml;gt werden. Kurzinfos zu Pollenmengen werden ebenfalls demn&auml;chst verf&uuml;gbar sein.</p> <p>„Unsere n&auml;chste Entwicklung betrifft Informationen zu Pollenmengen. Wenn Benutzer allergisch auf bestimmte B&auml;ume oder Pflanzen reagieren, k&ouml;nnen sie Alexa einfach nach der t&auml;glichen Kurzinfo von Wetter.com zu Pollen fragen und wissen dann, welche Orte sie zu bestimmten Tageszeiten meiden sollten,“ beschreibt Severin Orth das Vorhaben.</p> <p>Das Team arbeitet jedoch an noch mehr Projekten. Als N&auml;chstes m&ouml;chte Wetter.com den Skill um Funktionen wie <a href="https://developer.amazon.com/public/solutions/alexa/alexa-skills-kit/docs/providing-home-cards-for-the-amazon-alexa-app" target="_blank">Kartenantworten</a> erg&auml;nzen. Wenn ein Kunde beispielsweise fragt, ob es in M&uuml;nchen regnet, zeigt die Kartenantwort ein Bild von M&uuml;nchen im Regen an. Kunden werden auch weitere Wetterdaten zur Verf&uuml;gung stehen, wie Schneesturmwarnungen und Informationen zu Allergenen.</p> <p>In nur wenigen Monaten hat Wetter.com erhebliche Fortschritte bei Sprachinteraktionen erzielt. Severin Orth meint, dass die Entwicklung sprachbasierter Funktionen sehr einfach ist.&nbsp;</p> <p>„Die Entwicklung dieses Skills brachte uns dazu, dar&uuml;ber nachzudenken, wie wir unsere &uuml;brigen Services durch sprachbasierte Funktionen verbessern k&ouml;nnen,“ bemerkt Severin Orth. „Mein bester Rat f&uuml;r Entwickler besteht darin, einfach anzufangen. Entwickeln Sie einen einfachen Skill, testen Sie ihn, und verbessern Sie ihn kontinuierlich.“</p> <h2>Skill entwickeln, Entwickler-Goodie erhalten</h2> <p>Verwirkliche deine Alexa Skill Idee und mach mit bei unserer <a href="https://developer.amazon.com/de/alexa-skills-kit/alexa-developer-skill-promotion" target="_blank">Entwickler-Aktion</a>. Alle deutschen und &ouml;sterreichischen Entwickler, die zwischen dem 1. und dem 31. Dezember 2017 einen deutschsprachigen Alexa Skill entwickeln und im Skill Store ver&ouml;ffentlichen, haben die Chance ein Hoodie im Alexa-Design zu bekommen. Erreicht dein Skill in den ersten 30 Tagen nach der Ver&ouml;ffentlichung mehr als 75 Nutzer (unique users), kannst Du Dich f&uuml;r ein Echo Dot bewerben. Der Skill mit den meisten Nutzern in diesem Zeitraum gewinnt ein Echo Show. Sobald dein Skill ver&ouml;ffentlicht ist, kannst du daf&uuml;r die Werbetrommel r&uuml;hren. <a href="https://developer.amazon.com/de/alexa-skills-kit/alexa-developer-skill-promotion" target="_blank">Leg jetzt los und entwickle deinen Skill!</a></p> /blogs/alexa/post/4a39d8bf-e27e-4da1-8a37-1196d3bd1f5c/how-to-increase-customer-engagement-with-your-alexa-skill Tips on Promoting Your Alexa Skill Jennifer King 2017-12-12T19:07:39+00:00 2017-12-14T19:42:27+00:00 <p><img alt="" src="https://m.media-amazon.com/images/G/01/DeveloperBlogs/AlexaBlogs/default/skill_marketing_blog._CB490894024_.png" style="height:240px; width:954px" /></p> <p>Here are 7 things you can start doing to make your skill more discoverable both in the Alexa Skills Store and through your own marketing channels.</p> <p><img alt="" src="https://m.media-amazon.com/images/G/01/DeveloperBlogs/AlexaBlogs/default/skill_marketing_blog._CB490894024_.png" /></p> <p>With so many skills for customers to choose from in the Alexa Skills Store, developers are vying for their attention and seeking ways to increase engagement with their skills. And now that developers can <a href="https://developer.amazon.com/alexa-skills-kit/rewards">earn money for eligible skills</a> that receive the highest engagement, it’s an even more exciting time to optimize your skill and its presence to reach more customers.</p> <p>Ensuring your skill is engaging and aligns with consumer expectations for voice-first experiences is the first step to <a href="http://dev.amazonappservices.com/sept-web-guide-us.html" target="_blank">creating a top-performing skill</a>. The next step is coming up with creative strategies and using the right tactics to promote your skill to eager Alexa users. Here are 7 things you can start doing to make your skill more discoverable both in the Alexa Skills Store and through your existing network.</p> <h2>Add the Right Finishing Touches&nbsp;<strong> </strong></h2> <p>In addition to delivering a consistent and engaging skill, you want to think about your skill’s finishing touches to help attract new customers.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>1. Optimize Your Skill Name and Invocation Name</strong></p> <p>Give your skill a clear and intuitive name that speaks to its purpose and value. The name should set clear expectations on what your skill can do and what the customer experience will be like. For example, when you hear the name for a skill called Twenty Questions, you immediately know what the skill will do. Also, make sure your skill name doesn’t overpromise and set false expectations. If, for example, you name your skill Email Manager, make sure it enables customers to send and receive emails by voice.</p> <p>Your skill name should also be easy to remember so customers can recall it when they are ready to activate your skill. One good way to test memorability is to say your <a href="https://developer.amazon.com/docs/custom-skills/choose-the-invocation-name-for-a-custom-skill.html">invocation name</a> aloud in context, just as a customer would. With a skill like Twenty Questions, it’s easy for a user to simply say “Alexa, play Twenty Questions” when they are ready to begin the game since the skill name is short and intuitive. Also, try to avoid names that are long, hard to pronounce, or hard to remember.</p> <p><strong>2. Write a Clear, Value-Rich Description</strong></p> <p>When customers visit the Alexa Skills Store, they have tens of thousands of skills to choose from. Along with an intuitive skill name, a well-written skill description will go a long way in drawing customers’ attention and convincing them to give your skill a try.</p> <p>Make sure your skill description clearly articulates the value of your skill. Share how your skill makes a task faster, easier, or more delightful with voice. Include details and utterances that showcase your skill’s key features and pique customers’ interest. And use keywords that may help customers discover your skill.</p> <p>If you intend to regularly refresh your skill’s content, include that information in your description. Share how often you plan to update your skill so customers will know to keep coming back for more delightful interactions.