Amazon's Alexa nets 1,000 third party skills

The ecosystem for Amazon's Alexa digital assistant, which is the brain of Echo, Tap and other devices, continues to grow.

CNET

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Amazon said its Alexa artificial intelligence assistant has reached 1,000 skills created by third party developers.

Alexa is the virtual assistant that powers Amazon Echo, Echo Dot, Fire TV and Amazon Tap. Alexa is also the surprise hit from Amazon that has everyone from Google to Apple playing catch up.

The company said that in the year since it released the Alexa Skills Kit, a pack for developers to create voice apps for Alexa, there are about 1,000 skills available. Amazon has also rolled out the Smart Home Skill API, which is enabling Echo and Alexa to be more of a smart home player.

When you boil down the digital assistant race it really boils down to developers and ecosystem. Google Home is looking to leverage its Android army. Apple hopes to do the same by reportedly opening up Siri to third parties. Microsoft has the Windows 10 and Cortana link.

Also: Google I/O: Google unveils Google Home, takes aim at Amazon Echo | Why Amazon is the king of innovation: Advantage, Alexa | Apple's Siri SDK: Too late to duel Amazon Echo, Google Assistant?

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Alexa's milestone is notable since Amazon has enlisted big name companies to build apps and highlights its early lead. Capital One, Domino's, Fitbit, PGA, Samsung and Uber are some of the companies building Alexa apps.

In addition, Amazon has tied Alexa into its Amazon Web Services. Specifically, Alexa is tied to AWS Lambda, which runs developer code and compute resources are automatically managed.