Cyanogen has announced that Cyanogen OS 12.1.1 — the one that’s shipped on OEM partners’ phones — is now rolling out. This is still Lollipop, but Cyanogen OS 12.1.1 brings one big feature.
That feature is deep integration of Cortana, which is Microsoft’s voice-activated assistant. Cortana on its own is helpful for setting reminders, searching the web, taking notes and setting alarms, but the partnership with Cyanogen allowed them to have Cortana deeply integrated into the OS.
This makes it possible for Cortana to do things like put the phone into Quiet Mode, or toggle settings like Airplane Mode or mobile data. It also has top-notch voice activation from any app, so a simple “Hey Cortana” is all you need to get her attention. That particular feature was in the standard app available from Google Play, but it interfered with Google Now’s voice activation so severely that they eventually had to remove the feature from the app.
Of course, if you aren’t a fan of Cortana it’s easy to disable her and keep using Google Now. Just note that you can only have one or the other enabled at any given time, so make your choice and be happy with it. The update’s exact OTA schedule is likely to vary from OEM to OEM, so stay tuned to their news for more.