The Alexa Skills Kit (ASK) is a collection of self-service APIs and tools that make it fast and easy for you to add skills to Alexa. Alexa is the cloud-based voice service that powers Amazon Echo, a new category of device designed around your voice. We announced the availability of the Alexa Skills Kit at the end of June, and thousands of developers have started building skills to expand Alexa’s capabilities.
More Features for Developers
Since June, we’ve continued to roll out new features and documentation to help you build more easily. Most recently, we launched a submission checklist to clarify our certification process and help you get your skill certified more quickly. This is the most recent in new Alexa Skills Kit releases for developers. In September, we launched account linking, service simulator, custom slot types and SSML support.
- Get Certified Faster: Our submission checklist includes an overview of policy and security requirements as well as recommended functional, voice interface and user experience tests.
- Easily Link Accounts: Allow customers to link their existing account with your service to Alexa by simply visiting the skills tab in the Alexa smartphone app.
- Test Skills without a Device: Test your skill service without an Alexa-enabled device with the new service simulator by inputting text and view the service input and output on the screen.
- Create Your Own Custom Slots: Reduce your required utterances by creating custom slots and sets of values for items that are not covered by Amazon’s built-in slot types.
- Influence Alexa’s Inflection: Support for Speech Synthesis Markup Language (SSML), gives you additional control over how Alexa generates speech from your text response.
Preview the Newest Third-Party Skills
In August, we announced a preview of the first third-party skills to give customers an indication of how Alexa will expand with third-party capabilities. Since then, we’ve continued to announce new skills, including Bitcoin Rate and Event Guide. We encourage you to check them out on your Amazon Echo. To use any of these new skills, you will need to enable them in the Alexa smartphone app. Simply open the app and tap on "Skills" in the menu, and then press "Enable" for the skill you want to use.
Get Started Now
If this is your first time using the Alexa Skills Kit, we recommend you review the following materials in this order:
- Read the Getting Started Guide, which details how users interact with your Alexa skill and how to conduct a conversation with your customers.
- Read the AWS Lambda documentation.
- Check out the Voice Design Handbook for best practices on voice user interface design.
- Review the Alexa Skills Interface Reference to learn more about the syntax of the requests that will be sent to your service.
- Check out the reference skills to see sample code.
- Learn how to test your new skill with an Amazon Echo.
- Sign up for a free account and register your skill on the developer portal.
You may also want to check out these additional Alexa developer resources:
Order Echo - Amazon.com Page
Alexa Skills Kit (ASK)
Alexa Voice Service (AVS)
Alexa Developer Forums
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