What's New in the Alexa Skills Kit: April 2019 Release Roundup
Leo Ohannesian May 06, 2019
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SDK Portuguese News Alexa-Hosted Skills Release Roundup
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Editor's Note: Our monthly release roundup series showcases the latest in Alexa Skills Kit developer tools and features that can make your skills easier to manage, simpler to deploy, and more engaging for your customers. Build with these new capabilities to enable your Alexa skills to drive brand or revenue objectives.

In this roundup post we share details about the new things released for skill developers last month, including the release of the Brazilian Portugese voice model and several other features that can help make you be more productive or build more engaging skills. Check out the entire livestream for more information from Alexa evangelists and code samples.

1. Reach new Customers in Brazil

You can now start building Alexa skills with the new Brazilian Portuguese voice model to reach more customers. Skills that get certified for publication will be available for customers when Alexa launches in Brazil later this year. Developers in any locale can create skills in Portuguese with the Brazilian Portuguese option available in the language dropdown menu in the developer console. Read the launch blog or visit our documentation to get started.

2. Introducing New Healthcare Skills

We’re excited to announce that the Alexa Skills Kit now enables select Covered Entities and their Business Associates, subject to the U.S. Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), to build Alexa skills that transmit and receive protected health information as part of an invite-only program. Read the launch blog for more information. 

3. New APL Features

Use built-in math and string functions for APL (Alexa Presentation language) documents to build game skills more easily, and use the SetValue command to easily update APL component properties without having to update entire APL documents.

4. ASK SDKs Are Now Easier to Use and Integrate

The addition of Java templates, support for Python web frameworks, and several utility functions (for Java, Python, and NodeJS) continue to increase your productivity as a skill developer when using the ASK (Alexa Skills Kit) SDK (Software Development Kit). 

5. Alexa-hosted Skills GA

Now Generally Available: Select Alexa-hosted for your skill’s back-end when creating a new skill to automatically provision a set of Alexa-hosted AWS cloud services for your skill’s back-end. Alexa-hosted skills now also extends to the ASK CLI to accelerate your skill building efforts. Check out the launch announcement or visit our docs to get started . 

 

As always, we can't wait to see what you build. As a reminder, learn how to get the most out of the tech docs by visiting the Latest Tips page.