Alexa is one of the virtual assistants of the moment thanks to its large presence in the home thanks to the Amazon Echo, one of the best-selling smart speakers in Spain. The domain of Alexa is about to move from speakers to our mobile devices with the new from Amazon.
The name Amazon has chosen for this new technology is Alexa for Apps, a feature designed so that application developers can connect their Alexa skills with our mobile applications. How do they do it and what is their future?
Alexa for Apps is the beginning of the conquest of Android
Alexa is one of the largest virtual assistants we can find today, and although its presence is gigantic thanks to Echo speakers and devices, the smartphone remains the unreachable frontier for Amazon.
It’s not that there isn’t an Alexa app for Android, and you can even replace Google Assistant from the settings. But is it worth doing? From our experience not much, but this will change in a matter of months thanks to a new functionality called Alexa for Apps.
This developer program offers the tools so that when we create an application, it is able to communicate with Alexa and react to the voice commands we make with the virtual assistant. Commands generate links capable of opening the application and performing specific actions And what will Alexa for Apps allow?
- Information search: For example, we can search for information in the application, such as asking Alexa to open tweets about a hashtag concrete.
- See specific information of the application: For example, if we order an Uber through the Amazon Echo, it will ask us if we want to see the location of the driver on our mobile. If we say yes, the Uber app will open with the driver’s location view.
- Access to functionalities: This is undoubtedly the most chicha, since it will allow us to access specific characteristics of an application to use with the voice. The example that Amazon gives is that of TikTok, which already allows you to start a recording with voice commands.
The third functionality is the one with the greatest potential, and is that one of our preferred features is to be able to send WhatsApp or Telegram messages without opening the application, simply using voice commands that activate the functionality.
At the moment there is no official confirmation that WhatsApp and Telegram end up implementing the actions by voice, but given the history of both messaging applications, it is most likely that they end up being the first applications that are capable.
I am a developer, can I add Alexa to my application?
Yes. Amazon has described the steps you must follow on its official website:
- Request early access from here.
- Add the metadata of your application and web to the manifest skill.json.
- Edit the endpoint to send links using requests to connect skills.
- Test and publish your new skill.