Amazon Echo users in India can now experience over 12,000 skills on their AI enabled Echo, Echo Plus, and Echo Dot devices. These include Ted Talks, Saavn, ESPNcricinfo, Ola, Tarla Dalal, Zomato, Freshmenu, Goibibo, and Housejoy among others. The skills allow you to personalize your Echo experience to get the most out of your Amazon audio devices.
Amazon Echo devices connect to Alexa-a cloud-based voice service-to play music, set alarms and timers, provide information, check your calendar and more - instantly. These experiences are made possible with Skills.
Amazon has also introduced Alexa Skills Kit (ASK), a collection of self-service APIs, tools, documentation and code samples. The ASK enables developers around the world to build voice experiences for Alexa customers in India.
To find a skill and enable, users need to go to the skills section in the Alexa app where they can browse for skills and then click enable. If you know the skill name, you can simply ask Alexa to enable the skill. For instance, to enable Ola, just say "Alexa, enable Ola."
The new skills published span 20 categories, including global favorites like Music & Audio, interactive games and education, to trending categories like Health, Business & Finance, and News and Lifestyle. Here is a list of most popular skills in each category.
As noted, Indian users could enjoy close to 11,000 skills offered by global and Indian developers at the time of its launch. The devices and the Alexa skills store made their debut in India on 31st October 2017. It is intersting to find out that in less than 60 days of the Alexa India skill store going live, Amazon has added more than 1,000 new skills to the store.
Amazon gives the credit to the efforts of thousands of creative developers who have built interactive Alexa skills. These new skills bring the total number of skills available for Indian customers to more than 12,000. Alexa's brains are in the AWS cloud and she continually learns and adds more functionality, every hour, every day.
Echo, Echo Plus, and Echo Dot are voice-controlled speakers designed entirely around your voice-they are always ready, hands-free, and fast.
Developers please take a note
Through ASK, developers, companies, and hobbyists can integrate Alexa into their products and services, and build new skills for Alexa. As per Amazon, you don't need to have a background in natural language understanding or speech recognition to build voice experiences for your products with Alexa.
To accelerate the expansion of the Alexa India skill set, the Alexa team hosted an interactive design workshop 'Alexa Dev Days' in Delhi and Bangalore. In the last two months, the team has also organized webinars and community meetups to educate and engage with the Indian developer community. Alongside these outreach programs, Alexa team runs a monthly developer incentive program where developers who publish a new skill receive perks including an Echo Dot and AWS credits.
Developers can sign up on the Amazon Developer portal for free and easily learn how to start building for voice with the Alexa Skills Kit.
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