</p> <p><strong>3. Add an Eye-Catching Skill Icon</strong></p> <p>Along with a description, every skill in the Alexa Skill Store has an icon to help the skill stand out. Even though your Alexa skill is a voice-first experience, the skill icon is important because it will help differentiate your skill from the tens of thousands of other skills in the Alexa Skills Store. Use your beautiful skill icon as another opportunity to grab customers’ attention.</p> <p>Keep in mind that your icon doesn’t have to be flashy; in fact, some of the best icons feature thoughtful and intuitive design that visually speak to what the skill is all about. As you’re designing your skill icon, keep in mind a few design best practices:</p> <ul> <li><strong>Keep it simple.</strong> Avoid cluttering the icon with fine detail, which will be hard to see in small sizes.</li> <li><strong>Keep text to a minimum.</strong> If you have to include text, make sure it fits in the boundaries of the icon frame, and make it big enough to be legible even at the smallest sizes.</li> <li><strong>Avoid using photographs.</strong> They quickly become hard to see at smaller sizes.</li> <li><strong>Make it recognizable.</strong> Customers should be able to identify your icon at a glance and have some idea what the skill represents.</li> </ul> <h2>Spread the Word</h2> <p>Now that you have an engaging skill with a beautiful skill store presence, you can start telling people about what your skill can do. Here are a few ways you can market your skill to attract new customers.</p> <p><strong>4. Send an Email to Your Network </strong></p> <p>The easiest way to attract new users is to let the people you know that you have a new Alexa skill. Friends, family, colleagues and other people in your network will likely want to check out your latest innovation if you let them know. Send your network a quick note with a link to the skill on the Alexa Skill Store along with the instructions on how to enable and invoke it on Alexa.</p> <p>If you already have customers who are using one of your products, you can also easily let them know about your new Alexa skill. Send them an email or include details about the skill in your newsletter. Include a few sample utterances to pique their interest and help them get started.</p> <p><strong>5. Add to Your Email Signature and Update Marketing Icons</strong></p> <p>Your email signature is prime real estate for important products or messages you want to promote. Include a quick description and a link to your skill to build awareness for your skill. You can also include an image of your skill icon and a sample utterance to help users get started quickly as soon as they click to learn more and enable your skill. And now that you have a beautiful new Alexa icon to showcase your skill visually, add it to your social, mobile and other marketing icons.</p> <p><strong>6. Feature Your Skill on Your Website</strong></p> <p>Your website is a great location to showcase news and important announcements, including the launch of your new Alexa skill. Once your skill is published, craft a message for your homepage announcing your skill and pointing customers to it in the Alexa Skills Store.</p> <p>You can also make the announcement and introduce your skill on your blog. Your blog post should outline what your skill can do, why you built it, and how customers will benefit from using the skill.</p> <p><strong>7. Promote Your Skill on Social Media</strong></p> <p>Amplify the news about your skill and expand its reach to thousands (or millions) of potential users on social networks. You can post a link to your skill in the Alexa Skills Store or share a link to the blog post you wrote announcing the skill.</p> <p>To create a more enticing social media post, try to take a short video of your skill in action and post it on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or any other social network. Make your video short and engaging, highlighting the most compelling ways customers can use your skill and how to invoke it.</p> <h2>Resources to Help You Get Started</h2> <p>We’ve created a few templates you can use to create your skill marketing materials. Here are several easy-to-use <a href="https://m.media-amazon.com/images/G/01/mobile-apps/dex/alexa/alexa-skills-kit/skill-marketing/AlexaSkillDeveloperTemplatesPPT.zip" target="_blank">PowerPoint templates</a>, in addition to <a href="https://m.media-amazon.com/images/G/01/mobile-apps/dex/alexa/alexa-skills-kit/skill-marketing/AlexaSkillDeveloperTemplatesPSD.zip" target="_blank">Photoshop templates</a> for those with more proficient design skills.</p> <p>Apply these tips, templates and resources to start attracting more engaged users to your Alexa skill today.</p> <h2>Build a New Skill, Earn Developer Perks</h2> <p>Bring your big idea to life with Alexa and earn perks through our tiered rewards system. US developers, publish a skill in December and receive an <a href="https://developer.amazon.com/alexa-skills-kit/alexa-developer-skill-promotion" target="_blank">Alexa developer hoodie</a>. If 100 customers use your skill in its first 30 days in the Alexa Skills Store, you can also apply to receive a free Echo Dot to help you make Alexa even smarter. If you need inspiration, consider creating a holiday-themed skill to get into the holiday spirit. If you're not in the US, check out our promotions in the <a href="http://developer.amazon.com/en-gb/alexa-skills-kit/alexa-developer-skill-promotion" target="_blank">UK</a>, <a href="http://developer.amazon.com/de/alexa-skills-kit/alexa-developer-skill-promotion" target="_blank">Germany</a>, and <a href="http://developer.amazon.com/alexa-skills-kit/alexa-developer-skill-promotion-india" target="_blank">India</a>. <a href="https://developer.amazon.com/alexa-skills-kit/alexa-developer-skill-promotion">Learn more</a> about our promotion and start building today.</p> /blogs/appstore/post/6dbf19dd-6130-4e06-85ae-e51980d41353/gamemaker-basics-object-orchestration GameMaker Basics: Object Orchestration Emily Esposito Fulkerson 2017-12-12T17:30:58+00:00 2017-12-12T17:30:58+00:00 <p><img alt="121217_Orchestration_image4.gif" src="https://m.media-amazon.com/images/G/01/DeveloperBlogs/AppstoreBlogs/GameMakerStudio2/121217_Orchestration_image4._CB492441054_.gif?t=true" style="display:block; margin-left:auto; margin-right:auto" /><br /> I want to talk about something cool&nbsp;that I’m calling “orchestration.&quot;&nbsp;Object orchestration is the act of controlling objects from inside of another object. This is very useful for something like a “controller” object, which manages many things in your game.