Amazon’s Alexa has passed a milestone: there are now 10,000 app “skills” working with the digital assistant, according to Wired. To put that in some perspective, Alexa had about 1,000 skills last June but grew the catalog of integrations to 7,000 by the time CES rolled around in January.
Apple opened up its own digital assistant to third-party developers last summer, but useful integrations have been slow to come to Siri. Google did the same with Google Assistant at the end of 2016, though its own rollout has been even slower.
A quantitative, if not qualitative, advantage
Combine that with the escalated pace of new Alexa integrations, and it seems that Amazon has a strong quantitative advantage in the early going of the digital assistant wars. Of course, Apple and Google make their assistants native to their phones, which makes them more accessible. Amazon is catching up here — it started Alexa out on a small handful of speakers, but the company’s decision to let third-party hardware makers integrate Alexa sparked such a trend that it became the most common story at this year’s CES.
A quantitative advantage is one thing, but the quality of those 10,000 integrations is another. It’s certainly debatable. After all, are you really getting value out of being able to ask Alexa for facts about eggs?