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Amazon will let devs compete for your Echo Show’s screen and everything else Alexa just added

Amazon will let devs compete for your Echo Show’s screen and everything else Alexa just added
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Amazon Alexa devices are ambient Computers, not the kind you use all day. when you Act Ask a question to the Echo or glance at the Echo Show’s small screen, the voice assistant only has a short chance to impress him. Today, Amazon is announcing that it will offer more of these opportunities to third-party developers — including brand-new widgets and premium skill cards that could occupy a significant portion of your smart speaker’s valuable real estate.

Here’s what to expect from those and everything else the company is announcing at today’s Alexa Live event.

As you can see in the Amazon form above, widgets It looks pretty much what you might expect. In a blog post, Amazon describes them as “rich, customizable, browseable, self-updating offerings of skill content” where you can check items from your to-do list or activate skill functions, without having to say “Alexa” first. It is not yet clear how limited these apps are or if they are an effective way to create a touch screen app for the Echo Show.

Special skill cards It might be a bit controversial, depending on how useful it is. Boosts new Alexa skills on your home screen, even if you don’t ask for it. This is not specifically an advertising service, says Aaron Robinson the edgeIt’s not something developers have to pay for. “It’s open for everyone to raise their hand and say they want to be a part of it,” he says, adding that you’ll see personalized results based on other signals you send to Alexa. One of the featured first skill cards will be Comedy Central, and Robinson says he might well see it because he actually listens to some comedy on Alexa Flash Briefing every morning.

But even if you don’t have an Echo with a screen, you might get more Alexa skills suggested for you soon. Amazon says it’s expanding its range Nameless Interaction Toolkit To allow skills to volunteer to be promoted when you speak with phrases like “Alexa, how did the NASDAQ perform today?”

“We let developers raise their hand and say, ‘My skill can handle this demand,'” Robinson says. “And if you agree with using Amazon’s suggested skills, Alexa can pass on your request instead of making you repeat what you say.”

While Amazon was previously the only one to benefit from physical goods sold through Alexa, the company will now allow Alexa skill developers to sell products within their skills as well. Alexa shopping procedures And get up to 10 percent off your Amazon affiliate commission too. As expected, you can only sell listed products on Amazon.com, although it doesn’t need to be for you products. (Robinson couldn’t say if Amazon would allow skills that are nothing more than just stores) Paid skillsSo don’t be surprised if you have to pay before using the next Alexa app instead of using an in-app purchase afterwards.

Although Amazon is still not attracting competitors like Apple, Google and Samsung to the voice interoperability initiative yet, it has some news on that front as well. Robinson says Samsung will have a refrigerator with Bixby and Alexa “working in tandem,” and the company’s custom Alexa Assistant (which lets brands create their own Alexa-powered assistant) will appear in a Verizon smart display where Alexa can handle standard Alexa tasks while The new Verizon Assistant can handle requests like checking your wireless bill. Robinson says they can deliver orders to each other, too.

In addition to these highlights, here’s a quick bulleted list of other Alexa updates that caught my eye:

  • Food Skill APIs For “high quality, food delivery and pickup experiences”. Domino’s Pizza you will use it at some point; This is an example:

  • Send to phone “Customers can start an experiment on their Alexa-enabled devices and continue on their mobile phone.” McDonald’s UK, Twitter, Husqvarna, Iberia Airlines, Cookpad and Lysol will connect their mobile apps with Alexa skills.

  • Event-based triggers and proactive suggestions: “For example, if a customer is going to work, customers can sign up for a skill that proactively indicates that they are closing their home.” Whole Foods will launch a Sidewalk Experience later this year.
  • find The ‘Alexa, Find my’ command opens to more companies with tile-like trackers, with Samsung and Remote+ arriving later this year.
  • Alexa device discovery It will be able to discover new categories of devices such as printers and smart TVs.
  • Alexa entities It now allows any skill developer to access the Alexa Knowledge Graph for generic answers.

This isn’t the full list, keep in mind: there’s more in the full Amazon blog post. Additionally, Amazon is announcing today that nearly every Echo smart speaker will support Matter, an ambitious new open standard for smart home devices.

All of the new features come as part of the Alexa Live Developer Conference that the company is organizing today, as it seeks to attract the next generation of programmers to build skills for its voice assistant. Amazon says it now has 900,000 registered developers and 130,000 skills (up from 750,000 developers last year and 100,000 skills in September 2019), and Robinson tells us developer revenue has doubled annually, with some skill developers making more than $1 million annually.

Update, 1:04pm ET: Added link to amazon Full blog postAnd some embedded videos.

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