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January 26, 2016David Isbitski
The Alexa Skills Kit has been updated with additional features. The changes are listed below and immediately available for you to take advantage of when building your skills.
The Alexa Skills Kit allows your customers to link their existing accounts with you, to Alexa. To link accounts, customers visit the skills tab in the Amazon Alexa app and enable your skill. They are then prompted to log in to your site using their normal credentials. You authenticate the customer and generate an access token that uniquely identifies the customer and link the accounts.
An update to account linking is now live that enables skills to authenticate in OAuth 2.0 using both authorization grant and refresh tokens. You can find additional details here.
The custom slot type is used for items that are not covered by Amazon’s built-in set of types and is recommended for most use cases where a slot value is one of a set of possible values.
Based on your feedback, we have expanded support for up to 50,000 custom slot values per custom slot type, averaging 12 characters each.
SSML audio tags enable you to deliver short audio streams intermingled with TTS (text-to-speech) output in response to a customer's requests to your skill. The primary use case for this feature is to allow you to include short audio clips along with TTS in the response and to stream voice responses instead of TTS where appropriate. The length of these tags is short, and should not be used for streaming music, podcasts or similar audio playback. This update also brings the ability to delete test skills that you no longer need.
We have updated both the Voice Simulator and the Service Simulator to support SSML Audio tags. This will enable you to test out what your audio tag sounds like before even creating a skill using the Voice Simulator. It also means you will now hear your SSML audio tags play when using the Service Simulator to test your skill’s response stream.
Along with these updates to the Alexa Skills Kit, customers can now sort skills in the Alexa app giving them more ways to find your skill. Current sort types include newest arrivals, ratings and reviews.
For more information on recent Alexa Skills Kit Updates check out the following posts:
Announcing New Alexa Skills Kit (ASK) Features: Voice Simulator and Yes, No, Repeat and StartOver Built-In Intents
Announcing New Alexa Skills Kit (ASK) Features: SSML Audio Tags and Developer Portal Updates
Announcing New Alexa Skills Kit (ASK) Features: Built-In Intents and Slot Type for US Cities
Announcing New Alexa Skills Kit (ASK) Features: Custom Slot Types and Speech Synthesis Markup Language Support
Announcing New Alexa Skills Kit (ASK) Features: Account Linking and Service Simulator
Free Alexa dev t-shirts! Back by popular demand, we are offering Alexa dev t-shirts for all developers who publish their skill and complete our form by March 31, 2016. Quantities are limited. See terms and conditions.