I thought you might like to see a communication with Amazon and my responses.. I am pretty annoyed as it is not the first time an American company has launch stuff around the world – keen to get sales going but not so keen to provide international customers with the tools they need.
So – I’ve spent some time working on the Amazon Echo product and had some issues along the way. Here’s one reason – I wonder if American companies are even remotely aware of how ANNOYING this is? And all of it would have been so easy to avoid just by better communications.
Amazon: Thank you for contacting us. I understand that you have a couple questions. First that you’re being referred to the Alexa skills store to find a particular Alexa skill, but it cannot be found. Additionally, you’re having some trouble testing your own flash briefing skill. I can certainly help look into both of these issues today.
1. AnyMote Skill
It sounds like the skill you may be referring to is “AnyMote Smart Remote” made by AB Mobile. If that’s the case, then yes it is currently only available in the US Alexa skills store, which would explain why you may be unable to find it if you’re located in the UK, and thus signed into the UK Alexa skills store.
Peter: Thank you for this – in the meantime I’ve heard from Anymote – they claim they put in the Skill for the UK Amazon ages ago and were less than excited by the time it Is taking Amazon to process this – you might want to investigate – when something exciting is launched the LAST thing you presumably want to do is cheese off developers adding value to your product!
Amazon: 2. Flash Briefing Skill
Similarly, flash briefing skills are only available in the “English (U.S.)” language, which as far as Alexa is concerned, is a separate language from “English (U.K.)”. In order for a skill be accessible on a given device, that device must be in the same language as the skill, and available in the country you’re physically located in.
In this case then, your own flash briefing skill is inaccessible on your Echo device because the Echo device in question is signed into the English UK marketplace, and using the English UK language, whereas the flash briefing skill is in English US, which is currently the only available option for flash briefing skills.
Peter: So why are you doing this? Deliberately (so it would appear) disadvantaging British users and developers? In both cases what you seem to be saying is – had we been American we’d be fine. WHY don’t you have a British Flash briefing skill? The link you have provided explains what you’ve told me – thank you – but it does not explain why we are being disadvantaged in the UK?
And if I cannot develop and test a Skill because it won’t work in the UK, why on EARTH does Amazon let me go through the WHOLE process of putting the skill into the forms on Amazon UK when you know fine well it won’t work?
I really would appreciate some feedback here – I write a blog and am recommending people to use Echo – having developed a general skill here which does work but which causes issues because of Amazon’s absolute insistence on using port 443 for SSL … https://tech.scargill.net/alexa-enlightenment/
Should I be telling British followers to wait for the Google unit because Amazon are not interested in the UK at this time?
Amazon: For more information on international skill distribution and availability, please see the help article below: