Editor's Note: This blog was originally published on December 11, 2019. It has been updated to reflect product updates to automated locale distribution which is now available on the ASK Developer Console.
We recently published a blog that outlined three new tools to help you build, test, and tune your skills. Today, we’re excited to announce that we’re extending this level of control to the publication, distribution, and permissions processes. These three new capabilities include
With these changes, you can now publish on your accord, release to customers in a more controlled and synced fashion, reach more customers with less effort, and increase the rate at which you get permissions from users to set reminders.
Now available on the Alexa Skills Kit (ASK) Developer Console and ASK CLI, automated locale distribution lets you give Alexa permission to publish qualified live skills to all locales of the same language. For example, when submitting a skill to en_US you can also reach customers from en_CA, en_MX, en_UK, en_IN. To enjoy this feature, simply opt-in to the automated locale distribution feature located in the availability section of the distribution tab of the ASK Developer Console or via the ASK CLI. This is most useful for skills which contain content that can be enjoyed in all locales. This launch improves your ability to receive customer traffic while minimizing the effort to publish your skill in multiple locales. Learn how to enroll for automated locale distribution through the ASK Developer Console or the ASK CLI today.
You can now control the publishing schedule of your skill with self-service skill publishing. This can be especially useful when coordinating your skill’s availability with marketing efforts, back-end deployments, or an event like a holiday or a conference; just be sure to allow enough time for certification review before your publish date.
To use self-service publishing, choose ‘Just certify’ in the Console’s certification sub-tab right before you submit your skill for certification. Once your skill passes certification, it will have a new status associated with it called ‘Certified’. You can then navigate back to the skill’s certification sub-tab and pick a publish date and time window, or click-to-publish your skill by choosing ‘publish now’. Visit our docs for to learn how to publish a ’Certified’ skill. This can also be done via the CLI.
For a more detailed walk-through, please visit our developer forum.
Reminders permission requests need to be explicitly granted by Alexa customers. In the past, reminders permissions had to be granted through the Alexa app, which caused friction for customers. Alexa customers can now give skills permission to create and edit Reminders with their voice. With this decreased friction in permission granting for reminders, you may see an increase in your customers using permissions. TVGuide.co.uk CEO Chetan Damani said "Adding reminders to our skill allows us to replicate our most popular feature from our mobile apps on to our skill, but we used to have some friction with the permissions. Removing the friction by using Voice permissions has meant that the number of successful reminders requests has increased significantly." If you are already using Alexa Reminders API, or are interested in using Alexa reminders, check out our documentation on how to gain voice permissions.