AMA Kit FAQs

This page contains FAQs about the Alexa Mobile Accessory (AMA) Kit.

OEM FAQs

Q: What is the AMA Kit?
The AMA Kit is a set of services that enable users to connect their Bluetooth-enabled accessories with Amazon Alexa through the Alexa app on Android or iOS devices. After integration, a Bluetooth-enabled accessory connects to the Alexa service through the Alexa app on users’ mobile devices. At a high level, the AMA Kit enables sending speech from the Bluetooth-enabled device to the Alexa service and a control service for exchanging control messages between the Bluetooth-enabled device and the Alexa app.
Q: What are the differences between implementing the AMA Kit versus the Alexa Voice Service (AVS) Device SDK in my app?
The AMA Kit has multiple advantages for implementation and user experience:
  • Using the AMA Kit reduces Alexa implementation time and effort for your engineering team.
  • Amazon updates the Alexa app with the latest features, eliminating the need for you to do that work.
  • The AMA Kit reduces latency of voice recognition for your customers.
  • Audio streams are cleanly ducked when customers are talking to Alexa.
  • The AMA Kit ensures that your device has access to Alexa even if the app is in the background.
Q: How do I get started with the AMA Kit?
Amazon provides device manufacturers with an AMA Kit with the following contents:
  • Protocol specifications.
  • Protobuf definition files.
  • Mobile development apps for iOS and Android to help develop and debug your accessory.
Q: What are the minimum hardware requirements for my Bluetooth accessory to use the AMA Kit?
Choose hardware that meets the AMA Functional requirements. If your accessory uses Bluetooth LE transport, it must support OPUS. Optionally, if your accessory has a Push-to-talk capability only and supports MFi, the accessory is able to use mSBC to encode data and send data over Bluetooth Classic.
Q: How do I enable my accessory to work with Alexa?
To enable your Bluetooth accessory to work with Alexa:
  1. Register your Bluetooth accessory with Amazon through the Amazon Developer Portal.
  2. Implement the AMA Kit in your Bluetooth accessory.
Q: How does wake word detection work for my headset accessory?
Your users have two options to invoke Alexa: speak a wake word or push a button on the accessory (push-to-talk). If you choose to implement wake word detection, implement wake word verification on your Bluetooth device, which must work with the Alexa cloud-based wake word verification.
Q: What are the AMA requirements for Cloud-based Wake Word Verification (CBWWV)?
The AMA requirements for CBWWV are the same as those used by AVS. See Enable Cloud-Based Wake Word Verification.
Q: My accessory has a companion app. How is my app involved in setting up Alexa?
For a breakdown of which responsibilities the accessory companion app handles versus the Alexa app, see the AMA Kit Functional Requirements and AMA Kit Setup Flow.
Q: I would like my customers to use my own mobile app. Does the AMA Kit integrate with my mobile app?
No. The AMA Kit simplifies integration with Alexa by offloading the heavy lifting of communicating with AVS to the Alexa app. If you need more flexibility, integrate AVS directly into your app.
Q: What, if anything, should my accessory do in multi-turn situations? For example, what if a user presses a button on my accessory to begin an Alexa interaction, but then Alexa asks clarifying questions, receives a user response, and then Alexa speaks again?
The user shouldn't need to interact directly with your accessory to carry on a conversation with Alexa; the user shouldn't need to press the button (or any other buttons) after the initial button press. Note that when requested by the app through Provide_Speech, the microphone must be re-enabled to accept user speech. See AMA Kit Functional Requirements for details on requirements for multi-turn interactions.
Q: If audio streaming is in progress, does my accessory device or does the Alexa mobile app responsible for muting/unmuting the audio streaming when the user initiates an Alexa interaction? Is the Alexa app able to mute/unmute audio on the accessory?
The Alexa app mutes/unmutes any actively playing audio when the user initiates an Alexa interaction. The Alexa app is also responsible for any further Text-to-Speech (TTS) interactions.
Q: What user data is available for my Bluetooth Accessory?
Amazon provides aggregated data on the Dashboard tab of My Accessory Portal. Metrics include: daily active users, accessory uptime, memory/battery usage, and number of Alexa invocations.
Q: How does the Alexa app know if my hardware needs a firmware update to be compatible with Alexa?
Yes, during the first-time setup or linking a new connection, the Alexa app’s AMA Kit checks for firmware version. If the accessory requires a firmware update, the Alexa app informs the user and guides them to your companion app or website.

Bluetooth accessory user FAQs

Q: How do I enable Alexa on my Bluetooth Audio accessory?
To enable Alexa on your Bluetooth accessory:
  1. Log into the Alexa app on your mobile device and accept Terms of Use.

    If you don’t already have the Alexa app, download it from the Apple App store on iOS or from Google Play store on Android, and sign in with your Amazon credentials.

  2. Power on your accessory, and make sure that both your accessory and your mobile device have Bluetooth enabled.
  3. Navigate to the Device Channel in the Alexa App, tap Set up a New Device, select the correct Bluetooth accessory from the list of devices, and follow the step-by-step instructions for pairing the Alexa app with your accessory. After completing the pairing, every time that you power your accessory on within range of your phone, you can use Alexa on your accessory.
  4. Upon successful pairing, the Alexa app provides confirmation that your accessory is ready to access Alexa.
Q: How do I invoke Alexa from my Bluetooth Audio accessory?
Some accessories allow you to invoke Alexa by speaking the wake word “Alexa”, although others could require you to tap a button to invoke Alexa. Some accessories provide both methods of invoking Alexa.
Q: Does the Alexa app have to be open and in the foreground when I use my accessory?
No, you don't the Alexa app open after you have linked Alexa to your accessory. For Android, the Alexa app always runs in the background if you have enabled this option; for iOS, the app runs when active communication occurs between your accessory and phone.
Q: What kinds of Alexa-compatible Bluetooth Audio accessories are available to purchase?
Alexa is available on Bluetooth-enabled audio accessories such as Bluetooth speakers and headphones, with other device types on the way.
Q: How do I disable Alexa on my Bluetooth Accessory?
To temporarily disable Alexa on your accessory, power down the accessory or turn Bluetooth off. To permanently unlink your accessory with your phone, go through the Settings of the Alexa app.
Q: Can I use my Bluetooth accessory with my tablet?
Yes, you can use your accessory with Android and iOS phones and tablets.