Published On: Wed, Jan 31st, 2018

Oops! Don’t contend ‘Google’ in your Alexa voice app, Amazon said


The foe between Alexa and Google Assistant is fierce. How fierce? Cover all of Las Vegas in Google Assistant ads for CES fierce? Put voice assistance in uncanny things like a light switch or a fridge fierce? How about “don’t dare utter a competitor’s name in your voice app” fierce?

Yep, Amazon has criminialized Alexa app developers from observant “Google” in their Alexa skills, it seems. [Updated with Amazon response. See below.]

One Alexa developer incidentally detected this by submitting a voice app to Amazon with a bug.

Jo Jaquinta’s Alexa diversion skill Mind Maze was ostensible to remind users on exit how to relaunch a ability in a future, by observant something along a lines of: “to play again, contend ‘Alexa open Mind Maze.’”

When Amazon’s examination testers took a demeanour during a skill, however, it returned a response he had built for a Google Home movement of a app instead. Whoops!

According to a reviewer, a ability had said: “If we suffer label games, we can contend ‘OK Google, speak to 21 Blackjack’…”

The ability was afterwards soon deserted since we can’t contend “Google” in an Alexa app, we see.

Specifically, a reason Amazon supposing is that an Alexa ability “should not foster Google Home.”

Wrote a reviewer:

Actual result: The ability promotes google home by observant ‘OK Google’ when user utters Stop or Cancel.

Expected result: The ability should not foster Google Home.

Of course, not promulgation Alexa ability users to a competing product creates clarity for Amazon, and a bug positively would have combined a treacherous knowledge for users had it left live.

However, is rather revelation that Amazon’s rejecting was not since a ability was charity a incorrect exit phrase, since it would have led to user confusion, or since it disregarded some arrange of developer guidelines. (Nowhere does a Alexa Skills developer agreement prohibit “promoting” a competition, after all.)

It was criminialized for reminding Alexa users about Google Home. And that’s only not allowed.

Update: Amazon says a denunciation a Amazon reviewer used was incorrect.

“We reviewed a ability and dynamic that a improper word could lead to patron difficulty and did not accurately execute a ability functionality. The acceptance representative’s response was an error,” a orator said. “We do not anathema a use of code names, nonetheless we do essay to safeguard that trademarks, egghead property, or code names are used properly.”

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