</p> <p><img alt="121217_Orchestration_image4.gif" src="https://m.media-amazon.com/images/G/01/DeveloperBlogs/AppstoreBlogs/GameMakerStudio2/121217_Orchestration_image4._CB492441054_.gif?t=true" style="display:block; margin-left:auto; margin-right:auto" /></p> <p>Today, I want to talk about something cool&nbsp;that I’m calling “orchestration.&quot;&nbsp;Object orchestration is the act of controlling objects from inside&nbsp;another object. This is very useful for something like a “controller” object, which manages many things in your game. Let's say you wanted to spawn a bunch of enemies to attack your player. You could manage the enemy behavior from inside each enemy object, or you could set the behavior of all enemies at once via the controller object. This is helpful&nbsp;when you need to address multiple objects at once, and inform those objects of the current state of the game.</p> <p>In the example below, we will create a bunch of objects and control them all from a controller object.</p> <h1>Basic setup</h1> <p>The first thing we need to do is create a couple of objects. I’ve created three sprites; a circle, a square, and a triangle, and I have named them accordingly. If you are following along with this example, it doesn’t necessarily matter what your sprites look like as long as they are all different.</p> <p>Now create an object for each sprite. You do not need to add any events to the objects.</p> <p><img alt="121217_Orchestration_Image1.png" src="https://m.media-amazon.com/images/G/01/DeveloperBlogs/AppstoreBlogs/GameMakerStudio2/121217_Orchestration_Image1._CB492441027_.png?t=true" style="display:block; margin-left:auto; margin-right:auto" /></p> <p>Create a new room, name it whatever you want, and make it whatever size you want (I’m using 512x512).&nbsp;</p> <h1>Controller object setup</h1> <p>Now we are going to create our <strong>Controller Object</strong>. This will be the overseer of our game, and will be used to address the objects we will be creating. When creating your controller object, choose a name that is short. You will often reference this object, and it is easier to type a shorter name. For this example, I am using <strong>oGame</strong> as the name of this object. Add the <strong>Create Event</strong> and let's initialize some variables.</p> <p><strong>oGame Create Event</strong></p> <pre> <code>left = false; right = false; up = false; down = false; spawn = false; rotate = false; circle = -1; square = -1; triangle = -1; triList = ds_list_create();</code></pre> <p>The first set of booleans are going to be used as shortcuts for keyboard inputs. Since a button press is either pressed or not, storing that input in a boolean will save you a lot of trouble in the long run. The second set of variables will be used to store the ID of the objects we are going to create and control. These are set to a negative value when initialized to ensure that no asset, or object ID is stored. All asset indexes and object IDs have to be positive numbers. The last variable is used to store the index of a list we are creating. We will be adding object IDs to this list, and using the list of IDs to control those objects.</p> <p>Add the <strong>Step Event</strong> to the <strong>oGame</strong> object and add the following code.</p> <p><strong>oGame Step Event</strong></p> <pre> <code>//keyboard inputs left = keyboard_check(vk_left); right = keyboard_check(vk_right); up = keyboard_check(vk_up); down = keyboard_check(vk_down); spawn = keyboard_check_pressed(vk_space); rotate = keyboard_check(vk_rshift); </code></pre> <p>Here we have assigned keyboard inputs to variables. By doing this we can simply call the variable name when we need to check for keyboard input. Now let’s spawn some objects. Add this under the code we just typed up.</p> <p><strong>oGame Step Event</strong></p> <pre> <code>//spawn some objects if(spawn){ circle = instance_create(room_width * 0.5, room_height * 0.5, oCircle); square = instance_create(room_width * 0.5 - 32, room_height * 0.5, oSquare); for(i = 0; i &lt; 3; i ++){ triangle = instance_create(room_width * 0.5 + 32, room_height * 0.5 - 32 + (i * 32), oTriangle); ds_list_add(triList,triangle); } }</code></pre> <p>This code will check to see if we pressed our <strong>spawn</strong> button, which is set to the spacebar, and will create some objects for us to noodle around with. It also stores the ID of these objects in the circle, square, and triangle variables. For the <strong>oTriangle</strong> objects, this code will create three of them, and add their IDs to the <strong>ds_list</strong> we’ve created. If you are unfamiliar with for loops, click <a href="http://docs.yoyogames.com/source/dadiospice/002_reference/001_gml%20language%20overview/401_11_for.html" target="_blank">here</a> to read some documentation. Essentially a for loop runs x number of times, running the code inside of it as many times as it loops.</p> <p>In this case it runs for three loops, creates an <strong>oTriangle </strong>object, and adds it to the <strong>triList</strong> with each loop. When adding data (in this case an object ID) to a list, the data is added sequentially. The first piece of data is stored in position zero (the start) of the list, and each subsequent piece of data is stored to the end of the list in position one, two, three, etc. This isn’t super important for this example, but it is good to know.&nbsp;</p> <p>Add your <strong>oGame</strong> object to the room if you haven’t already, and run the game. Push the spacebar and, if everything was set up correctly, some objects should spawn in the center of the room! Now that we have some objects, we can work on controlling them.</p> <p><img alt="121217_Orchestration_image3.gif" src="https://m.media-amazon.com/images/G/01/DeveloperBlogs/AppstoreBlogs/GameMakerStudio2/121217_Orchestration_image3._CB492441052_.gif?t=true" style="display:block; margin-left:auto; margin-right:auto" /></p> <p style="text-align:center"><em>Wait for it… BAM! Objects!</em></p> <h1>Object orchestration&nbsp;</h1> <p>There are two main ways to address objects from inside of other objects. First, we can address the object directly by using the ID of the object. Since the ID of our newly created objects are stored in a variable (square, circle, triangle) this is very easy. Add this chunk of code to the end of your <strong>oGame Step Event</strong>.