Plenty of smartphones ship with customized versions of Google Android with modified home screens, cameras, and other features. And a lot of phone makers and wireless carriers like to pre-load some apps on phones.
But the developers of Cyanogen OS are taking things a bit further with the idea of Mods, which are tightly woven into the fabric of the operating system in a way that third-party apps cannot be.
For example, there are Cortana and Twitter Mods for the lock screen, allowing you view trending Tweets or the latest reminders, appointments, and other details from Cortana without unlocking your phone.
A Skype mod lets you place Skype calls or access your Skype contacts and history from the standard phone dialer. The Cortana mod also has new voice controls including “take a selfie” and options to set reminders or check appointments with your voice. And there’s a OneNote mod that allows you to take notes from any app by accessing OneNote from a Quick Settings tile.
There’s also a Microsoft Hyperlapse mod that helps you create time-laps videos using the default camera app.
You may have noticed a trend… most of these Mods are for Microosft apps and services. That’s not exactly surprising. Cyanogen and Microsoft signed a partnership deal in 2015 to bring Microsoft features to Cyanogen OS.