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Want Alexa to start recording a TikTok clip? She’ll soon be able to do it

Don’t we all love streamlined processes? Like seriously, it can be quicker at times to ask a smart assistant to do something than having to do it ourselves on our smartphones. Well, Alexa’s becoming more powerful thanks to some news skills that are being introduced at Alexa Live 2020, its virtual developers conference event. In fact, you’ll soon be able to ask Amazon’s Alexa to perform specific app functions on your mobile device, such as searching for hashtags on Twitter or starting a video recording on TikTok, hands-free.

In total, there are 31 new skills that developers will be able to tap into to enhance Alexa’s experience. One of the most intriguing new features relates to Alexa for Apps, which allows Alexa skills to combine with iOS and Android apps. Essentially, Alexa will now be able to run apps on your mobile device to execute specific tasks. For example, you can say, “Alexa, ask Twitter to search for #Alexa Live,” which will then populate the results on your smartphone.

Previously, users were able to perform basic functions to open apps by asking Alexa, but the Alexa for Apps skill opens up a toolkit of new possibilities for developers. This skill, along with the rest of the new ones being introduced at Alexa Live 2020, is in response to how engagement with Alexa skills has nearly doubled in just the last year alone. Here are just a few of the highlights; the full listing can be found on the Alexa blog post.

Alexa Web API for Games

Developers with enhanced knowledge of web technologies will be able to create slick-looking, multimodal Alexa games on screen devices. The Alexa Web API for Games skill supports HTML5, Web Audio, CSS, Javascript, and WebGL.

Skill resumption

Skill resumption will allows users to return to a skill after using Alexa to do something else, or after performing another task.

Quick Links for Alexa (beta)

The Quick Links skill lets developers add a link from a mobile app, website, or online ads that users can click to launch a skill.

In-skill purchases

Developers will be able to create in-skill purchases through and on Echo screen devices, in addition to voice actions. This provides a traditional shopping and buying experience that some people may prefer, and allows sellers to market premium content with a direct link.

All told, these new Amazon Alexa skills continue to define the effectiveness of smart assistants. You’ll be able to do more through natural conversation, so the experience turns out to be an immersive one.

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