Notifications for Alexa skills are coming, Amazon announced to developers today. Soon, Amazon Echo owners and other Alexa users will be able to opt in for notifications from select skills.
Users will be able to opt-in to notifications on a skill-by-skill basis using the Alexa app. When there's an alert, the Echo device will issue a chime accompanied by a pulsing green light. Users will then be able to ask questions like "Alexa, what did I miss?" or "Alexa, what are my notifications?" Skills from The Washington Post, AccuWeather, Just Eat and Life360 are amongst those that will support notifications first.
While notifications can be convenient (and could be markedly more so matched with the smarts of an AI-driven assistant) they can also pose an annoyance. Amazon has said that all skill notifications will require the user to opt in first, with the options to disable notifications by skill or to temporarily suppress all of them with a Do Not Disturb mode.
This announcement comes the same week as Google's annual I/O conference, where it is expected to announce updates to its own Echo competitor, Home. The timing of today's message to developers could very well be a proactive step by Amazon to keep its virtual assistant and smart home ecosystem a step ahead.