Published On: Thu, Sep 28th, 2017

Alexa’s opt-in notifications go live, permitting skills to warning we with lights and chimes


Alexa’s voice-activated apps will now have a new approach to warning finish users about updates and new content, Amazon announced today. Thanks to newly combined Notifications functionality, Alexa ability developers can configure their voice app to change a tone of a LED on an Alexa-powered device and play an audio evidence when a presentation for their voice app is available.

A tiny handful of Alexa skills have currently incited on this feature, including The Washington Post, AccuWeather, and family locator Life360, says Amazon, burying a lede in an proclamation about a further of Notifications to a Alexa Voice Service (AVS) API.

For example, The Washington Post’s Alexa ability will now be means to warning we when there’s vital violation news by approach of notifications. The publisher says that we can design to get an warning a few times per day, if enabled, or whenever violation news occurs. Meanwhile, AccuWeather’s ability can send out continue alerts.

If you’re disturbed about your Alexa-enabled inclination all of a remarkable lighting adult and chirping with alerts from your several skills, don’t be. Enabling notifications is an opt-in underline – identical to branch on or off pull notifications for an app on your smartphone.

But once enabled, a ability regulating notifications can opt to change a tone of a device’s LED light, and use an audio carillon to constraint a user’s attention. On a Echo, for instance, a light turns green. These alerts are sent to all of a customers’ Alexa devices, solely for those that had been set to “Do Not Disturb” mode by voice or by a Alexa app.

Users can afterwards find out what a presentation is about by seeking Alexa, “what did we miss?” or “Alexa, what are my notifications?” Alexa responds by informing a user of what a ability had sent – like a violation news from The Washington Post, for example.

If a patron has a non-Echo device powered by Alexa that doesn’t support notifications, afterwards they will have to use a Alexa app to see what they missed instead.

Amazon had initial introduced a thought of notifications in May, observant that a ability for developers to supplement notifications to skills and inclination would shortly be done accessible by Amazon’s hardware and program growth kits.

Amazon itself also uses notifications for a messaging and job system, and added notifications in July for updates about Amazon package deliveries.

However, usually name third-party partners have nonetheless been means to benefit entrance to a feature. That list of early adopters includes a contingent of skills going live today, as good as Just Eat, that was going to yield sequence confirmations. But Just Eat wasn’t mentioned in today’s announcement. Neither were some of a indie beta testers, like a space-focused ability AstroBot.

The underline continues to be in private beta contrast for third-parties, Amazon also notes. However, now that notifications are live, Amazon is taking sign-ups from those developers who wish to benefit entrance when a open beta arrives in a nearby future.

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