The number of Alexa Skills has now surpassed 15,000, a milestone Amazon achieved at the end of June. For those out of the loop, Skills are Amazon's version of "apps," voice command-based functionalities users can add to their Amazon Echo device.
The current figure represents a steep growth compared with the number at the beginning of this year, in which Amazon confirmed there were already 7,000 Skills available.
A month later in February, the number grew to 10,000 Skills, which, at the time, represented a threefold increase from September 2016.
VoiceBot first reported the current number via a third-party analysis, but Amazon has confirmed to some publications that what they've come up with is pretty much accurate. VoiceBot, which only focused on U.S. Alexa Skills, adds that new skill introductions rose 23 percent in June, significantly higher than the usual 10 percent growth recorded in each of the previous three months.
Flash Briefings remain one of the top Skills categories, according to the report. These voice apps focus on bringing information when owners ask for it via voice commands, as exemplified by apps the likes of NPR, Washington Post, and a lot more.
Those type of apps have grown to capture 20 percent of the total Skills pool, presumably because most developers find Flash Briefing Skills as the easiest to develop. On the Alexa Skills store, there are 2,891 live "news" Skills.
Alexa Skills: Quantity vs Quality
But while the number of available Skills party signifies the success of voice-based commands on Amazon's range of Echo devices, it's always going to end up as a clash between quantity and quality. Back in February, we reported that despite the ballooning number of Skills for Alexa, most people often only used two to three at a time. Not to mention the sheer amount of shovelware on the Skills store, of course — they can't all be functional, right? Some crapshoots are definitely mixed in there throughout.
More than anything, the rapid growth shows how developers can easily create Skills for Echo devices. Currently, Amazon assumes the lead spot in the world of voice-enabled devices, and it's expected to control 70 percent of that market this year alone.
Amazon Beats Google Assistant And Microsoft Cortana In Voice App Growth
By contrast, Google Assistant only boasts 378 voice apps, as per VoiceBot. That's compounded by the fact that Amazon has grown 37 times faster than Google has in terms of Skills. Microsoft, meanwhile, has only 65 in total.
"In June, Amazon Alexa users were introduced to 2,776 new skills while Google Assistant users only saw 74 additions and Microsoft Cortana just 7. The Alexa skill growth was 37 times more than Google Assistant," according to the report.