</p> <p><strong>oGame Step Event</strong></p> <pre> <code>//address object directly if(instance_exists(square)){ if(left){ square.x -= 2; }else if(right){ square.x += 2; } } </code></pre> <p>Here's a quick tip. Whenever you are trying to address an object, check to see if it exists first. If not, GameMaker will freak out and crash on you. Here we are able to use the left/right keyboard inputs to move the <strong>oSquare</strong> object left and right. This is done by calling the ID of the object, and then whatever variable inside the object we want to control. In this case the x coordinate. If the <strong>oSquare</strong> object ID was not stored in the <strong>square</strong> variable, and we instead used <strong>oSquare </strong>(oSquare.x), we would be addressing every single <strong>oSquare</strong> object in the game! Considering we only have one this isn’t a big deal, but just be aware of that!</p> <p>That being said, let’s see how we CAN address every instance of an object! The easiest way to do this is to use the <strong>with</strong> construction. If our last method of control is like telling an object what to do, then using <strong>with</strong> is like controlling the object from the inside. Add this code to the end of your <strong>oGame Step Event</strong>.</p> <p><strong>oGame Step Event</strong></p> <pre> <code>//address objects using with with(oCircle){ if(other.up){ y -= 2; }else if(other.down){ y += 2; } } </code></pre> <p>This time we are telling the <strong>oCircle </strong>object what to do. By using <strong>with(oCircle) </strong>we are addressing every single instance of the <strong>oCricle</strong> object in the game at the time. For us, this is only a single object. The important part about using <strong>with</strong> is that if you need to refer back to the object that is calling the function, you must use <strong>other</strong>. So when we say <strong>other.up</strong> and <strong>other.down</strong> we are referring back to the <strong>oGame</strong> object variables <strong>up</strong> and <strong>down</strong>. If you were to just use up and down without other, the game would crash since your <strong>oCircle</strong> object doesn’t have an up and down variable. <strong>With</strong> can be used to address single instances of an object as well. You can do this by using the ID of a particular object instance just like we did when we moved the square around.</p> <p>Finally, let’s look at how to control a bunch of different instances of an object, but not necessarily every instance of an object. Above we created three <strong>oTriangle </strong>objects and added them to the <strong>triList</strong>. Now we can loop through the list of objects, and address them all individually at the same time! Or in this case, address two of the three triangles at the same time. Add some more code to the end of your <strong>oGame Step Event.</strong></p> <p><strong>oGame Step Event</strong></p> <pre> <code>//address objects in a list for(i = 0; i &lt; ds_list_size(triList) - 1; i ++){ tri = triList[|i]; with(tri){ if(other.rotate){ image_angle += 2; } } }</code></pre> <p>Just like when we created our <strong>oTriangle</strong> objects, we are using a for loop. This time the loop is used to loop through the list of object IDs we have stored in the <strong>triList</strong>. We assign an object ID from the list to the <strong>tri </strong>variable, and using <strong>with</strong> we address those objects.</p> <p><img alt="121217_Orchestration_image4.gif" src="https://m.media-amazon.com/images/G/01/DeveloperBlogs/AppstoreBlogs/GameMakerStudio2/121217_Orchestration_image4._CB492441054_.gif?t=true" style="display:block; margin-left:auto; margin-right:auto" /></p> <p style="text-align:center"><em>Conducting the world's worst sounding orchestra.</em></p> <h1>Resources&nbsp;</h1> <p>That about wraps it up for the basics of object orchestration. This is a very powerful concept and can be used in many different ways. Having a master control object is vital to a successful, and efficient game! Check out the links below for more information on some of the concepts we discussed above.</p> <ul> <li><a href="https://docs.yoyogames.com/source/dadiospice/002_reference/001_gml%20language%20overview/401_18_with.html" target="_blank">GameMaker: With Constructor</a></li> <li><a href="https://docs.yoyogames.com/source/dadiospice/002_reference/data%20structures/ds%20lists/index.html" target="_blank">GameMaker: ds_lists</a></li> <li><a href="https://docs.yoyogames.com/source/dadiospice/002_reference/001_gml%20language%20overview/401_11_for.html" target="_blank">GameMaker: For Loops</a></li> <li>Download the example project file <a href="https://drive.google.com/file/d/1lN7Vwice1mSKpheZQoYeJ-d5mRtE0MPQ/view?usp=drive_web" target="_blank">here</a>&nbsp;</li> </ul> <p>As always, you can reach me on <a href="https://www.twitter.com/ratcasket" target="_blank">Twitter</a> or visit my <a href="http://www.ratcasket.com" target="_blank">website</a> for more gamedev stuff. Until next time!</p> <div> &nbsp; </div> <p style="text-align:center"><a href="https://www.twitter.com/ratcasket"><img alt="NathanRBio.jpg" src="https://m.media-amazon.com/images/G/01/DeveloperBlogs/AppstoreBlogs/default/NathanRBio._CB513300692_.jpg?t=true" /></a></p> <p style="text-align:center"><em>Nathan Ranney is the founder of punk house game dev shop, <a href="http://www.ratcasket.com" target="_blank">RatCasket</a>. He’s best known for the creation and development of Kerfuffle, an online indie fighting game.</em></p> /blogs/appstore/post/b4fc8249-0d4f-4a82-b33d-94ae2879393a/amazon-developer-blog-summary-december-11-2017 Amazon Developer Blog Summary: December 11, 2017 Serena McIntire 2017-12-11T21:33:00+00:00 2017-12-11T23:20:35+00:00 <p style="text-align:center"><img alt="lifestyle-phone-1.jpg" src="https://m.media-amazon.com/images/G/01/DeveloperBlogs/AppstoreBlogs/LifestyleImages/lifestyle-phone-1._CB508331489_.jpg?t=true" /></p> <p>Too busy to keep up with us at the Amazon Appstore? We've been busy too, from <a href="https://developer.amazon.com/blogs/appstore/post/a08b3316-4fdc-400b-884d-1ada24b485c1/designing-fun-platforming-levels-tips-and-best-practices">designing&nbsp;fun platforming levels with Alejandro Hitti</a> to preparing for our <a href="https://developer.amazon.com/blogs/appstore/post/36f34dd6-0919-4ec1-9e46-e450dd87f7ed/webinar-using-mobile-frameworks-and-amazon-to-sell-in-app-items">webinar on using mobile frameworks to sell IAP</a>. Read more to see what you missed!