What's New in the Alexa Skills Kit: February 2020 Release Roundup

Leo Ohannesian Mar 13, 2020
Release Roundup News Localization Developer Console Smart Home Skills Voice User Interface

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 we share details about the new features and tools released for skill developers last month, including Automated Locale Distribution and Shared Slots.

1. The Amazon.FallbackIntent expands to Hindi and Portugese

Handle unexpected user requests in new locales with the international expansion of the fallbackIntent. See the documentation. 

2. Give Alexa permission to publish qualified live skills to all locales of the same language

Now available on the Alexa Skills Kit (ASK) Developer Console and the ASK CLI, automated skill distribution lets you give Alexa permission publish qualified live skills to all locales of the same language. For example, when submitting a skill to EN_US you can easily reach customers from EN_CA, EN_MX, EN_UK, EN_IN and others with no additional effort. Read about it in our blog or check out the documentation. 

3. You can now share custom slot types between your skills

Starting today, you can share custom slots types between multiple skills you own. Creating a slot type now can be done independent of skills and can work in conjunction with catalog management. Read the announcement here

4. Smart Home Live Debugger Now Supports Proactive Discovery and Delete Events

You can now use the Smart Home Live Debugger to test and see AddOrUpdateReport and DeleteReport events that Alexa receives from your smart home devices, in addition to ChangeReport events. Now you can test that Alexa is accurately receiving your proactive events when a user adds a new endpoint or updates an existing endpoint, and when a user removes an endpoint from their account. Check out the documentation. 

5. New Smart Home Analytic Metric: ChangeReport Accuracy Rate

You can now monitor the accuracy of your ChangeReport events sent to Alexa in the Analytics page of the developer console. The new ChangeReport page shows the accuracy rate of these change reports as perceived by Alexa when a report state directive is sent, helping you test and confirm your device events are reporting correctly. Check out the documentation.