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Anyone can publish a skill on the Alexa Store now

Alexa can read your blog posts or catch you up on a lecture you missed.
Kris Holt, @krisholt
February 13, 2019
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Nathan Ingraham / Engadget

Amazon is opening up its US Alexa store to let anyone share skills they've created for the voice assistant. Until now, it's been the domain of developers, who have already added more than 80,000 skills to the store.

Last year, Amazon released its Alexa Blueprints tool, which lets anyone create a skill without needing to know how to code. You can use the tool's templates to make things like custom greetings and quizzes. Along with opening up the skills store, Amazon is rolling out more templates, which are particularly targeted towards bloggers, creators and organizations.

You can, for instance, make a skill that prompts Alexa to read out your blog posts, while the personal trainer template opens the door for gyms and coaches to guide you through workouts. Amazon also suggests that tutors could use flashcards and facts blueprints to help students learn, and the quiz option to test their knowledge. Spiritual groups and universities can offer live and recorded audio, which could be useful if you can't make a sermon or lecture.

Amazon has also opened up the flash briefing skill. As such, people will be able to add updates from the likes of local news outlets and sports teams to their own flash briefing (should such organizations offer updates via Alexa, of course).

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