Understanding the Google Home and Alexa Skill Platforms

Google is currently in the process of developing a third-party skill store similar to Amazon Alexa’s skills platform. One of the primary differences, however, is that unlike Amazon’s program, Google’s platform won’t require that users download or install anything prior to using new actions. Instead, companies will be able to access actions impeded only by Google’s app-store like policies that they plan to put in place to avoid issues like keyword camping and the proliferation of hate speech.

Understanding how google home actions will work requires that users first get a good idea for how Amazon Alexa functions. Read on to find out about Alexa skills and Google actions work and what they can do.

Enabling Alexa Skills

Users can find and enable a wide array of Alexa skills that allow the platform to do everything from sharing information about upcoming concerts to playing trivia games via the Alexa app or the Alexa Skills store right on Amazon’s website. Simply select “Skills” from the app menu, browse by category or search for a specific skill, then select it to open the detail page and enable it. Certain skills require that users create accounts with their providers or link to their existing subscriptions.

Managing Skills

Skills can be managed directly from the Alexa app by simply going to the menu and selecting “Your Skills.” From there, skills can be disabled and reviewed, and the skill permissions, notifications, and parental permissions can be managed simply online. There are new skills being developed every day, making it somewhat difficult for new users to figure out how to get started using the platform, which is why this article sets out some of the most popular skills available.

Managing Finances

Professionals who deal in the stock market need a way to stay on top of market changes and Opening Bell allows them to do just that. Similarly, Capital One offers an alexa skill that allows users to check their credit card balances and make payments via a secure connection directly to the bank.

Fitness and Nutrition

Alexa and Google Home both offer users workout help and Fitbit tracking. Users who wear a Fitbit can link their devices via alexa.amazon.com and keep track of their sleep schedules and progress toward their fitness goals. Similarly, users can track their caloric intake by using Track by Nutritionix to calculate caloric values and log their food intake.

Entertainment Services

Alexa offers movie reviews and helps with finding movies and TV shows via skills like Valossa movie Finder, TV Time, and similar skills. It also offers skills like Short Bedtime Story, which allows parents to customize bedtime stories using their children’s names and Radio Mystery Theater, which plays radio mysteries via Alexa.

Games and More

Some games, such as Pokemon Go, have associated Alexa skills like Trainer Tips. Other games like The Wayne Investigation and The Magic Door can be played entirely through the Alexa platform.

Differences Between Alexa and Google Home

While Google has yet to reveal the particulars of how Google Home’s discovery and promotion of Actions is going to work, it’s clear that it will be set up differently from Alexa and other similar existing platforms. While Google will have to approve third-party bots before they can be used, the Google Assistant should still be more open than app store platforms.

IrvingSEOExpert.com is now offering Alexa skill development. They have one skill certified in the Amazon Skill store known as “Hebrew Garden”, an Alexa Skill for Biblical Hebrew vocabulary. Others are currently in the works.