Microsoft has already brought Cortana, its voice-recognition digital assistant, to Android with an app. But to use it as a system-wide alternative to Google’s voice recognition requires deep integration — something that alternative Android vendor Cyanogen is keen to do.
In case you’re not familiar with the company, Cyanogen is the power behind Cyanogen OS, a non-Google-approved version of Android, with a slightly different look and more options for power users.
The company is already friendly with Microsoft — the Office apps are installed on Cyanogen OS by default — but according to an interview with the International Business Times, CEO Kirt McMaster is keen to deepen that bond, including adding Cortana system-wide:
“When Apple launched Apple Music at WWDC, they showed the Siri integration with Apple Music. 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 has a point — as great as Siri and all her smart tricks are, it’s far more limiting if you don’t use Apple services. Having voice control over Spotify and the like would be a killer feature; exactly the kind of thing that could make a niche Android fork go mainstream.