Microsoft's Cortana is now available in beta form on Android, but next year the digital assistant will come pre-installed and "deeply integrated" on the next version of Cyanogen OS. Cyanogen OS, which is different from the wonderfully nerdy, community-driven CyanogenMod, is the forked-off version of Google's OS that comes included on phones from Wileyfox, Zuk, Yu, and Smartfren.
You've probably never heard of any of those companies; they're a far cry from brands that are in Best Buy or your local carrier store. Cyanogen OS also initially shipped on the OnePlus One, a device with much more name recognition, before the relationship between Cyanogen and OnePlus splintered, leading the latter company to make its own version of Android for that phone's sequel.
Cyanogen OS isn't found on any popular consumer smartphones.
But Cyanogen CEO is very confident that Cortana can help his software stand out against Android and iOS, each with its own personal assistant technology. Aside from ludicrously predicting Cyanogen will produce "big devices that are going to be iPhone and Galaxy slayers" in 2016, McMaster told International Business Times that Cortana will receive deep system access that allows it to control popular third-party apps like Spotify. "Siri doesn’t power Spotify like that so we can do these kind of things with for example, integration of Microsoft’s Cortana into the OS enabling natural language to power Spotify and other services."
McMaster talked up Cortana as "much better than Siri" — exactly the kind of thing you'd expect from someone who now has an interest in its success. McMaster said Cortana will help Cyanogen reach its goal of "no dependencies on Google" within the next few years, but the company will need some partners that consumers have actually heard of if it hopes to hit long-term success.