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The Alexa Skills Store — where Alexa users can browse, view, and manage third-party apps and services — now has over 100,000 apps, up from 90,000 in April and 80,000 in February. That’s according to Amazon, which revealed the updated metric during a press conference this morning in Seattle.
At least a portion of those tens of thousands of new apps were submitted by U.S.-based Echo owners, who recently gained the ability to publish skills built atop Skill Blueprints — templates that don’t require coding knowledge — in the digital storefront. Like any other app, these are publicly viewable and can be used, rated, and reviewed by the larger Alexa community.
If that weren’t impressive enough, Amazon also announced that there are now 85,000 Works with Alexa devices on the market.
Alexa supports more devices than ever before — over 60,000 from 7,400 different manufacturers, by Amazon’s count. Moreover, well over 325,000 developers have used the Alexa Skills Kit, which enables developers to build voice apps for Alexa. And more than 100 million Alexa-enabled smart speakers, smart displays, headphones, and more have been sold to consumers, who use them to speak to Alexa billions of times a week.
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The growth in skills and device support is reflected by the cadence of updates to Alexa’s developer tools. In June, Amazon brought in-skill purchasing — a feature that allows voice app developers to charge for digital content — to Alexa skills that target kids, along with new parental controls for spending. (In-skill purchasing rolled out to skills in the U.K., Germany, and Japan in May.) In July, Amazon launched Skill Flow Builder, a tool that enables creators to more easily build story-based game skills.
Perhaps most notably, in July Amazon also released the latest version of Alexa Presentation Language (APL), the suite of tools designed to make it easier for developers to create “visually rich” skills for Alexa devices with screens. Among the highlights was an enhanced Alexa Design System redesigned to better accommodate Alexa-enabled devices of varying screen sizes, and new responsive components and templates that respond based on device mode, size, and shape.
Among the other Alexa developer tools Amazon introduced this year is skill connections, which enables developers to tap into features provided by other Alexa apps and services. A more recent addition to the suite is app-to-app account linking, a way for developers to enable an Alexa skill through an iOS or Android mobile application. Those two joined the new Baby Activity Skill API, which enables developers to build third-party apps that help customers keep track of baby activities.
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