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Just last week, Amazon launched free messaging and voice calling for Alexa, allowing anyone to make a call or send a text or voice message between any Alexa device, including the Alexa mobile app. As a part of this functionality, they also introduced a green ring for devices.

The green ring pulses either when you are receiving a call, or when you have a message waiting.

Big things behind the green ring

The introduction of the green ring brought with it the promise of THE most requested feature from Alexa Skill creators: notifications.

Currently, all interactions with Alexa have to be user-initiated. As a third-party creator, your Skill can’t communicate to a user without the user first opening the Skill. This has held back many powerful use cases for Amazon Alexa, and made retention an issue for many voice applications.

Today, Amazon officially announced that developer access to notifications is coming. Alexa Evangelist David Isbitski had this share:

When available, users will be able to opt-in to notifications per skill using the Amazon Alexa App and will be alerted when there’s new information to retrieve by a chime and a pulsing green light on their Amazon Echo, Echo Dot, or Echo Show device.

When users enable notifications on a skill like The Washington Post, the skill will send status updates to the device. Users can simply ask, “Alexa, what did I miss?” or “Alexa, what are my notifications?” and Alexa will inform users of the latest breaking news.

All skills require users to opt-in before they’ll send alerts to any device. Customers can also disable notifications for skills or suppress notifications temporarily by putting devices in Do Not Disturb mode by voice or through the Amazon Alexa App.

This is exciting news, and will open up a world of possibilities for Amazon Alexa.

For more details, you can read the full post here.

Mark Webster

Founder and CEO of Sayspring. Designer. Developer. Follow me on Twitter at @markcwebster.