In May, we announced new permissions features that allow you to read, add, and delete items in Alexa’s Shopping and To-do lists from within your skill. This allows customers to use your skill to keep track of their important tasks and shopping needs. Today, we are happy to announce support for List Events, allowing your skill to get notified when customers add or remove items to their lists on Alexa.
Introducing List Events in Alexa Skills
By creating a list skill and subscribing to List Events, you will be able to understand and react to changes that happen to lists from top-level utterances on Alexa.
When a customer asks Alexa to add an item to a list (for example: “Alexa, add bananas to my shopping list”), Alexa understands the user’s speech request, converts it to a To-do or Shopping item, and sends your skill a notification with the new item that was added to the list.
By combining the Read, Write, and Events capabilities, you can now integrate your list management application with Alexa to provide customers an interface for managing their lists, and ensure that any list changes are instantaneously updated across all channels. When customers add items to their lists on Alexa, your skill endpoint will receive a notification that can trigger the display of the new item in your application. Similarly, when a customer makes changes to their lists in your application, the application can update the item on Alexa so it’s available the next time customers ask Alexa what’s on their lists.
This feature is available worldwide for developers building skills in US English, UK English, and German languages.
How It Works
The new List Events feature is available starting today as part of the List Skill API. Creating a list skill allows developers to supply a Lambda/HTTPS endpoint to receive notifications when users interact with their lists on Alexa. To enable two-way sync between Alexa Lists and an external web/mobile interface, and to update Alexa lists in an out of session mode, please use the Skill Messaging API.
You can integrate with Alexa lists by following these steps:
- Use SMAPI to create a new list skill or update your custom skill to subscribe to List Events.
- Request Lists Read and Write permissions and use the API to read and update Alexa lists.
- Implement handlers to respond to List Events.
- Implement account linking to associate customers who enabled your skill with their identity within your app.
- Add an intent model to your skill if you would like to extend it beyond syncing lists. A custom interaction model is not required for list skills that consume list events.
Today, we are excited to announce that Any.do, AnyList, Cozi, and Picniic have created the first skills that are using List Events. Explore these skills if you’re looking for inspiration on ways to use List Events in your skill.
We’re excited to see how you will take advantage of the list events feature to build list skills that customers will love.
For more information about getting started with the List Skill API, check out our FAQ.
Build a Skill, Earn Developer Perks
Got skills? Bring your big idea to life with the Alexa Skills Kit and earn perks through our new tiered rewards system. Publish a skill in September, and earn a pair of limited-edition Alexa dev socks. If 100 unique users use your skill in its first 30 days in the Alexa Skills Store, you can also apply to receive a free Echo Dot featuring a limited-edition developer skin design. Learn more about our promotion and start building today.