Amazon Bans Developers from Saying ‘Google’ in Alexa Voice Apps

The competition between Alexa and Google Assistant is fierce. How fierce? Cover all of Las Vegas in Google Assistant ads for CES fierce? Put voice assistance in weird things like alight switch or a fridge fierce? How about “don’t dare utter our competitor’s name in your voice app” fierce?

Yep, Amazon has banned Alexa app developers from saying “Google” in their Alexa skills, it seems. [Updated with Amazon response. See below.]

One Alexa developer accidentally discovered this by submitting a voice app to Amazon with a bug.

Jo Jaquinta’s Alexa game skill Mind Maze was supposed to remind users upon exit how to relaunch the skill in the future, by saying something along the lines of: “to play again, say ‘Alexa open Mind Maze.’”

When Amazon’s review testers took a look at the skill, however, it returned the response he had built for the Google Home variation of the app instead. Whoops!

According to the reviewer, the skill had said: “If you enjoy card games, you can say ‘OK Google, talk to 21 Blackjack’…”

The skill was then promptly rejected because you can’t say “Google” in an Alexa app, you see.

Specifically, the reason Amazon provided is that an Alexa skill “should not promote Google Home.”

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SOURCE: Sarah Perez