Amazon’s Alexa now has 10,000 skills

Since Amazon opened up its Alexa Skills Kit to developers just under two years ago, its Alexa voice service has managed to learn over 10,000 skills. 

That means whether you own an Echo, a Dot, a Tap or one of the many third party devices that support the voice assistant, you have access to 10,000 apps that can be controlled using only your voice. 

Now, some of the skills are certainly more useful than others, but considering in June last year Amazon announced that Alexa had reached 1000 skills, this is some impressive growth. 

In the last month alone 3000 skills were added to the service and they range from smart home and car controls, to food ordering services and a handful of games like the Magic Door.

Fast learner

Though Alexa’s skills are increasing rapidly in number and diversity, it’s still not quite at the offering level of Apple and Google – across the App Store and Google Play there are millions of apps available to download. 

It is, however, far in front of its smart home competition Google Home whose available commands are at a lower number. 

Though it doesn’t have millions of apps, Alexa has the advantage of not being constrained to a smartphone or tying its user to a screen. 

At this year’s CES it became clear that Alexa is gunning to take over our homes. Outside of the Echo and the Echo Dot, Alexa is available in a host of other devices from fridges to cars to alarm clocks thanks to some savvy partnerships being made by Amazon. 

Not only has Alexa’s number of skills and supported devices increased, it’s also become easier to use. Developers are constantly improving the skills they offer based on customer feedback, adapting them so that they fit more seamlessly into our lives.

Arguably, it’s more beneficial to the customer to have thousands of well-developed and useful skills rather than millions of skills of a varying quality. Alexa’s skill set may be growing at an an impressive rate, but there’s a danger that the number of skills available could reach a number that would leave consumers feeling overwhelmed and cluttered.

To keep on top of this problem, Amazon sends emails summarizing new skills that have been added and it’s created an online skills store where users can see ratings and reviews. It seems to be working thus far, but whether it will continue to be effective when Alexa’s skills reach the millions is yet to be seen. 

Thanks to its ever-growing skillset and range of supported hardware, Alexa has a lot to offer that smartphone voice assistants and Google Home don't and after this most recent announcement it doesn't seem to show any signs of slowing down.

In case you were wondering, Alexa's 10000th skill is a game called Beat the Intro where players listen to the start of songs and have to guess what they're listening to.

Emma Boyle

Emma Boyle is TechRadar’s ex-Gaming Editor, and is now a content developer and freelance journalist. She has written for magazines and websites including T3, Stuff and The Independent. Emma currently works as a Content Developer in Edinburgh.