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Amazon Echo devices now have support for third-party notification skills

Until today, it wasn’t possible for third-party Alexa skills to send notifications to any of your Alexa-powered devices. That changes today.

Published onNovember 29, 2017

Alexa, Amazon’s smart assistant, has plenty of integration with third-party services. Each of these services or functions, even included ones, are known as “skills.” Until today, however, it wasn’t possible for third-party skills to send notifications to any of your Alexa-powered devices. That’s now changing. Amazon has announced an opt-in program for developers to allow notification support in their services.

Thankfully, your Echo won’t just start blurting out notification information. Instead, users will be notified by the blinking LED light on the device as well as a sound to alert you. If you have a notification, you can then ask, “Alexa, what did I miss?”

Amazon says that it will not permit notifications that contain advertising, and notifications should be used “sparingly,” so that users don’t become annoyed by an endless barrage of notification sounds or annoying promotions.

See also: Amazon Echo Show review

Some apps, such as Domino’s and AccuWeather, already feature early notification support. The interesting thing here is, Amazon is allowing notifications to deliver personalized responses to the person speaking. So in theory, you should be able to get customized notifications based on your preferences, and not just generic responses.

It’ll probably be awhile before your favorite Alexa service gets updated with notification support, though it’s great to see Amazon enhancing Alexa’s already increasing abilities. They’re showing that Alexa isn’t a short-term investment, but a long-term product that is growing and changing.

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