</p> <p style="text-align:center"><img alt="lifestyle-phone-1.jpg" src="https://m.media-amazon.com/images/G/01/DeveloperBlogs/AppstoreBlogs/LifestyleImages/lifestyle-phone-1._CB508331489_.jpg?t=true" /></p> <p>Too busy to keep up with us at the Amazon Appstore? We've been busy too, from <a href="https://developer.amazon.com/blogs/appstore/post/a08b3316-4fdc-400b-884d-1ada24b485c1/designing-fun-platforming-levels-tips-and-best-practices">designing&nbsp;fun platforming levels with Alejandro Hitti</a> to preparing for our <a href="https://developer.amazon.com/blogs/appstore/post/36f34dd6-0919-4ec1-9e46-e450dd87f7ed/webinar-using-mobile-frameworks-and-amazon-to-sell-in-app-items">webinar on using mobile frameworks to sell IAP</a>. Read more to see what you missed!</p> <blockquote> <h2><a href="https://developer.amazon.com/blogs/appstore/post/36f34dd6-0919-4ec1-9e46-e450dd87f7ed/webinar-using-mobile-frameworks-and-amazon-to-sell-in-app-items">Webinar: Using Mobile Frameworks and Amazon to Sell In-App Items</a></h2> <p>Join us on December 14, 2017, at <a href="https://goto.webcasts.com/starthere.jsp?ei=1174292&amp;tp_key=42964e3769" target="_blank">7:00 AM PST</a> or <a href="https://goto.webcasts.com/starthere.jsp?ei=1174602&amp;tp_key=59194e4fa9" target="_blank">1:00 PM PST</a>, for a webinar on integrating in-app purchasing (IAP) and selling digital items from within your app or game. We’ll cover how to set&nbsp;up your item catalog on Amazon, then show how you can connect to it from within your app.</p> <p><a href="https://goto.webcasts.com/starthere.jsp?ei=1174292&amp;tp_key=42964e3769" target="_blank"><img alt="7AM_Webinar_Button.png" src="https://m.media-amazon.com/images/G/01/DeveloperBlogs/AppstoreBlogs/default/7AM_Webinar_Button._CB528958595_.png?t=true" /></a></p> <p><a href="https://goto.webcasts.com/starthere.jsp?ei=1174602&amp;tp_key=59194e4fa9" target="_blank"><img alt="1PM_Webinar_Button.png" src="https://m.media-amazon.com/images/G/01/DeveloperBlogs/AppstoreBlogs/default/1PM_Webinar_Button._CB528958592_.png?t=true" /></a></p> <h2><a href="https://developer.amazon.com/blogs/appstore/post/d44e884b-ded2-4c1b-b917-3d585457b634/fire-7-and-fire-hd-8-tablets-now-available-in-canada">Fire 7 and Fire HD 8 Tablets Now Available in Canada</a></h2> <p>With the Fire 7 and Fire HD 8, apps and games are at the center of the experience. The user interface features dedicated content pages for books, games, apps, and more, creating an engaging layout that mimics the beautiful pages of a magazine. <a href="https://developer.amazon.com/blogs/appstore/post/d44e884b-ded2-4c1b-b917-3d585457b634/fire-7-and-fire-hd-8-tablets-now-available-in-canada">This optimized experience will help maximize the chances that the right customers – the ones who are more likely to convert – will see your apps and games.</a> Customers will see content they are more interested in, and more likely to download.</p> <h2><a href="https://developer.amazon.com/blogs/appstore/post/a08b3316-4fdc-400b-884d-1ada24b485c1/designing-fun-platforming-levels-tips-and-best-practices">Designing Fun Platforming Levels: Tips and Best Practices</a></h2> <p>Videogame programmer and designer Alejandro Hitti <a href="https://developer.amazon.com/blogs/appstore/post/a08b3316-4fdc-400b-884d-1ada24b485c1/designing-fun-platforming-levels-tips-and-best-practices">shares his experiences with level design</a> - the things he did right, the things he did wrong, and provides general tips to make your platforming levels much better. Our guest blogger begins his post by explaining the various methods he found that were effective for himself when designing levels, then shares some tips to keep in the back of your mind when coming up with your creations, as well as some suggestions to better iterate and improve your existing designs.</p> <h2><a href="https://developer.amazon.com/blogs/appstore/post/220b89c2-2a27-4868-a020-318b17d10fe4/dev-chat-with-waipu-tv-user-centered-multi-screen-design">Dev Chat with waipu.tv: How to Develop a User-Centric TV Experience</a></h2> <p>In&nbsp;<a href="https://www.youtube.com/user/AmazonAppDistro/playlists" target="_blank">Dev Chat – Short Answers to Big Questions</a>,&nbsp;our series of short videos created by Amazon Appstore, developers of successful apps and games answer your questions in less than 90 seconds. waipu.tv launched its&nbsp;services in September 2016 and so far, it has&nbsp;generated more than 50,000 subscribers. How did German company&nbsp;EXARING AG, developers of waipu.tv, develop this user-centric TV experience? <a href="https://developer.amazon.com/blogs/appstore/post/220b89c2-2a27-4868-a020-318b17d10fe4/dev-chat-with-waipu-tv-user-centered-multi-screen-design">Find out in this edition of Dev Chat.&nbsp;</a></p> </blockquote> <p>Too busy to keep up with our blog? Don't worry, we've got you covered. Sign up to have our weekly summary sent directly to your inbox every week.</p> <p style="text-align:center"><a href="http://m.amazonappservices.com/blog-subscription?cmp=US_2017-00_ACH-Blog-Subscription&amp;ch=blg&amp;chlast=blg&amp;pub=blg&amp;publast=blg&amp;type=org&amp;typelast=org" target="_blank"><img alt="Blog_Subscribe_Button.png" src="https://m.media-amazon.com/images/G/01/DeveloperBlogs/AppstoreBlogs/default/Blog_Subscribe_Button._CB529593605_.png?t=true" /></a></p> /blogs/alexa/post/7c9b3937-9f82-49fc-99dd-359d018fb25d/august-home-uses-smart-home-skill-api-for-faster-more-seamless-integration-of-locks-and-cameras August Home Uses Smart Home Skill API for Faster, More Seamless Integration of Locks and Cameras Jennifer King 2017-12-11T15:36:00+00:00 2017-12-11T15:36:00+00:00 <p><img alt="" src="https://m.media-amazon.com/images/G/01/DeveloperBlogs/AlexaBlogs/default/August-Home_Blog(1)._CB492402133_.png" style="height:240px; width:954px" /></p> <p>Since 2013, August Home’s mission has been to build smart devices that help customers live safely and securely in their homes. To reach that goal, the company has created a variety of innovative door locks, doorbell cameras, keypads, and bridges.</p> <p style="margin-left:0in; margin-right:0in"><img alt="" src="https://m.media-amazon.com/images/G/01/DeveloperBlogs/AlexaBlogs/default/August-Home_Blog(1)._CB492402133_.png" /></p> <p style="margin-left:0in; margin-right:0in">Since 2013, August Home’s mission has been to build smart devices that help customers live safely and securely in their homes. To reach that goal, the company has created a variety of innovative door locks, doorbell cameras, keypads, and bridges.</p> <p style="margin-left:0in; margin-right:0in">When Tejash Unadkat, August Home’s general manager of platform and partnerships, saw the rapid adoption of voice technology, he was determined August would move beyond the world of smartphone apps.