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Michael Myers

Introducing Logless

By Michael Myers |

If you already subscribe to this newsletter, you knew about Logless months ago when we sent you a link to our preview. During the time since, we have taken your initial feedback and also added some features we found helpful when building and supporting production skills. Today we are happy to formally introduce, Logless, a logging service for Alexa skills.

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John Kelvie

The Super Simple AudioPlayer

By John Kelvie |

We’ve created a new Github project, the Super Simple Audioplayer, showing how to use the Alexa Audioplayer in the easiest possible way.

The project has no code dependencies, uses no frameworks, and is meant to illustrate as simply and transparently as possible how the AudioPlayer works. We hope you find it useful!

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John Kelvie

Shakespeare and the Infinite Monkeys

Why the Bot UX Will Be Better

By John Kelvie |

No, the title is not a reference to a new rock band (or an old one - though it perhaps would have been a good alternative name for The Kinks). Instead, most are familiar with the infinite monkey theorem - that a limitless group of monkeys typing away in perpetuity would eventually replicate Shakespeare’s work.

Thinking about the future of bots, the theorem comes to mind, though with a twist: we can see the monkeys as a complement instead of a substitute to Shakespeare - Shakespeare is the central, guiding AI, the genius, while third-party developers and systems are the humble, hard-working *ahem* monkeys. Together, they can craft experiences that surpass what is achievable by either alone.

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John Kelvie

Playing Audio With Alexa

By John Kelvie |

Did you know Alexa skills are not limited to Alexa’s voice? Your skill can respond to users with pre-recorded audio, a nice way to add some variety and personality to the listener’s experience.

By using a voice other than Alexa, skills can take on a distinct persona, one consistent with your brand or something altogether new and creative. It’s an awesome feature we use all the time!

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John Kelvie

What Can Alexa Skills Do?

By John Kelvie |

The Amazon Echo, powered by the Alexa Voice Assistant, opens up so many great possibilities for developers and content creators. It’s obvious the first time people try it just how powerful and accessible it is. And it’s easy to imagine so many creative ways to take advantage of the platform.

But there are subtleties and tricks to building for Alexa, and mastering them can be the difference between a great skill and a mediocre one. To help you become an Alexa ninja, here is our handy quick reference of just what the custom Alexa skills can do.

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