Steps to Create a Flash Briefing Skill
You create Flash Briefing skills in the Amazon developer console. When you create a skill you provide information, configuration and define one or more feeds that provide content for the skill. A feed can be text or audio that you own or have the rights to distribute. It's important to note that you will create a skill for each language you offer a Flash Briefing in. This means that if you target three languages for your skill, you should create three separate skills.
This topic provides the steps for creating and configuring a Flash Briefing skill in the developer console, testing the skill, and submitting it for certification.
- Register as an Amazon Developer and Create a Skill
- Provide an error message
- Add One or More Flash Briefing Feeds
- Test Your Flash Briefing Skill
- Provide Publishing Information for your Skill
- Answer the Privacy and Compliance Questions
- Perform Final Review and Submit for Certification
Register as an Amazon Developer and Create a Skill
To configure a new Flash Briefing skill, you need an account on the Amazon Developer Console. If you don’t already have an account, go to https://developer.amazon.com/alexa/console/ask and create an account. Registering is free. For more information on how to use the developer console, see Manage Skills in the Developer Console.
Once you’ve registered:
- Log in to the developer console.
- Click the Create Skill button.
- Enter the Skill name for your skill. This name appears to customers in the Alexa App. Make sure this name does not imply sponsorship by Amazon, or infringe on the copyright, trademark and publicity rights of a third party.
- In the Default language drop-down, choose the language for your skill. A Flash Briefing skill targets a single language and you cannot change the language once you select it. In addition, a skill preamble, error message, descriptions and content should be in the language selected for the skill.
Select the Flash Briefing pre-built model, then click Create skill. The Flash Briefing model is predefined and English-speaking customers would get their flash briefing by saying phrases like the following:
- "Alexa, what's my Flash Briefing?"
- "Alexa, what's in the news?"
German-speaking customers get their flash briefing by saying phrases like the following:
- "Alexa, was ist meine tägliche Zusammenfassung?"
- "Alexa, was sind die Nachrichten?""
Provide an error message
- Fill in the Custom Error Message. Alexa uses this message if feed content is not available for some reason. Make sure this message is in the language you chose for your skill. This means if you provide an English skill, your error message should be in English. If you provide a German skill, your error message should be in German.
Add One or More Flash Briefing Feeds
A Flash Briefing skill can contain multiple feeds of text or audio content. Typically each feed focuses on a specific genre of content such as sports or local news. Alexa will read a text feed, called text-to-speech (TTS) or play audio. One feed must serve as the default feed, which is always turned on for a skill. The remainder of the feeds for a skill can be turned on by the customer that enables your skill. For details of the feed formats and contents, see Flash Briefing Skill API Feed Reference.
- Click Add new feed .
For Preamble, enter the audio introduction for this feed. Alexa will say the preamble before reading or playing the feed contents. The preamble is limited to 70 characters, and should be in the same language you chose for your skill. In addition, the preamble should start with certain words:
- For English, "In" or "From"
- For German, "Im" or "Von", "In", "Vom" or "Aus"
- For Name, enter a name that is unique for this skill and helps customers determine the content.
- For Content update frequency, choose the closest value to how frequently you update your content.
- In the Content type field, select whether your feed is a text or audio feed. For text content, you can provide a feed in RSS or JSON format. If it's an audio file, the content should be stereo or mono MP3 with a bitrate of at least 256kbps.
- For Content genre, select the best description of your content from the drop down.
- In the Feed box, add the URL for the text or audio content feed. The URL cannot be any destination which requires the customer to login.
- For Feed Icon, specify an image to represent this content feed. The image must be 512 x 512 pixel jpg or png. This image will display in the Alexa App.
- Click Add to add the feed.
- Repeat these steps each feed you provide for the skill. The first feed you add will automatically be marked as the default feed. If you add more feeds, you can choose which feed is the default, by selecting it in the Default column.
- Click Save when you are finished adding feeds and are ready to test your skill.
Test Your Flash Briefing Skill
The next step in skill creation is to test the Flash Briefing skill on using the Alexa Simulator or an Alexa-enabled device. If using a device, you must have this device registered to the same account as your developer account for your skill to display.
- On the Test tab in the developer console, make sure the slider is set to Yes (the default) to enable your skill for testing.
- Find your skill in the Alexa app, enable it, and then ask Alexa for your flash briefing. For example, "Alexa, what's my Flash Briefing?" for an English skill or "Alexa, was ist meine tägliche Zusammenfassung?" for a German skill. Your content should play or be read by Alexa.
- You should enable all of the feeds for your skill and test them with an Alexa device.
- Click Next when you have completed testing of your skill.
Provide Publishing Information for your Skill
The descriptions and images you provide on the Distribution page provide the content that displays in the Alexa App. Customers can scroll through a list of skills, and select a skill to see more detailed information. The interaction model is already defined so the most important information you provide is a short and long description of your skill, and the images that identify your skill.
- Add a Public Name, which displays to customers in the Alexa app.
- Fill in the One Sentence Description. This displays in the skills list in the Alexa app and should be in the same language your skill targets.
- Provide a Detailed Description. This displays when the customer selects your skill for more information, and so should be in the same language that your skill targets. The detailed description should list all feeds that are offered with your skill.
- Add a Small (108 x 108 pixels) and Large Icon (512 x 512 pixels) to identify your skill. Also, If your images are the wrong size, they will be rejected.
- Select a Category for your skill from the drop-down.
- Enter Keywords for your skill.
- Click Save and continue.
Answer the Privacy and Compliance Questions
The Privacy and Compliance page lists questions that are standard for every skill type. It's important to note that a Flash Briefing skill should not enable users to make purchases or ask customers for personal information.
- Answer the questions regarding purchases and personal information.
- Under Export Compliance, check to certify that your Flash Briefing skill may be imported to and exported from the United States and all countries that Amazon operates, or choose Selected countries and regions: and individually select the countries and regions where you would like to offer your skill.
Note: Regardless of the countries you choose, your skill will only display to customers in countries where the primary language of the country/region matches the skill language. For example an English (US) skill displays in countries where English is the primary language.
- Enter Testing Instructions, if any apply
- Click Save and continue.
Perform Final Review and Submit for Certification
- Use the Flash Briefing Skill Certification Checklist for a final check of your skill.
- Under Availability, select whether the skill is Public or an Alexa for Business skill.
- Click Save and Continue
- On the Submission page, select Submit for Review. Not that if there is any missing information, you will be prompted to provide it before you can submit your skill.