The voice-powered applications offered through Alexa now number more than 15,000 skills, reports TechCrunch, up from 10,000 in February. That latter number, in turn, stood three times greater than the tally seen in September – and all of this data points to a quickening of apps developed and running on Echo Dot and other devices.
TechCrunch stated that it had received confirmation of the 15,000 skill number from Amazon, with that figure originally reported via Voicebot. New Alexa skills were up 23 percent in June, a pace that lapped the 10 percent growth seen in each of the three previous months. Voice apps that feature news updates through verbal briefings remain among the most popular categories, said the sites, and are now about 20 percent of skills, possibly because they are among the easier ones to develop. At present there are more than 2,800 Alexa skills that offer news updates as part of that 15,000 figure.
The latest skills data show that Amazon remains the leader in voice applications that are featured on devices, with roughly a 70 percent share. By way of contrast, Google has just a few hundred voice apps on Google Home. TechCrunch noted that the speed and growth that has marked the Amazon voice-powered business has been one that has lacked some of the “usual safeguards” such as putting in place a team that scouts for service violations when apps are used. There is also the issue of how developers get paid (for Amazon, payment is done through cash rewards).
In the meantime, with device wars (and expanding use case jousting) still in place (and with price competition also still in place), recent data shows the company still has a lead in the home speaker market with Echo at about 22 percent and Dot at more than 18 percent.