</p> <p style="margin-left:0in; margin-right:0in">August delivered its first Alexa skill in 2016 to give customers the option to check and control August smart locks with their voice. “Alexa simplifies our skill development because Amazon provides automatic speech recognition. And because the <a href="https://developer.amazon.com/blogs/alexa/post/bd91b3e6-9799-445e-9cfc-7e3e2d78980f/alexa-delivers-rich-easy-to-use-new-features-for-smart-home-consumers-and-developers">Smart Home Skill API</a> provides a built-in <a href="https://developer.amazon.com/alexa/smart-home">smart home voice user interface</a>, we can concentrate more of our development efforts on our smart devices.”</p> <p style="margin-left:0in; margin-right:0in">Today, as an early adopter of the new Asynchronous Messaging, Proactive State Updates, and Capability Interfaces recently added to the Smart Home Skill API, August delivers a versatile, low-latency control and monitoring experience to Alexa customers.</p> <h2 style="margin-left:0in; margin-right:0in">From Custom Skill to Smart Home Skill, and Now Even Smarter</h2> <p style="margin-left:0in; margin-right:0in">August Home was one of the first partners to build a skill to connect a smart home device to Alexa. The company started with a custom skill to control locks, and later built a smart home skill using the Smart Home Skill API when the API added support for locks. In addition to AWS Lambda, the skills use the <a href="https://aws.amazon.com/api-gateway/" target="_blank">AWS API Gateway</a> and <a href="https://aws.amazon.com/dynamodb/" target="_blank">Amazon DynamoDB</a>.</p> <p style="margin-left:0in; margin-right:0in">“Alexa has quickly become a big part of most people’s smart homes,” says Unadkat. “As one of the first Alexa smart home skills, we solidified in our customers’ mind that August is focused on delighting users by adding new value to their August products, enabling them to use the latest smart home innovations.”</p> <p style="margin-left:0in; margin-right:0in">Developing a smart home skill is simpler than building a custom skill because the VUI is already designed within the Smart Home Skill API, allowing users to leverage the convenient utterances for Alexa smart home skills. In addition, thanks to <a href="https://developer.amazon.com/blogs/alexa/post/0a55ae8a-1f39-411f-a3ca-6a19be80b2f3/now-available-routines-alexa-enabled-groups-and-smart-home-device-state-in-the-amazon-alexa-app">enhancements in both the API and in the Alexa app</a>, Alexa can report the status of any August lock, whether the customer is at home or on the go.</p> <p style="margin-left:0in; margin-right:0in">The main functional difference of the August custom skill—and the reason August maintains it today—is the ability to <em>unlock</em> the door. The custom skill requires the user to provide a PIN code when asking Alexa to unlock the door.</p> <h2 style="margin-left:0in; margin-right:0in">Providing Customers More Consistent and Even Speedier Responses</h2> <p style="margin-left:0in; margin-right:0in">Andy Rothfusz, August Home’s director of security and partner integration, says working with hardware devices requires providing responsive feedback to users during operations that may take more than a few seconds to complete—for example, physically turning a deadbolt. ”Providing a seamless and more responsive customer experience during complex transactions like this is where the updated Smart Home Skill API shines,” says Rothfusz.</p> <p style="margin-left:0in; margin-right:0in">Rothfusz says locks can take several seconds to respond to a command from the August REST API, and physically turn the lock itself. If the whole operation doesn’t complete in the standard five seconds Alexa waits for a response, the user might wonder if the request was actually completed.</p> <p style="margin-left:0in; margin-right:0in">To handle transactions like this while still providing immediate feedback to the user, the updated Smart Home Skill API allows developers to send asynchronous messages to Alexa directly from your own device cloud. (Previously, only smart home skills running in AWS Lambda could provide updates to Alexa.) This gives developers greater flexibility for situations when a skill cannot provide an immediate response, such as when locking a door.</p> <p style="margin-left:0in; margin-right:0in">When the user says, “Alexa, lock my front door,” Alexa sends the command to the August smart home skill, which makes an asynchronous call to the August backend API to verify the request. The August API verifies the request and responds that the command was received. When the physical lock operation has completed, the August backend sends an asynchronous message to Alexa. If the whole operation completes in a normal timeout, Alexa reports “August locked the door.” If not, Alexa reports “August is locking the door” until the asynchronous message arrives.</p> <p style="margin-left:0in; margin-right:0in">“The updated August smart home skill immediately tells Alexa it received the command and has sent it to be processed,” says Rothfusz. “Alexa can update the user, without waiting for it all to complete.”</p> <p>The August skills leverage another new feature of the updated API: Proactive State Updates. The August cloud monitors locks and other devices for state changes, whether they occur via the smart home skills or manually. When a change is detected, August uses Proactive State Updates to asynchronously send the new state to Alexa. Along with a new consolidated directive, ReportState, proactive state updates allow Alexa to provide a near-immediate response when customers ask about their devices. Users can also easily see the state of their August locks in the Alexa app, no matter where they are.</p> <h2 style="margin-left:0in; margin-right:0in">More Reasons to Update Smart Home Skills to the Updated API</h2> <p style="margin-left:0in; margin-right:0in">What do August customers get from all this? First, longer transactions don’t time out, meaning the user isn’t left wondering whether the request completed. Second, Alexa can answer a status query immediately, without waiting for August to poll the device. In either case, users get immediate responses to their voice commands.