Amazon makes Alexa more personal with custom responses

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Amazon is constantly improving Alexa—and why not, the market does not allow complacency. Google and Microsoft are always looking for ways to improve on their services, leaving Amazon with no option but to keep updating its smart home device. Talking about improvements, Amazon has added a new way to create Alexa skills—and no coding skills needed.

You will be able to customize diverse questions along with personal answers as well as responses. It is all happening at Alexa Skill Blueprint where the ecommerce behemoth has made it easy for you to create either a skill or question/answer that will run on your Alexa device.

The skill could take any form including a custom joke response to an Alexa question like “who’s the best dad in the world,” and loads of others, The Verge reports.

You don’t need experience building skills or coding to get started, says Steve Rabuchin, Amazon Alexa VP per The Verge. “My family created our own jokes skill in a matter of minutes.”

Amazon is giving you a smooth start by providing a set of templates to let you create all the skills and custom question/responses. The templates are custom questions and answers, responses designed for house guests, jokes, short stories, and trivia games.

The Alexa Skill Blueprint is currently only available to users in the US, while Echo owners can start creating custom responses with all available templates.

A couple of months back, Alexa was updated with ability to let you make free calls and messages without an Echo. You can place all calls—and that includes video calls, and send messages from Android tablets, iPads and Amazon Fire models [no surprise there]. All you have to do is to ask Alexa to get in touch; but that only applies to the Fire HD 10. For other Alexa-enabled Fire tablets, you are simply required to tap the home button first, while other users are required to open the Alexa app.

Prior to that update, people could make audio or video calls as long as they use Alexa-powered devices including Amazon’s Echo, or iOS and Android-based smartphones, or Echo Dot Internet-connected speaker.

Also, you no longer need to speak or say the command word “Hey Alexa” as a prefix before every single command. It could yet be the most useful feature since the powerful home assistant was launched into the market by the ecommerce giant sometimes ago.

Called Follow-Up-Mode, it allows Alexa to listen for another command for five seconds after your last request was made. It reduces the stress of asking the assistant to perform multiple actions. However, you can still have the smart assistant carry out multiple tasks as long as you end a conversation by saying ‘thank you’ or “stop” before the start of another one.

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Author: Ola Ric

Ola Ric is a professional tech writer. He has written and provided tons of published articles for professionals and private individuals. He is also a social commentator and analyst, with relevant experience in the use of social media services.

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