Frequently asked questions
1. What are Alexa Skill Blueprints?
Alexa Skill Blueprints are a new way for you to customise your Alexa experience by adding personalised Alexa skills and responses. These make Alexa even more knowledgeable, delivering a delightful experience that is unique to you and your family.
2. How do I create a skill using Alexa Skill Blueprints?
You can create your own Alexa skills and responses in minutes with easy to use templates - just fill in the blanks. Choose from the different blueprints to see what kind of skill you'd like to make. Browse the various blueprints to see which one you'd like to customise to fit your household.
3. What's the difference between a Skill Blueprint and a regular Alexa skill?
Alexa skills are like apps for Alexa. You can already choose from thousands of skills, from ordering a pizza to requesting a ride. Skill Blueprints are templates that you can use to create skills of your own and customise to fit your lifestyle.
4. How many skills can I make?
There's no limit to the number of skills you can make, so create as many as you like.
5. Who has access to the personalised content I create?
Your personalised skills and responses are only available on Alexa devices associated with your account.
6. Can I use an Alexa Developer account to use Skill Blueprints?
Yes, you can log in with any Amazon account, including developer accounts, to use Skill Blueprints. You will be able to see the skills you've made using Blueprints, but you cannot edit them in the developer portal.
7. How do I know which account my device is using?
Just ask, "Alexa, which account is this?" and your Alexa-enabled device will tell you which account is currently logged in.
8. My Alexa device is registered to a different account than the one I used to log in to Skill Blueprints. Can I still access the skills I've made from my devices?
You should use the same account for Skill Blueprints that you used to register your Alexa devices, otherwise you'll have to switch accounts using the Alexa app.
- Go to the Alexa app and select Settings.
- Select the device you want to use and choose Deregister.
- At the bottom of the Settings page, select Sign Out.
- Log back in to the app with the account you used to make your skills. You will need to make sure you're signed into the account you wish to link your device to.
- From Settings, select Set Up A New Device to link your Alexa-enabled device.
9. Can I use Skill Blueprints on my mobile device?
Yes you can create skills using Blueprints on your desktop or mobile device, but the website is optimised for desktop.
10. Why can't I open my skill?
If you recently made or edited your skill, it may take a couple minutes to process. To see if your skill is ready, go to the Skills You've Made page, select it from the list to view its detailed page, and check that the status is set to Ready to use.
If your skill is ready to use, make sure that both the country setting for your account and the language setting for your device match the Blueprints website you used to create your skill. For example, if you created your skill using blueprints.amazon.com.au, then your country should be set to Australia or New Zealand, and your language should be set to English (Australia/New Zealand).
To change the country setting for your account:
- On the Amazon.com website, select Your Account.
- Select Content and Devices.
- Select Preferences.
- Select Change your country/region.
- Enter your address in Australia, or New Zealand.
To change the language setting for your device:
- In the Alexa app, open Device Settings.
- Select the device to modify its settings.
- Select Language.
- Select English (Australia/New Zealand).
If your country and language are set correctly, but do not match the Blueprints website that you used to create your skill, then you will need to recreate your skill using the Blueprints website to match your country and language settings.
If your skill is ready to use and your country and language match the Blueprints website you used to create your skill, then you will need to check to make sure you're using the right skill name. You'll need to restart your skill by saying, "Alexa, open..." Or, "Alexa, start..." For example, "Alexa, open My Family Trivia."
Alexa is still learning new words and names, so your skill name might be a little too difficult to understand. You can always change the skill name on the Skills You've Made page to something simple and unique. Check out the section on naming your skill for tips.
11. I can't find the skill I made. Where did it go?
Your skill may have a different name than what you remember or you may have made it under a different account. You can find all of your skills for your account in the Skills You've Made page. You can also ask your Alexa device which account is currently logged in.
If you disabled a skill that you want to use, you will need to enable it again. Go to the Alexa app and select Skills then choose Your Skills. Select the skill and choose Enable skill.
12. Why can't I use certain names for my skill?
Alexa is still learning new words and names, so your skill name might be too difficult for Alexa to understand or may be too similar to another skill name you've made. If the skill doesn't open reliably with the skill name you've chosen, you may have to rename your skill with a simple, unique name that is between two and three syllables long. Check out the Make your skill page to learn more about naming your skill.
13. Can I change my skill name after I create my skill?
Yes, you can edit the name of your skill if you don't like it or if it's too complicated to remember.
To change the name for your personal skill:
- On the blueprints.amazon.com.au website, select Skills you’ve made.
- Select the Details link for the personal skill you want to change.
- Check that the access is set to Just Me; if not click on Revoke to unshare the skill and confirm by clicking on Revoke Access.
