Alexa Live 2022: Announcement roundup for skill developers

Staff Writer Jul 20, 2022
Alexa Live Alexa Skills

Skill Developers

We launched features to help skill builders and developers drive business growth, develop high-quality customer experiences, and speed up time to market.

Drive business growth

The following features and programs are designed to enable you to build sustainable businesses with Alexa, by growing your potential revenue and reach.

Skill Developer Accelerator Program (SDAP) will enable you to drive business growth by providing incentives for building high-quality skills. These incentives will be made available next year. In addition, for developers earning less than $1MM in aggregate revenue from In-Skill Purchasing (ISP), Subscriptions and Paid Skills, SDAP provides an increased developer revenue share. Learn more about SDAP here.

Promoted Skills will provide you with a new, simple but effective way to promote skills on Echo Show home screens. Coming later this year, you can set up promotional campaigns for your skill in less than five minutes. You will also be able to view performance and attribution metrics that are updated on a daily basis. Fill in the developer interest form.

Alexa Routines Kit (ARK) enables you to surface pre-built Routines to your customers when they interact with your skill. Instead of creating Routines from scratch, customers can enable these pre-built Routines through simple voice consent, and make their favorite skills a part of their daily lives. This feature is in developer preview. Sign up to be considered for participation. Learn more by reviewing this blog post.

Voice-forward Account Linking enables customers to easily link the account that they have with your application with their Alexa account, by just using their voice. Previously, customers had to use their Alexa app to complete their account linking. However, with this new approach, simple voice consent can be used to link accounts. Review the technical documentation.

Alexa Shopping Kit consists of a comprehensive suite of features that allows you to embed shopping experiences within your skill. Customers can discover, research, and purchase relevant products from within a skill. You need to simply choose the products from you want to surface. With Amazon Associates on Alexa, developers can earn up to 10% commission on eligible purchases referred from their skill thus opening up a new monetization channel. 

Learn more about the Alexa Shopping Kit in the announcement blog. Get started with the two Alexa Shopping Actions that are publicly available (Add To Cart and Buy Now) by reviewing this technical documentation. Sign up to participate in the preview to embed an additional shopping action - 'Add to list."

Alexa Skill Deals gives you the ability to set up a discount on your In-Skill Purchase (ISP) products and Paid Skills through the Alexa Developer Console. These discounts can run across a developer-determined deal window lasting up to a year, and will be available to all customers. With Alexa Skill Deals, customers get to experience premium content and skills at a discounted price. Get started by reviewing this technical documentation.

Develop high-quality customer experiences

The features below have been designed to help you shape the next generation of high-quality ambient experiences with Alexa.

Dialog Testing Tool API enables you to create automatic test-sets to evaluate multi-turn dialogs. The tool can handle variations in skill responses due to random slot filing for the Alexa Presentation Language for Audio (APLA), and helps prevent your integration tests from failing incorrectly. You can now create smarter and intelligent integration tests for your most impactful use cases, especially supporting nonlinear and natural patterns powered by Alexa Conversations. Get started by signing up for the developer preview here.

The A/B Testing Tool enables you to define a skill's control and treatment customer experiences by adding conditional statements to the skill code. You can determine what percentage of randomized customers will receive the control experience or the treatment experience. Learn more here.

Updates to the Food Skill APIs leverages the state-of-the-art techniques in conversational AI to make it easier for restaurants to connect with customers and get food to the table in new and convenient ways. 

Alexa Presentation Language for Audio (APLA) templates help you ramp up quickly on new APLA concepts with full samples. The templates will appear in the authoring tool when a user clicks "Create Audio Response." With APL for Audio (APLA), you can add audio responses from Alexa, Polly voices, sound effects and music to your skills. See the technical documentation.

Multimodal Response Builder brings together multiple steps to create a visual response for your skill into one guided walkthrough. The multimodal response builder automatically generates responsive visuals that render beautifully across a broad range of Alexa devices. View the technical documentation.

Skill Quality Coach: provides you with a step-by-step approach for building high quality skills with tailored guidance and feedback. The Skill Quality Coach leverages learnings from thousands of successful Alexa skills to identify common attributes and generates personalized recommendations to improve skill quality. Starting today, developers in the US can view their SQS via the Skill Quality Dashboard. Learn more about the Skill Quality Coach here.

APL Best Practices Guide for Developers provides whitepaper-like guidance on how to build performance-optimized APL templates. Develop an understanding of what your visual user flows look like, and determine the best approaches to break up your design into APL documents, layouts, pages, and views. View the technical documentation here. 

APL Accessibility Guide helps you build experiences that are accessible to customers who are blind or have visual impairments. View the technical documentation. 

Skill Components provide you with ready-to-use experiences that you can easily add to your skills built using Alexa Conversations (AC). Each component is a collection of skill primitives, such as Voice User Interface dialogs & intents, Alexa Presentation Language (APL) documents, skill code, skill connection tasks, and skill events. You can import these components into your existing Skill Package, compile, and then deploy your skill. Sign up for the developer preview here

Go to market faster
The features and programs below make building with Alexa even simpler, so that you can get to market faster, and engage millions of customers around the world.

Improved experience on We are improving the Alexa developer console experience through the year with a rolling set of updates and improvements. This has already started with the new search experience, providing search functionality across multiple sites such as Amazon, GitHub, and YouTube.

Alexa Learning Lab is a new resource on the developer portal, designed specifically to accelerate developer learning. In the Learning Lab, you will be able to learn by doing. It provides the opportunity to try new features and get real-time guidance. Just modify the code, submit, see your results, with real-time feedback. Learn more here

Unified DX across Alexa Conversations and Interaction Model: Unified developer experience provides a streamlined set of core concepts and primitives to create natural, multi-turn, conversational experiences. Skill builders will be able to incrementally leverage the breadth of AI capabilities through a progressive developer experience and tool-chains to create a wide-range of CX patterns that include one-shots, simple multi-turn and rich non-linear conversations. Stay tuned to to find out when this experience becomes available.

Code Sandbox provides a “show me” feature for developers to view and edit live APL examples in the APL tech docs. Now you can learn hands-on in the tech docs without ever leaving the page. Get started by viewing the technical documentation.

Amazon is making major investments in conversational AI and building the tools to enable you to create the next generation of ambient experiences. We can’t wait to see all that you do with these new features and programs as you engage with customers at home, at their workplaces and on-the-go, and in the process, drive growth for your business. 

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