//Alexa Skills is the next big battle of the App Store
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Alexa Skills is the next big battle of the App Store

 

 

The total number of actions of Google Action is 4,253 in the United States, against about 60,000 for Alexa's last month, according to a new report from Voicebot. Acting There are 80,000 global skills.

But skills and actions are not as easy to discover or use as smartphone apps. And platforms right now are not really helping.

David vs. Goliath. Google Actions and Alexa Skills are like Chrome extensions, or perhaps more specifically, "voice apps". Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa are platforms that third-party developers can support, such as with smartphone apps for Android and iOS.

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Google itself states that there is "more than a million actions" for the Google assistant, but VoiceBot indicates that it follows the growth of Google Shares since April 2017. According to the site, education is the most important category of Google. Actions, followed by games. This is similar to the distribution of skills, where games and questions on Alexa account for 21% of skills (or more than 12,000), while education and referrals account for about 14% of the total.

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Simplify Google and Amazon are trying to make very easy the creation of vocal applications. Google offers stock models . Similarly, Alexa Skills Blueprints now allows anyone to create a skill "in minutes" without code, then publish it in the store Alexa Skills .

democratize the development of applications but could end up being harmful for the platform if it adds more mediocre apps and noise.

Why bother? Actions and skills are essential tools to make smart speakers and virtual assistants more useful for consumers and more effective for brands and marketers. (Apple has also opened developers to Google Maps, Siri and iMessage.) The challenges, as indicated, are discovery and quality.

There is no easy or obvious place to find a directory of Google actions available . If you ask Google Home "Where can I find a directory of available actions?", The message "My apologies, I do not understand." The installation process of Actions also has many flaws. For its part, Amazon must master the poor quality skills or better surface in the list of results A.

There are potentially more than 100 million smart speakers in American homes aujourd & # 39; hui. and hundreds of millions of smartphones with virtual assistants. For virtual assistants to realize their full potential, Google and Amazon need to focus more on improving the content of Actions and Skills and their accessibility.

About the Author

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Greg Sterling is a collaborative editor at Search Engine Land. He writes a personal blog, Screenwerk on the links between digital media and consumer behavior in the real world. He is also vice president of strategy and ideas for the local research association. Follow him on on Twitter or find him at the address Google+ .