Earlier this year, there were rumours of Microsoft investing in Cyanogen. However, in April, the company announced a strategic partnership with Cyanogen to couple Microsoft apps and services along with Cyanogen OS platform. The latest development in the matter is that both the companies are closely working to deeply integrate Cortana in the next Cyanogen OS.
Microsoft officials have confirmed that Cyanogen OS will include Office, OneDrive, Skype, OneNote and Bing Services., including Cortana.
“Cyanogen is working with Microsoft to deeply integrate Cortana into the next version of Cyanogen OS. This is key to catapulting Cyanogen into the mass market. Cortana is currently available as an app on Android, but in order for it to make a real difference, it needs to be able to be integrated at the OS level so that its full potential can be leveraged,” stated Kirt McMaster, CEO, Cyanogen.
Cyanogen maintains that Google has too much control over Android. With a custom version of Android, developers will get the ability to integrate their apps and services as a part of core operating system. For instance, the way Google Search and Google Now interacts with the OS, third-party apps cannot. By divorcing core services from Android, Cyanogen OS could be completely free from Google dependencies, reports BGR. So now, services such as Google Docs can be replaced with Microsoft Office, Google Now can be replaced with Cortana, Google Keep with OneNote, Google Drive with OneNote and so on.
However, at present, the main problem with third-party voice assistants such as Cortana and Hound is that they can’t take an advantage of OS-level integration, like Google Now. This is where Cyanogen’s Custom ROM for Android comes into picture, where the company can deeply integrate such services right into the OS. It’s not sure how exactly this will pan out, but we will have to wait and see until any further developments happen.
Cortana is available on Windows Phone 8.1 and Windows 10 devices. While Microsoft recently released a public beta version of Cortana for Android, the company also plans to bring its voice assistant to iOS sometime later.