Amazon has announced that it has given its Alexa Voice Service (AVS) a major update, bestowing developers working on the Alexa platform a multitude of new features, ranging from volume and media controls, timers and alarms, and more.
This update to the AVS, which was initially introduced last year as a developer preview, brings in architectural enhancements that include Amazon Alexa app support (both on Android and iOS), updated APIs plus message structures and the capacity to send out server-initiated messages.
"We are excited to announce an important update to the [AVS] that will enable you to enhance the user experience on your Alexa-enabled products," Amazon says in a blog post.
The AVS is the company's smart cloud service. This service adds voice-enabled experiences to any product that is connected to the Internet with a microphone and a speaker.
Through the AVS, it is possible for users to communicate with their Alexa-enabled devices to carry out specific tasks, such as answer queries, play music, manage smart home devices and more.
Here is a rundown of the new functionalities that are incorporated in the most recent update to developer kit.
1. Volume Control - Developers of devices are now able to add the ability to regulate and mute or unmute the volume, by means of buttons or voice, on their products.
2. Media Control - Using voice or buttons, developers are now able to add the capacity to manage the media playback on their Alexa-enabled products. This means that users of their devices will soon be able to pause or play media using their voice or buttons.
3. Timers and Alarms - developers are now allowed to incorporate on their devices the ability to create and manage alarms and timers with the use of voice.
4. Amazon Alexa App (Android and iOS) - users of the developed products will also have the access to the above-mentioned features through the Amazon app for Android and iOS.
This latest move from Amazon to extend the AVS to third-party developers, through the latest update, will soon allow Alexa to better manage media in third-party devices.
Earlier this month, we reported that Amazon unveiled two new Alexa-enabled Echo devices, dubbed the Echo Dot and Amazon Tap, to add to its growing family of products.