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Cyanogen’s MOD Unlocks Android’s Customization Potential

February 22, 2016 - Written By Nick Sutrich

When it comes to deep Android modifications, Cyanogen is no stranger to the game.  From its inception CyanogenMod, as it’s still known in in its open source version, started with the goal of building a better Android without compromising performance by adding bloatware or ugly skins.  Ever since it’s incorporation a few years ago and its launch as CyanogenOS on many dedicated phones on the market, the team at Cyanogen has been working on developing new features that users will hopefully find worthy of gracing their phones.  We’ve seen plenty of enhancements to Android too, not just new features, such as further improved app protection in Marshmallow as well as the TrueCaller dialer to help better identify unknown callers.

But Cyanogen has also been working with Microsoft to change the game for Android and develop a version of the open source OS that’s not completely dependent on Google all the time.  While plenty of people have expressed their issues with this partnership, Cyanogen is working to give users more options when it comes to integration of personal digital assistants and other parts of Android as well.  We’ve seen Microsoft’s Cortana become more deeply integrated into Android instead of using Google Now for everything, and now Cyanogen is working to help developers integrate their own apps more deeply into your daily lives and unlock the true potential of said app.

This new platform, appropriately called MOD, gives developers deeper access into the inner workings of Android, particularly to the places most developers weren’t allowed to go before.  These sorts of places are where Google Now resides, the dialer functions, and other lower level system functions normally work.  By giving access to these areas developers can now integrate their apps more elegantly into the system, starting with a few Microsoft apps for demonstration.  For instance you’ll now find OneNote functionality built right into the dialer so you can quickly jot down notes while on a phone call without leaving the dialer screen, for instance.  Skype is now integrated straight into the dialer as well, and there’s even new functionality in the camera using Microsoft’s Hyperlapse feature.

Or of course there’s the even deeper Cortana integration so that every aspect of the phone can be controlled by Microsoft’s digital assistant.  These are just a few examples of what can be done with MOD, and Cyanogen is making its development kit available to developers right away so that they can begin work on something greater.  At its heart Android is open source, and that means giving users the ability to make the OS what they want, whether OEMs like it or not.  Check out the gallery of a few examples of Cyanogen’s MOD additions to CyanogenOS 13.0 below, and if you haven’t already received the update on your COS-powered phone yet you should be very soon.