One of Microsoft’s more interesting Android initiatives is the company’s partnerships with Cyanogen. In case you’re unfamiliar, Cyanogen is the alternative Android platform used by OnePlus in its line of smartphones. Cyanogen and Microsoft worked together to integrate some of Microsoft’s technology, such as Cortana, more deeply into OnePlus’s version of Android.
A few months ago at MWC, Cyanogen announced Mods that allow apps to integrate more deeply into the OS. An example would be a user installing a Skype Mod ito their dialer to add VoIP capabilities or install a Cortana Mod to automate selfies.
Today, Cyanogen has announced that with Cyanogen OS 13.1 rolling out to the OnePlus One, a number of new and updated Mods are now official:
Imagine if the whole OS was your playground and YOU are in control. That’s what MOD is all about. Mods are your favorite features, right where you expect them. Mods give you a way to make your smartphone uniquely yours, welcome to the post-app era.
The Microsoft-related Mods that available include Skype, Cortana, OneNote, and Hyperlapse. Details are as follows.
Want to make a phone call or a Skype call to a friend? Do them both right from within your Phone app in Cyanogen OS 13.1 and above. All of your Skype contacts and call history are right in the dialer. Additionally, if you start with a Skype voice call, you can upgrade to a video call anytime with the tap of a button.
- Skype contacts are clearly marked and searchable in your Phone contacts
- You can buy Skype Credit right from the dialer (Skype has low calling rates to mobiles and landlines)
- Make Skype to Skype calls for free (data rates may apply)
- Make all your calls from one place with a consistent Phone experience
The Cortana mod has new features added in this update.
You can tell Cortana to “take a selfie”, giving you voice controlled, hands free, automatic countdown for capturing your picture. Avoid the hassle of trying to frame the perfect selfie, perhaps while coordinating with a group of friends in it, while also trying to hit the shutter button. Once snapped, you can quickly review the photo and easily share it right from the film strip.
The Cortana mod has also been extended to the lock screen for easier access to all that you need from Cortana without having to unlock your device. Simply wake up your device, swipe left and use your voice to search, set reminders, get to your schedule and more with Cortana. You can search, set reminders, get to your schedule and more with just your voice. Currently the Cortana mod is only available in the U.S.
Mods extend into the Email and Phone apps with OneNote to help you get your notes down and stay organized. In the Email app, you can easily save an important email to OneNote for future reference. Take a note while you’re in a call, such as a phone number or address, right from your Phone app. With the OneNote mod you can easily get your ideas down on your device by selecting the OneNote tile in Quick Settings.
Once your notes are saved, you can go back and access them easily from wherever they were originally taken, or from your OneNote quick notes section. The OneNote mod for Email is not available on all Cyanogen OS devices.
The Microsoft Hyperlapse mod for Camera allows you to create smooth and stabilized time-lapse videos. Simply open the Camera app, switch modes to Hyperlapse, and shoot your video. Once your done shooting, you can set the speed and Hyperlapse handles the rest. You can share your new Hyperlapse moment right from the film strip.
You can also Hyperlapse existing videos on your phone. From within the Gallery app, trim your captured video, set the speed, and share the Hyperlapse moment.
Microsoft has been working hard to make its various software and service solutions work well on Android devices. Perhaps no other platform is as well-integrated with Microsoft as Cyanogen, and these Mods are examples of how closely they’re tied into this particular Android fork. Let us know in the comments what you think of Microsoft’s working closely with Cyanogen.Further reading: Android, Cortana, Cyanogen, Hyperlapse, Microsoft, OneNote, Skype