Amazon released the latest version of Alexa Presentation Language (APL), the new updated suite of tools will help to make it easier for developers to create beautiful and visual rich features and functionalities for Alexa devices with and all screens. APL 1.1 — which is now in beta — comes after APL 1.0’s beta launch in October 2018.
APL 1.1 is available to Alexa developers in all locales and can be used on Echo Show, Echo Spot, and the new Echo Show 5 starting today. In the coming days, it’ll hit additional devices, including Fire TVs and Fire tablets.
So what’s new in APL 1.1? Well, it supports a novel command — AnimateItem — that developers can use to animate the position, scale, rotation, or opacity of any APL component or layout. AnimateItem can also be combined with Alexa Vector Graphics, a subset of the Scalable Vector Graphics standard to create a range of interactive and “visually engaging” experiences. Devices that only support APL 1.0 will show static text instead.
APL 1.1 ships with an enhanced Alexa Design System, which Amazon says was re-engineered to better accommodate Alexa-enabled devices of varying screen sizes. It’s intended first and foremost to accelerate design work — for instance, if a developer imports Alexa-Styles into an APL document and uses the style textStyleBody to style text, the size of the text will automatically adapt based on the viewing distance typical for a device. Amazon says these sizes came out of “user experience research.”