Cyanogen Inc. Breaking Dependency On Google, Integrating Cortana Into OS

Android / Mobile

CyanogenMod was arguably one of the best alternatives to Google’s stock Android for many users for quite some time. Those who didn’t get devices installed with the stock version of Android flocked to CyanogenMod to rid their Samsung, HTC, Sony, and other devices of the manufacturer and carrier bloatware that they often came with.

Around two years ago, Steve Kondik and Kirt McMaster took the alternative OS to the next level and created Cyanogen Inc., and to date have raised over $80 million in venture capital funding, including backing by Microsoft. The pair quickly got to work and a variation of CyanogenMod – Cyanogen OS – came preinstalled on the original OnePlus One, and now on the recently released WileyFox Storm and Swift models. According to McMaster, this is just the beginning.

“Ultimately if you are going into the mass market, when you consider the iPhone and Apple’s marketing budget, you have to have signature experiences that really stand out and you are going to see some of these things [from us] by late Q2, early Q3 of next year.”

McMaster believes that out of all the other smartphone OS’s out there, including Windows Mobile, Cyanogen OS has the best chance to become the next to play at the same level as Android or iOS – primarily “because [Cyanogen OS is] not a fork of Android and [is] fully compliant with the existing Android eco-system,” which makes it easier for consumers to make the transition and not have to worry about lacking any features they are used to using.

When the news of Cyanogen Inc. receiving funding from Microsoft first surfaced, users wondered what that would mean for CyanogenMod and Cyanogen OS as an Android alternative. It appears that the first step, whether initiated by Microsoft or Cyanogen themselves, is to integrate Cortana – Microsoft’s version of Google Now and Siri – right into Cyanogen OS itself. Cortana is already available as an app for Android, but McMaster feels that it needs to be integrated into the OS in order for it to reach its true potential.

“Natural language coupled with intelligence is very important but as an application it doesn’t really work because you need to be embedded into the framework of the OS because that is where you get all the signal from the services that makes that intelligence smarter.”

Even though McMaster says they like Google and their users are big fans of Google and Android, “version one” of Cyanogen Inc.’s plan to remove its dependencies on Google is expected next year.

The end-game for Cyanogen is that it will have “no dependencies on Google,” which McMaster says can happen in the next two-to-three years. “From an evolutionary standpoint, Android is a platform that enables us to springboard into something else.”

What do you think of Cyanogen Inc.’s decision to integrate Cortana into Cyanogen OS and eventually eliminate their dependency on Google? Let us know in the comments below, or on Google+, Twitter, or Facebook.

  Source: International Business Times
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