Google could be planning to make a move that could bring about large-scale changes for the Android platform, and in turn, for those that develop and produce apps for the world’s most popular mobile operating system. Executives from Google, along with decision makers from other tech companies like Uber and Facebook, have reportedly been in attendance at a meeting solely put in place to discuss Apple’s Swift programming language. Google has potentially seen enough about the power of the open-source language to be seriously considering adopting it as a “first-class language” for Android going forward.
As it stands at the moment, Android currently supports the Java programming language as its first-class language. With that said, the current litigation with Oracle is definitely something that Google needs to be mindful of, so it makes perfect sense to learn that the company is at least seriously considering adopting a new language that it deems to have a broader “upside” than Java. If the move does go ahead it’s not going to be something that will be introduced with the click of a finger.
In order to transition across to Swift, either partially or as the main language of Android long-term, Google would need to first create a runtime for Swift that would then need to be integrated into the native Android SDKs that Google offer, as well as all of the individual APIs that are utilized behind-the-scenes as well as those consumed publicly by third-party developers producing apps for Android.
It would essentially result in large parts of the Android platform being rewritten, which is something that Google has the resources to do and would ultimately result in a positive outcome for developers who could then produce apps in one language for both Android and iOS.
Google isn’t the only company that is taking a serious look at Apple’s Swift language. Both Facebook and Uber are said to have plans to embrace Swift and bring the language to the forefront of what they are trying to achieve from a technical perspective. With that said, considering both companies offer experience across both iOS and Android, they wouldn’t make this transition until Google has officially embraced Swift and started the process of adopting it as a first-class language for the Android platform.
(Source: The Next Web)
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