What's New in the Alexa Skills Kit: July 2019 Release Roundup
Leo Ohannesian Aug 14, 2019
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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 General Availability of Skill Connections along with 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. Improve productivity by outsourcing tasks to other skills with Skill Connections, now Generally Available

Skill connections enable a skill to use another skill to perform a specific task, so you can do more for your customers by extending your skill's abilities with minimal changes. Check out the announcement here or learn more about Skill Connections in our tech docs.

2. Easily integrate leaderboards into your game skills using the skills GameOn SDK (Beta)

Leaderboards are a great way to keep players engaged with your game skills and drive retention. You can now use the Skills GameOn SDK (beta), powered by Amazon GameOn and optimized for Alexa skills, to easily integrate leaderboards into your game skills. We are also excited to announce that we have a special offer to help more skill developers leverage the GameOn capabilities. Learn more about the GameOn SDK by reading our blog.

3. Alexa Presentation Language 1.1 (Beta)

We are excited to announce the next version of Alexa Presentation Language (APL) with support for animations, vector graphics, better tooling, and a design system that makes APL skill development for multiple viewport profiles faster. Read about it in our announcement.

4. Quickly test your VUI with Quick Builds, now on the Developer Console

Save time and start testing early: We are excited to announce developer console support for Quick builds, which enable you to start testing your skill with sample utterances on average 67% quicker than before. This is done by introducing a new intermediate build state called Quick Build. Read about it in our tech docs.

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.