10 Years Later: Predicting the Next Generation of the App Store

The Apple App Store will turn 10 in July. 552 apps graced the virtual shelves on its first day, only 135 of which were free. Today, there are more than two million apps on Apple’s App Store, the vast majority of which come at no cost.

Apple’s release of the App Store was truly a turning point in mobile. The same appreciation will be shown for Amazon’s Alexa someday.

In many ways, Alexa represents the next generation of the App Store. Instead of apps, Alexa uses skills. Instead of downloading with the click of a button, Alexa enables skills via voice command.

To keep on its path as the next generation of the App Store, Amazon needs to focus on the same thing Apple did on its road to success: quality. An idea can be revolutionary, but it is only valuable if it is usable, meaning it has to be functionally sound, secure, and easy to use. Apple’s App Store has always been a picture of quality, providing users with a digital experience that is intuitive, safe, and most importantly, seamless and consistent.

To match Apple’s example, Amazon will have to ensure quality across all aspects of the Alexa platform, from the quality of its hardware like Amazon Echo, Echo Show, etc., to the quality of third-party integrations with Alexa-enabled software. It may seem like the latter is out of Amazon’s control, but it is already taking steps to ensure Alexa users are treated to a consistent and enjoyable experience no matter what Alexa Skill, integration, or device they use.

The recently announced Applause for Amazon Alexa solution provides a full range of software testing, payment validation, and user feedback services designed specifically for the Alexa platform and ecosystem.

Applause tests Alexa integrations “in-the-wild,” meaning real customers test on their actual devices in the places they live. This approach provides benefits that no other testing strategy – like offshoring or traditional QA labs – can match. For example, Applause can test complex integrations with products like smart homes and IoT devices in any geography, with users speaking in different languages with different dialects and accents.

Available today, and powered by a community of 300,000+ vetted testers worldwide, Applause for Amazon Alexa ensures that product teams can dramatically increase the speed and quality of their Alexa Skills and Alexa Voice Service (AVS) devices.

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Dan Haggerty
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