Amazon is simplifying how a user can enable Alexa's — its voice-activated command system that powers Echo and other devices — existing skill sets. How? Through voice-activated applications.
Users can now enable any skill by simply issuing a voice command such as "Alexa, enable Jeopardy!" So for example, if you want to begin your workout and wish to use your FitBit, simply say, "Alexa, enable FitBit."
On Tuesday, June 28, Amazon announced that it has successfully redesigned the skill section of the Alexa app. Customers will now be able to sift through Alexa's skills by browsing through categories such as Lifestyle or Smart Home in the app. One can also apply more search filters to aid them to located skills that were enabled previously. This can be done through the "Your Skills" section.
The Alexa Skills page also has several skills listed and grouped such as "Get entertained" or "Make your home smarter" as well as sections that showcase consumer favorites or skills that are trending.
Enabling third-party skills with a voice command on Alexa will be welcomed by many consumers. Previously, one needed to locate and then enable the skill via the app.
The skills are pretty handy and let users perform a slew of activities such as control smart home devices, order a pizza from Dominos, book a car from Uber or even give you updates on the Super Bowl!
"We are thrilled that tens of thousands of developers are already building skills for Alexa, helping to grow our Alexa skill selection by 50% in just over a month. And today, we're excited to introduce new features that make it even easier for customers to discover those skills. This is a win for developers and for customers, and we can't wait to hear what they think," noted Steve Rabuchin, VP, Amazon Alexa.
Amazon also added the Lyft and Honeywell skills to Alexa on June 28. The skills basically correspond to apps and let developers create more voice-activated competencies for not only the Echo but also other gadgets that deploy Alexa.
Amazon had only limited skills for Alexa at the time of launch, but the number has been steadily growing. Alexa currently has over 1,400 skills available, which is a growth of 50 percent in just a month. It currently boasts over 10,000 registered developers.
This is a significant growth, as the ecosystem was made available to developers a year ago and augurs well for Amazon.