It has been a great source of buzzes since Oracle escalated things to the court filing lawsuits against the world’s largest internet space, Google, in 2008, prosecuting that the search engine giant allegedly infringed copyright by manipulating the programming language Java, wholly owned by Oracle, for commercial purpose in Android development. There are reports that Google owes $8 billion for deploying Java in Android development, although the California-based internet firm strongly disagrees the statement. Well, in turn, the rumour mills are titling that Google is considering Apple’s core language, Swift for Android, which is used in iPhone, iPad app development, replacing Java. However, we just can’t take a judgement until Google officially unleashes out things.
Swift for Android? Really, uh?
Do you really think that Google is going to replace the heart of Android platform, Java, with its blood rival’s heart, Swift? Alright, disputes are making it on the other hand. Well, even if the court asks Google to pay $8 billion to settle copyright infringement, that looks just like a paltry compensation for a biggy such as Google. Moreover, the time, money and resources Google had spent over Java for Android development are so huge.
If they switch to Swift, they will have to ignite from the scratch, which will again definitely need more investment in terms of time, money and resources. Additionally, Swift remains untested. You still don’t have any official clue how apps gonna make it on Android phones with Swift. And what if Apple creates a premium version of Swift something called ‘Swift Pro’ and keeps the major functionalities in it. Then that would be a clean feudalism by Apple crushing all Android dependants. So, the possibility to switch to Swift is negligible.
What will happen if Google switches to Swift?
Till now we have no valid reasons for Google to choose Swift for Android development. However, if it happens, how it would be things like? Let’s examine.
Swift is open source
Unlike the other major tools developed by Apple, Swift is an open source programming language, which really is a boon for developers to act fast. Well, especially for someone who knows nothing about iOS app development. Swift is comparatively easier to learn. It’s a nice and modern language.
However, Swift isn’t that open as Java. Java is wide and even wider. The JDK, JavaFX, and everything is open. On the other hand, you just can’t create an Android app for a single reason that Swift is open. You need even more tools like Cocoa to build apps. As far as Apple app ecosystem is concerned, Cocoa isn’t open source. You need to pay for it.
This is where development goes to the next level. As Android comes into the world of Apple, developers need not write multiple codes for iOS and Android app. Simultaneously, the codes can be shared between iOS and Android versions, which can be literally run at native speed. There are still more! If Android employs Swift, all the existing class libraries, Java codes, and frameworks can be used. The Android UI classes can be easily crawled instead of using UIKit. And even it can be taken to an extent where you need not go for Cocoa.
If Google chooses Swift over Java, that might be the inception to the slow-paced death of the good-old-time king, Java. But, that might not be the thing the developer world is looking for, precisely the Android developers. Earlier, Apple came up with Objective-C programming language to develop iOS apps. Later, Apple switched to Swift introducing it in 2014, which is readable and way more performing than Objective-C.
Maybe in future, Oracle will be fixing all the flaws of Java regarding security, performance, and compiling speed. Maybe there would be a probability of the introduction of a next-generation open-source programming language of Google’s own rectifying the current flaws of the platform. However, we need official updates to validate. Until then, we have no better option than assuming that Google would settle things in court against Oracle and will be employing the more powerful version of Java in Android in the coming days.