Echo Show, Passing Certification

Submitted by Peter on Sun, 08/27/2017 - 15:58

Echo ShowPassing skill certification can be a difficult thing to achieve at times. This is especially true if creating a skill for a new device such as the Echo Show.

The Amazon developer blog has released an article that gives some hints and tips on the common pitfalls that they have seen when people are trying to become certificated.

Earn Money With Your Skills

Submitted by Peter on Sun, 08/27/2017 - 15:31

Recently Amazon removed the ability for Android app developers from earning money based on popularity and use.Previously app developers could release a free app that had no advertising and still earn money. The money earnt was based on usage of the app. The more it was used the more money that could be earned.

Well, that bad news for app developers has turned into good news for skill developers. Amazon has extended an incentive for skill developers. Previously skill developers could earn money if they posted a skill in 1 of the following categories:


AVS Device SDK Opened Up For Commercial Use

Submitted by Peter on Sun, 08/27/2017 - 15:16

Over the past year, there have been many stories of device manufacturers working on implementing Alexa into their devices. These ranged from the Lenovo Smart speaker right through to Ford Cars.

On August the 17th Amazon finally released the Alexa Voice Service Device Software Development Kit (SDK) for commercial use. The SDK provides a myriad of libraries written in C++ which handle the processing of audio input as well as providing a persistent connection with the Amazon Voice Service (AVS).

Now AWS Hosted!

Submitted by Peter on Sat, 08/26/2017 - 20:36

Prior to today, was hosted on a dedicated server over at OVH. We have decided to take the plunge and start using AWS services. is now proudly hosted by the EC2 service on AWS.

By hosting on AWS we will have an increased availability with potential better latency.


Alexa Dev Chat Podcast - Edpisode 15

Submitted by Peter on Fri, 07/14/2017 - 18:34

Just a quick heads up. Episode 14 has just been released of the Alexa Dev Chat Podcast.

The following is the podcast details:

In this episode Dave chats with with Jen Rapp. Jen served as the Alexa Skills Kit product manager for developing the new interfaces Alexa skill developers use with Echo Show. She and her team worked to create everything from the new template layouts to the hint directive to the built-in navigational intents.


AWS And Security - The Lost Keys

Submitted by Peter on Sun, 06/25/2017 - 23:55

Today I was working on my submission for an Amazon contest over at (for those interested here is my submission). 1 of the requirements of the contest is that all code is posted publicly either in zip form directly in the skill brief or linked externally from a repository provider such as GitHub.

All day I have been non-stop preparing the code comments (not the best but commented none the less) and the moment I finished I submitted the skill to my GitHub account.

Alexa Dev Chat Podcast - Edpisode 14

Submitted by Peter on Sun, 06/18/2017 - 14:01

Just a quick heads up. Episode 14 has just been released of the Alexa Dev Chat Podcast.

The following is the podcast details:

In the episode Dave chats with the GE Appliances WiFi Connect Cloud team. They have taken an interesting approach to their Alexa Skill, rather than creating multiple skills for each GE appliance in your home they have created one super skill, named Geneva. The team shares what they learned creating Geneva and how to test and evolve such a complex interaction model.



It's Official, Apple Are Joining The Home Assistant Market

Submitted by Peter on Mon, 06/05/2017 - 22:53

Apple HomePodAs has been rumoured for some time now Apple has finally announced that they are entering into the home assistant market with a device called HomePod. This completes the big 4 having now announced such products or services (Amazon Echo, Google Home and Microsoft Cortana making the other 3).