Amazon will give independent software developers a piece of the most valuable real estate on Alexa devices, allowing customers to see and interact with material from third-party Alexa skills on their home screens for the first time.
Starting later this year, developers will be able to create widgets for their Alexa skills, and users who have activated those skills will be able to add the widgets to their home screens on the Echo Show and other Alexa devices with displays.
The announcement is part of Amazon's larger push to increase developer interest in Alexa skills, which are the equivalent of apps for Amazon Echo devices and other Alexa-enabled gear.
Using a feature called Featured Skill Cards, Amazon will also allow developers to showcase their skills in the normal rotation of material on the Echo Show home screen.
During its Alexa Live virtual conference, the company introduced more than 50 new developer capabilities and tools. According to the company, it is the single largest developer update in Alexa's history.
New ways for developers to reach Alexa users, market and monetize their skills, and connect their skills to smartphone apps were among the announcements.
According to Amazon, the Alexa platform generates billions of dollars in revenue for developers and device makers.
"We're proud of the progress, but also the sheer number of features that we're launching shows that there's lots of interesting growth ahead," said Aaron Rubenson, vice president of Alexa Voice Service & Alexa Skills, in an interview in advance of the Alexa Live conference this week.
Developers taking part in the Featured Skill Cards preview will not have to pay for the marketing of their skills on customer home screens, according to Rubenson.