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. For example, through Cyanogen’s partnership with Microsoft, a user can install the Skype mod directly into their dialer to add VoIP calling functionality or they can install the Cortana personal assistant mod to power features like voice-activated selfies.
Cyanogen OS, which isn’t CyanogenMod, is introducing MODs, that plug into Cyanogen OS and CyanogenMod. At this point, they are intentionally muddying the waters, right? This is the system Microsoft is using to integrate its services into Android, and now, everybody can use them. The wording here is a bit strange, though, because one of the core strengths of Android is that applications are not isolated, unlike on iOS, where every application looks, feels, and functions like an island.
It’s all pretty nifty, and all made possible because of two things: first, Android in and of itself is incredibly extensible, and it contains a ton of APIs for these sorts of things. A lot of this integration can be achieved simply by installing applications from Google Play. Second, it’s made possible because Android is open source, so that Cyanogen can make a few changes and claim they’re taking Android away from big, bad Google who is giving them Android in the first place, and without whom Cyanogen wouldn’t exist, or wouldn’t continue to exist.
In any case, let’s see if other 3rd parties are going to adopt this. It seems like Android as-is is extensible enough, so I don’t see much life in this for most developers and users.
Why would any third party developer voluntarily limit themselves to a fraction of the market? It would have to be for a very niche application in some vertical market.
I think this is the VC money speaking, trying to find some monitization beyond providing an os for oems trying to break into developing markets. Its kind of a sad compromise.
You say that apps on Android are not islands? Can anyone eleborate on that because surely apps are sandboxed on Android right? Is it just
* Some apps that can cross boundaries with some other apps through contracts/intents or
* All apps that can replace part of the OS or
* well…where are those boundaries between apps/os and app1/app2?
Google already made big parts of Android replacable through the playstore, but wouldn’t this make even more of the OS replacable? Wouldn’t this feature (+ monthly security fixes) on supplier provided phones actually fix the Android upgrade issue?
Google aren’t ‘giving’ it to them, that’s how open source works. Google are doing nothing different. They’re taking linux, and java, and countless other open source modules, without which Android would never exist.