- Click on the pencil icon to the right of personal skill name.
- Update the name to something that is short and easy to remember.
- Click Rename skill to save the new name for your personal skill.
14. How long before my skill is ready to use?
After you create a skill, it will be ready to use in a few minutes. To see if your skill is ready to use, check out the Skills You've Made page and select the skill to see more details.
15. The skill doesn't respond like I want it to. How can I fix it?
Alexa is still learning new phrases and may not always understand that certain words refer to the same idea. For Q&A especially, you’ll need to prompt Alexa using the exact same questions that you customised for your skill. If you find that you’re asking your questions differently, you may want to update your skill to reflect the specific language you’re using. You can view what you've said to Alexa in the Alexa app by going to Settings and choosing History.
You can edit the content in your skill anytime. Go to the Skills You've Made page, choose your skill, and select Edit.
16. Can Alexa understand special characters?
Alexa can interpret alpha-numeric characters and certain special characters including: question marks ( ? ), exclamation points ( ! ), colons ( : ), periods ( . ), apostrophes ( ' ), dashes ( - ), and commas ( , ). When you're creating your skill, if you add in a special character that is not supported, you'll see an error message.
17. Can I delete my skill?
Yes, but you may want to disable your skill in the Alexa App instead. Disabling a skill allows you to keep it from being used, but you can enable it later if you change your mind. Deleting a skill will remove it from your account and you will not be able to use that skill name again.
To disable your skill, go to the Alexa app and select Skills then choose Your Skills. Select the skill and choose Disable skill.
If you wish to delete your skill, go to the Skills You've Made page, select the skill and choose Delete.
18. How many people can I share my skill with?
There's no limit to the number of people you can share your Blueprints skill with. Just keep in mind that once you share your skill, anyone can share that link outside of your network as well.
19. Can someone edit my skill after I've shared it with them?
No, as the skill creator only you have the ability to edit your skill or revoke access to your skill for everyone.
20. Why can't I share a skill using WhatsApp or text from my computer?
Even if your computer supports texting apps, sharing via text or WhatsApp is only available when logged into Skill Blueprints from a mobile device.
21. Can I remove access to my skill for individual people?
No, at this time you cannot selectively remove access for specific people currently using your skill. If you set the access on your skill back to Just me, you will remove access for everyone.
22. How do I change the name of my skill once I've shared it?
To edit the name, you'll need to revoke access to your skill first.
- Go to the Skills You've Made page and select a skill.
- Under Access, select the option to Revoke. The status of your skill will change back to Just me.
- Choose edit icon next to the name of your skill.
- After editing the name, go back to Skill Actions and select Share With Others.
- When prompted, share the new link to your skill with recipients via email, text, or as a post over social media.
23. Will recipients still be able to use my skill if I revoke access, then re-share it with the same name?
No, the old link and access to the skill will be disabled for everyone. A new link will be generated for your skill that you'll need to share for anyone to use your skill.
24. Why don't I see my Blueprints skill I've shared in the Alexa Skills Store?
Blueprints skills are not certified for publication on the Alexa Skills Store. You can only share personal skills via the link supplied to you from the Skills You've Made page.
25. How do I know if someone has shared a Blueprints skill with me?
You will receive an email, text, or notification on your social media account telling you about the skill, who sent it, and a link to enable the skill for yourself. After opening the link, you'll need to log in to your Amazon account to view the skill page. Once you've logged in, select the Enable button if you want to use that skill. Once you see a confirmation message, the skill is ready to use on any Alexa-enabled device registered to the Amazon account where you enabled the skill.
26. How do I find a skill once it's been shared with me?
In the Alexa App, go to Skills & Games > Your Skills > Private Skills. You'll have the option to view details or enable the skill by selecting the Enable Skill button. You won't be able to access shared skills in Skill Blueprints portal, only the skills you've made.
27. Why can't I use a skill that was shared with me?
The creator of the skill may have deleted the skill, changed the skill's name or revoked access to it.
28. What happens if two skills share the same name?
Always pick a unique name for your skill to make sure it’s memorable and to avoid name sharing between skills. Due to how skills are invoked, if there are two skills that have identical names, Alexa might start either skill.
29. Someone shared a skill with me that has offensive or inappropriate language. What should I do?
Please report any skills shared with you that contain hateful or offensive language. Skills that violate Amazon's policies will be disabled from shared accounts.
30. Why can’t I open a skill that someone shared with me?
You can use any skill that someone shares with you as long as the skill was created using the Blueprints website that matches both the country setting for your account and the language setting for your device. See the Frequently Asked Question #10 “Why can’t I open my skill”.’