</p> <p style="margin-left:0in; margin-right:0in">The company’s doorbell cameras also work well with the updated Smart Home Skill API. Users simply say, “Alexa, show me the front door” to stream video directly from the camera to their Echo Show or Fire TV. But the API’s new Routines also make it possible for users to control multiple August devices with a single voice command. And since the API continues to evolve, it allows August to continue providing new value to its existing customers.</p> <p style="margin-left:0in; margin-right:0in">“When customers find August products in a store and realize <a href="https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=bnav_search_go?url=srs%3D6563140011%26search-alias%3Dspecialty-aps&amp;field-keywords=august" target="_blank">they work with Alexa</a>, it increases the value,” says Unadkat. “It shows them that as a company, we’re delivering more than a ‘piece of metal,’ we’re delivering on technology that lets us keep improving their experience with the products they’ve already purchased. Leveraging the new Smart Home Skill API capabilities are just the latest example of this.”</p> <h2>Build a New Skill, Earn Developer Perks</h2> <p>Bring your big idea to life with Alexa and earn perks through our tiered rewards system. US developers, publish a skill before the end of the year, and receive an <a href="https://developer.amazon.com/alexa-skills-kit/alexa-developer-skill-promotion" target="_blank">Alexa developer hoodie</a>. If 100 customers use your skill in its first 30 days in the Alexa Skills Store, you can also apply to receive a free Echo Dot to help you make Alexa even smarter. If you need inspiration, consider creating a holiday-themed skill to get into the holiday spirit. If you're not in the US, check out our promotions in the <a href="http://developer.amazon.com/en-gb/alexa-skills-kit/alexa-developer-skill-promotion" target="_blank">UK</a>, <a href="http://developer.amazon.com/de/alexa-skills-kit/alexa-developer-skill-promotion" target="_blank">Germany</a>, and <a href="http://developer.amazon.com/alexa-skills-kit/alexa-developer-skill-promotion-india" target="_blank">India</a>. <a href="https://developer.amazon.com/alexa-skills-kit/alexa-developer-skill-promotion">Learn more</a> about our promotion and start building today.</p> /blogs/alexa/post/3d8b2e1e-d8c5-41f6-a193-5456a590ef9a/amazon-echo-now-available-to-customers-in-over-60-countries Amazon Echo Devices Rolling Out to Customers in Over 80 Countries BJ Haberkorn 2017-12-08T18:40:19+00:00 2017-12-11T17:19:46+00:00 <p>Starting today, Alexa and Amazon Echo will be rolling out to customers in over 80 countries. Now you can make your Alexa skills available to customers in these countries who buy an Echo.</p> <p><img alt="ROW_blog.png" src="https://m.media-amazon.com/images/G/01/DeveloperBlogs/AlexaBlogs/AlexaSkillsKit/ROW_blog._CB492137610_.png?t=true" /></p> <p>Starting today, Alexa and Amazon Echo will be rolling out to customers in over 80 countries. Customers can order an Echo, Echo Dot, or Echo Plus from Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.de, or Amazon.com. Now you can make your Alexa skills available to Echo device customers in these countries, and customize the voice experience based on device location. This allows you to reach and engage customers around the world.</p> <h2>How to Make Your Skill Available to More Customers</h2> <p>For a customer to use your skill, it must support the language they’ve chosen for their Echo devices, and it must be available in their preferred Amazon marketplace. Supporting multiple languages makes your skill available to more users. Consider providing support for as many languages as you can to increase your user base. For example, if you support English (US), consider adding support for the other English locales, such as English (UK) and English (India). For more information, read our documentation on how to <a href="https://developer.amazon.com/docs/custom-skills/develop-skills-in-multiple-languages.html">develop skills in multiple languages</a>.</p> <p>When you publish a skill, you specify where you would like the skill to be available. You can choose to make the skill available in all countries and regions where Amazon distributes skills, or you can select specific countries and regions, as shown below. You can learn more in our documentation about how to <a href="https://developer.amazon.com/docs/custom-skills/develop-skills-in-multiple-languages.html#h2-distribution">decide where to distribute your skill</a>.</p> <p><img alt="ASK_Skill_Publishing_Locale.PNG" src="https://m.media-amazon.com/images/G/01/DeveloperBlogs/AlexaBlogs/AlexaSkillsKit/ASK_Skill_Publishing_Locale._CB492073151_.png?t=true" /></p> <h2>Make Your Skill Engaging for New Customers, Wherever They Are</h2> <p>When we announced <a href="https://developer.amazon.com/blogs/alexa/post/75db99e4-dc77-42d1-89d1-aa8b41301324/build-more-engaging-skills-with-device-address-api-and-gain-insights-with-the-new-metrics-dashboard">the Device Address API</a> earlier this year, we shared that you can request and access the configured address in the customer’s device settings. This means you can build skills that use the physical address of the device to customize the voice experience. For example, your skill can provide directions to a nearby gym, or read football scores for the nearest teams. Check out <a href="https://developer.amazon.com/public/solutions/alexa/alexa-skills-kit/docs/device-address-api" target="_blank">our documentation</a> to learn more.</p> <h2>Check Device Shipping Locales</h2> <p>You can easily check where a device can be shipped on the product pages. Simply search for &quot;Echo international version&quot; on <a href="https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&amp;field-keywords=echo+international+version">www.amazon.com</a>, <a href="https://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&amp;field-keywords=echo+international+version&amp;rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3Aecho+international+version">www.amazon.co.uk</a>, or <a href="https://www.amazon.de/Amazon-Echo-Generation-Anthrazit-Stoff/dp/B07682HBXR/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1512758276&amp;sr=8-1&amp;keywords=echo+internationale">www.amazon.de</a>.