It started with Microsoft's Cortana's deeper integration with Cyanogen OS. Now the company responsible for the Android-based mobile operating system has introduced its MOD platform that allows third-party developers to build apps directly into Cyanogen OS. Microsoft is all over this platform and has introduced a number of apps onto Cyanogen OS through MOD.
At the moment there are only a select group of apps that can integrate natively into Cyanogen OS but with the MOD platform, developers can turn their apps into mods to achieve that integration. According to Cyanogen Inc.:
"As mods, 3rd party applications that were previously isolated can now take advantage of platform APIs to implement unique experiences directly within Cyanogen OS. Users can install a variety of mods to extend the functionality of their devices."
One example of this is Microsoft's Skype mod which users can install directly into their dialer to add VoIP calling functionality. Microsoft's OneNote is also another app that will be the first to go through the MOD platform.
What's the point of all this? Cyanogen Inc wants to offer handset makers and partners greater flexibility in what they include pre-installed on their phones if they do choose Cyanogen OS. The company has even launched a MOD Ready program, providing platform development kits (PDKs) to OEMs in order to speed up the process of bringing MOD-enabled handsets into the market.
The MOD platform will begin rolling out next month on devices with Cyanogen OS 13.0 or greater.