Amazon Rolls Out App-to-App Account Linking Alexa Skill API
Amazon has rolled out a new system to connect Alexa skills and mobile apps to customer accounts. The App-to-App account linking Alexa Skill Activation API will let users enable Alexa skills from the related mobile app and connect the two accounts without having to login to their accounts separately.
Streamlining Accounts and Skill Activation
Until now, someone with an account profile on a mobile app had to go through the Alexa app, or an online login to link the accounts. According to Amazon’s blog about the new features, people would frequently not finish the process of linking the accounts because of not wanting to have to login again, or being unable to remember their credentials.
With the new system, mobile app makers can include the option of adding a button to activate and link a customer’s account to the app’s Alexa skill. On iOS, this is a two-step process. For Android users, the button will open a new browser to the login with Amazon page and approve the linking there. According to Amazon, companies like Smart Life, iRobot, Pandora, and Ikea have, or will be adding, the streamlined feature to their apps.
Voice App Integration Improvement
The new feature extends Amazon’s efforts to coordinate voice skills and mobile systems. Almost a year ago, the company debuted its Skill Connections feature, which allows Alexa skills to work in work together without needing to open each app or skill individually. The examples at the time included coordinating transportation with reservations and searches with printing.
Google too announced methods for integrating Google Actions with Android Apps in May. Those new features are less about account linking and more focused on bringing voice assistant capabilities into mobile apps. What both of these moves demonstrate is a new push by Amazon and Google to leverage voice on mobile.
Developers have been looking for ways to smooth the use of different voice skills together. The Skill Connections enables third-party skills to work together, and the new feature speeds up the connection between voice skills and their mobile app counterparts. Combining the two makes it possible to quickly arrange and carry out several tasks by voice, without the friction of needing to switch between skills or login to mobile apps as well. In other words, skill builders can create user experiences that can take advantage of third-party code, and not just their own work. Those other skills can enhance their core features and improve the user experience without the need to build every element from the ground up themselves.