Publish a new Alexa skill this month and Amazon will give you an Echo Dot

Bent on encouraging new Alexa developers, Amazon is offering a new Echo Dot to first-timers who successfully publish an Alexa skill this month.

According to Amazon, 20,000-plus Alexa skill developers have registered with the company, and more than 50,000 skills have been certified already. In its pursuit of smart home voice assistant dominance, Amazon continues to add tools to the Alexa Skills Toolbox and to make it easy for developers and consumers to create new skills.

The new developer skills promotion is Amazon’s latest move to encourage engagement with the platform, to enlist new developers, and to add huge numbers of new skills to its libraries.

It’s not the case that Amazon will give you or anyone a new third-generation Echo Dot just for trying or for a poorly written, inconsequential skill. Timing matters, too.

To receive a free Echo Dot from Amazon, new skills must be published to the Alexa skill store between October 15 at 12:01 a.m. and October 31, 2018, at 11:59 p.m. Times are Pacific Time zone.

Amazon encourages early skill submissions in the announcement.

Any new US developer is eligible to enter the Alexa developer Echo Dot promotion. This will be a popular promotion, so please submit your skill for certification early. We realize some developers may need a little extra support from our certification team. If your skill is still in certification on October 31, we will give you until November 15 to complete the certification.

The promotion is only open to U.S. residents, but you can publish the skill in any country.

There are no limitations on skill types for this promotion. If you have an idea for a functional skill, an informational skill, or smart home skills, jokes, or just something random and silly, it’s fair game as long as it meets the certification standards for the Alexa skills store.

Amazon is also specific about the definition of a new developer.

To be considered a new developer, this must be the first skill published to the Alexa skill store whether via the developer console or a 3rd-party tool provider as of the start of the promotional period.

There are other specific conditions on the promotion announcement regarding the form and methods of submitting your skill and completing the form for the free Echo Dot — the free product form is valid only after your skill is published.

Smart Home

Amazon’s wall clock is back on the market after Bluetooth snafus

Amazon's Alexa-enabled Wall Clock was a minor disaster when it was finally released in December because of widespread Bluetooth connectivity challenges. After some tweaks, it's now back on sale for $30.
Smart Home

Qualcomm goes all-in on Amazon Alexa voice control with a new development kit

Qualcomm is releasing an early valentine for smart home device manufacturers. The new development kit for its Wi-Fi networks integrates the Amazon Alexa Voice Service to enable voice control in more devices.
Smart Home

Champagne-colored fridges? Talking toilets? All the appliance trends in 2019

Ever wished you had Amazon Alexa in your bathroom or a brightly colored appliance? The Kitchen and Bath Industry Show (KBIS) starts today, and here are some of the trends we expect to see at the show and beyond.
Smart Home

What exactly is Alexa? Where does she come from? And how does she work?

While "Alexa" has become synonymous with products like the Amazon Echo, you can't actually go out and buy an "Alexa." So what is Alexa? How does she work? Here's everything you need to know about Amazon's virtual assistant.
Smart Home

Researchers are once again trying to science the gluten out of bread

If you've ever found gluten tough to stomach, help may be on the way. Researchers and farmers are exploring solutions that include gene-edited bread, as well as alterations to carbs and fiber.
Smart Home

Frigidaire goes for ‘wow’ factor with new Gallery ranges, fridges, and more

Electrolux's Frigidaire brand is going all out at KBIS 2019. The appliance manufacturer's introductions this year include new ranges with gas, electric, or induction heating; a new refrigerator; and a new dishwasher in its Gallery line.
Product Review

Kwikset Kevo Convert Review: A simple route to a smart lock

While it lacks the features and overall value of the August Smart Lock, Kwikset’s Kevo Convert offers a simple and friendly route to upgrade your front door’s deadbolt. Learn more in our full review.
Smart Home

Say so long to silver. Samsung brings new colors to household appliances

Samsung introduced two new appliance colors, Tuscan Stainless will be available for several kitchen appliances starting in May and for the Family Hub in August. New Samsung washers and dryers will be offered in Champagne Finish.
Deals

Instant Pot prices have dropped on these 5 models by up to $30

Whether you're an Instant Pot beginner or Instant Pot veteran these popular multi-cookers are worth the hype. There are so many Instant Pot models on sale right now, it might be hard to choose. We've rounded up all the deals here so you can…
Smart Home

Miele stuns KBIS 2019 with wireless probe, self-descaling java pot, and more

Miele rocked KBIS 2019 with waves of new appliances and features. The annual Kitchen and Bathroom Industry Show is all about product launches and Miele's appliance reveal was like New York Fashion Week with a single designer.
Smart Home

The Nest Secure included a microphone no one knew about — except Google

The Nest Secure home security system has had a microphone this entire time that no one knew about, except Google. The company claims the mic was never turned on, but customers are outraged.
Mobile

From folding phones to 5G -- here's everything we saw at Galaxy Unpacked

Samsung's Galaxy Unpacked event treated us to a real parade of technological excellence, from folding phones to new fitness wearables. Here's everything we saw at Galaxy Unpacked on February 20.
Smart Home

Leviton’s Wi-Fi Load Center and Smart Circuit Breakers give your home a brain

Is your home ready for a brain transplant? Adding individual smart plugs is quick, easy, and inexpensive, but the benefits are limited to one plug at a time. Leviton's Load Center and Smart Circuit Breakers can give your home a brain.
Smart Home

GE Appliances shows off wall oven with built-in air fryer, food dehydrator

GE Appliances is taking the air fryer trend to its logical conclusion and adding one to a wall oven. The company's new oven, on display at this year's Kitchen and Bath Industry Show, also includes a food dehydrator.