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Mariusz Bielecki avatar image
Mariusz Bielecki asked

Video Skill: Alexa sends LaunchTarget directive for shortcuts, but not for apps

We are developing AWS Lambda function that handles directives sent by Alexa. We are using Video Skill. So far we have implemented many capabilities that successfully work with our devices, but there is a confusing behaviour with Alexa.Launcher functionality.

Capabilty that we return in our discovery response is:

{
  "type": "AlexaInterface",
  "interface": "Alexa.Launcher",
  "version": "3",
  "properties": {
    "supported": [{
      "name": "target"
    }],
    "proactivelyReported": true,
    "retrievable": true
  }
}


When we say "Alexa, launch settings on Kitchen TV" (where Kitchen TV is one of our paired devices), our lambda receives appropriate directive:

{
    "directive": {
        "header": {
            "messageId": "...",
            "namespace": "Alexa.Launcher",
            "name": "LaunchTarget",
            "payloadVersion": "3",
            "correlationToken": "..."
        },
        "endpoint": {
            "scope": {
                "type": "BearerToken",
                "token": "..."
            },
            "endpointId": "...",
            "cookie": {}
        },
        "payload": {
            "name": "Settings",
            "identifier": "amzn1.alexa-ask-target.shortcut.07395"
        }
    }
}

However when we say

"Alexa, launch Netflix on Kitchen TV"

Alexa responds with "Hmmm, I don't know that one" and there is no directive received in our Lambda function.

To summarize, Lambda receives directives requesting shortcuts, but doesn't receive any directive requesting launch of an application.

How can we debug this? Is there some conditions that should be met to receive application launch directive? Maybe there are some common mistakes that lead to this weird behaviour?


Thanks


alexaalexa simulatorvideo skill apialexa skills
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Update: We found out that saying "Alexa, Launch Netflix on Kitchen TV" in Alexa Simulator at https://developer.amazon.com/alexa/console/ask/test works as expected and the directive is delivered to the Lambda function.

However, saying the same thing in the Amazon Alexa (on android, with the same amazon account logged in as in the developer console) does not result in directive being delivered to Lambda function.


"Alexa, Launch settings on Kitchen TV" works in both cases

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I've just seen a post about common issues: https://developer.amazon.com/blogs/alexa/post/0d8c5234-3c7a-4b77-9906-b43a5310bde4/5-common-error-messages-for-custom-alexa-skills-and-how-to-troubleshoot-them

And there is a section with similar issue and troubleshooting is to check if alexa on the device is logged as the same profile as in alexa simulator. I've checked this and the profile is the same and it still does not work :(

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After some extensive testing it seems that only part of the application list from https://developer.amazon.com/en-US/docs/alexa/video/launch-target-reference.html works in alexa smartphone application.

For example on the Alexa app:

"Alexa, open Netflix on Kitchen TV" does not work
(If some Amazon person reads it then this is the link to the record from history:
https://alexa.amazon.com/spa/index.html#settings/dialogs/A3OLSHU713ELFL#1660231165812#A2TF17PFR55MTB#434af8ace61b4867b89cb9a546c2d793 )

"Alexa, open TikTok on Kitchen TV" does work

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