</p> <h2>Build a New Skill, Earn Developer Perks</h2> <p>Bring your big idea to life with Alexa and earn perks through our tiered rewards system. US developers, publish a skill before the end of the year, and receive an <a href="https://developer.amazon.com/alexa-skills-kit/alexa-developer-skill-promotion" target="_blank">Alexa developer hoodie</a>. If 100 customers use your skill in its first 30 days in the Alexa Skills Store, you can also apply to receive a free Echo Dot to help you make Alexa even smarter. If you need inspiration, consider creating a holiday-themed skill to get into the holiday spirit. If you're not in the US, check out our promotions in the <a href="http://developer.amazon.com/en-gb/alexa-skills-kit/alexa-developer-skill-promotion" target="_blank">UK</a>, <a href="http://developer.amazon.com/de/alexa-skills-kit/alexa-developer-skill-promotion" target="_blank">Germany</a>, and <a href="http://developer.amazon.com/alexa-skills-kit/alexa-developer-skill-promotion-india" target="_blank">India</a>. <a href="https://developer.amazon.com/alexa-skills-kit/alexa-developer-skill-promotion">Learn more</a> about our promotion and start building today.</p> /blogs/appstore/post/d44e884b-ded2-4c1b-b917-3d585457b634/fire-7-and-fire-hd-8-tablets-now-available-in-canada Fire 7 and Fire HD 8 Tablets Now Available in Canada Emily Esposito Fulkerson 2017-12-08T00:14:34+00:00 2017-12-08T00:14:34+00:00 <p><img alt="120717_AustinDouglas_Blog1.jpg" src="https://m.media-amazon.com/images/G/01/DeveloperBlogs/AppstoreBlogs/Launches/120717_AustinDouglas_Blog1._CB492536392_.jpg?t=true" style="display:block; height:381px; margin-left:auto; margin-right:auto; width:728px" />With the Fire 7 and Fire HD 8, apps and games are at the center of the experience. The user interface features dedicated content pages for books, games, apps, and more creating an engaging layout that mimics the beautiful pages of a magazine.</p> <p><img alt="120717_AustinDouglas_Blog1.jpg" src="https://m.media-amazon.com/images/G/01/DeveloperBlogs/AppstoreBlogs/Launches/120717_AustinDouglas_Blog1._CB492536392_.jpg?t=true" style="display:block; height:381px; margin-left:auto; margin-right:auto; width:728px" />Today, Amazon.ca announced that Fire 7 and Fire HD 8 tablets are now available in Canada. The <a href="http://www.amazon.ca/fire7?cmp=US_2017-12_ANN_Tablet-Canada&amp;ch=web&amp;chlast=web&amp;pub=blg&amp;publast=blg&amp;type=org&amp;typelast=org" target="_blank">Fire 7</a> features a thin and light design, a 7” IPS display with high contrast and sharp text, long battery life with up to 8 hours of mixed use, and 8 GB of storage with support for up to 256 GB of expandable storage—all for only CDN$59.99.</p> <p>For only CDN$40 more, the <a href="http://www.amazon.ca/firehd8?cmp=US_2017-12_ANN_Tablet-Canada&amp;ch=web&amp;chlast=web&amp;pub=blg&amp;publast=blg&amp;type=org&amp;typelast=org" target="_blank">Fire HD 8</a> offers a stunning 8” 1280 x 800 HD display with over 1 million pixels, a quad-core processor, up to 12 hours of battery life, and 16 GB of storage with support for up to 256 GB more—only CDN$99.99. Both Fire tablets are available for Canadian customers starting today.</p> <h2>Reach the right customers in Canada</h2> <p>With the Fire 7 and Fire HD 8, apps and games are at the center of the experience. The user interface features dedicated content pages for books, games, apps, videos, and music, creating an engaging layout that mimics the beautiful pages of a magazine. These magazine pages enable customers to discover new content without opening the Amazon Appstore, making it easier for you to reach new customers.</p> <p>This optimized experience will help maximize the chances that the right customers – the ones who are more likely to convert – will see your apps and games. Customers will see content they are more interested in, and more likely to download. For example, with the updated and personalized Amazon Appstore, customers who have shown a propensity to play trivia games will be more likely to be shown puzzle and trivia games.</p> <p>And thanks to their long-lasting batteries, once customers discover these games, they can play wherever they are – whether jumping on a plane or heading out on a family trip.</p> <p>You can check if your app is available in Canada by reviewing the <strong>Availability and Pricing</strong> tab in the <a href="https://developer.amazon.com?cmp=US_2017-12_ANN_Tablet-Canada&amp;ch=web&amp;chlast=web&amp;pub=blg&amp;publast=blg&amp;type=org&amp;typelast=org" target="_blank">Developer Portal</a>. If you don’t see Amazon.ca, you can add it by editing your app settings.</p> <h2>Free compatibility testing in 90 seconds or less</h2> <p>Because Fire OS is based on Android, it’s easy to bring your Android APK to Amazon devices. Simply drag and drop your APK into the <a href="https://developer.amazon.com/app-testing-service?cmp=US_2017-12_ANN_Tablet-Canada&amp;ch=web&amp;chlast=web&amp;pub=blg&amp;publast=blg&amp;type=org&amp;typelast=org" target="_blank">App Testing Service</a> (ATS) and receive testing results for Fire OS 5 on the Fire 7 and Fire HD 8, previous generation Fire tables, and Android devices in 90 seconds or less.</p> <p>For more information on the new Fire 7 and Fire HD 8, check out the following resources:</p> <ul> <li><a href="https://developer.amazon.com/fire-tablets?cmp=US_2017-12_ANN_Tablet-Canada&amp;ch=web&amp;chlast=web&amp;pub=blg&amp;publast=blg&amp;type=org&amp;typelast=org" target="_blank">Learn more about developing for Fire tablet</a></li> <li><a href="https://www.amazon.com/ap/signin?openid.return_to=https%3A%2F%2Fdeveloper.amazon.com%2Fap_login%2F68747470733A2F2F646576656C6F7065722E616D617A6F6E2E636F6D2F726567697374726174696F6E2F70726F66696C652E68746D6C.html&amp;openid.identity=http%3A%2F%2Fspecs.openid.net%2Fauth%2F2.0%2Fidentifier_select&amp;openid.assoc_handle=mas_dev_portal&amp;openid.mode=checkid_setup&amp;openid.claimed_id=http%3A%2F%2Fspecs.openid.net%2Fauth%2F2.0%2Fidentifier_select&amp;pageId=amzn_developer_portal&amp;openid.ns=http%3A%2F%2Fspecs.openid.net%2Fauth%2F2.0&amp;language=en_US&amp;openid.pape.max_auth_age=1?cmp=US_2017-12_ANN_Tablet-Canada&amp;ch=web&amp;chlast=web&amp;pub=blg&amp;publast=blg&amp;type=org&amp;typelast=org" target="_blank">Register for a free Amazon Developer account</a></li> <li><a href="https://developer.amazon.com/app-testing-service?cmp=US_2017-12_ANN_Tablet-Canada&amp;ch=web&amp;chlast=web&amp;pub=blg&amp;publast=blg&amp;type=org&amp;typelast=org" target="_blank">Test your app using the Amazon App Testing Service</a></li> <li><a href="https://developer.amazon.com/app-submission?cmp=US_2017-12_ANN_Tablet-Canada&amp;ch=web&amp;chlast=web&amp;pub=blg&amp;publast=blg&amp;type=org&amp;typelast=org" target="_blank">Submit your app</a></li> <li><a href="https://developer.amazon.com/alexa-skills-kit?cmp=US_2017-12_ANN_Tablet-Canada&amp;ch=web&amp;chlast=web&amp;pub=blg&amp;publast=blg&amp;type=org&amp;typelast=org" target="_blank">Start building your Alexa skill</a></li> </ul>