The Morning After: Amazon stops paying bonuses to Alexa developers

AI tools are supplanting the need for Alexa skills.


Amazon has cut paid perks for Alexa developers. With a bigger focus on generative AI, the voice assistant’s third-party apps (skills) aren’t a priority. An Amazon spokesperson told Engadget that the “older programs have simply run their course, so we decided to sunset them.”

Launched in 2017, when Alexa was all the rage, the program paid developers bonuses for skills that resonated with users. It was part of Amazon’s quest to turn Alexa Skills into a booming app store. (Did that happen?)

At the company’s fall 2023 devices event, Amazon previewed its next-gen version of Alexa, with ChatGPT-like generative AI abilities. With AI powers, Alexa appeared versatile enough to address all sorts of queries and requests without creating apps and skills manually. Alexa isn’t going anywhere; Amazon is just making it think for itself.

— Mat Smith

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Google Photos’ enhanced editing tools will no longer require a subscription

Magic Eraser, Photo UnBlur, Magic Editor and more will be widely available in May.

Free Google Photos users get enhanced editing features without paying $20+ annually. This means all users will get a few of Google’s AI-powered tools, such as Photo UnBlur, Magic Eraser, and Magic Editor. I can attest: Photo UnBlur is a game-changer when taking shots of toddlers that will. Not. Stay. Still.

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Knock another $74 off the Nothing Phone 2

It works on T-Mobile and AT&T’s networks.


Amazon has the Nothing Phone 2 on sale for the first time since its launch. The offbeat mainstream smartphone alternative is $74 off its usual price, down to $625. The deal includes the version with 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage, and it’s ready for activation on T-Mobile or AT&T.

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Vampire Survivors hits PlayStation this summer

The game is also getting Contra DLC in May.

Hit retro bullet-hell-rogue-ish Vampire Survivors is coming to PlayStation — possibly the only platform it hasn’t been on yet. The game is also getting a batch of crossover DLC on May 9. Vampire Survivors: Operation Guns brings Contra characters and weapons, so expect a lot more guns. 22 of them, in fact.

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