Android: Will Apple’s Swift Replace Java?
Apple recently published Swift, its very own programming language for iOS and Mac OS X, under a GPL license. This makes it officially Open Source and usable for projects outside of Apple’s domain. The Xcode development suite is freely available and of relatively high quality, Apple provides plenty of documentation and the language itself has been moderately hyped by developers while seeing great adoption rates. Due to its inherent speed, Swift is now also appealing to other large companies such as Google and Facebook. A recent meeting saw the discussion of integrating Swift into Android, perhaps as a “premium” language for high performance applications.
This would be the first time that an Apple core technology has made its way into an Android product. It is undoubtedly the case that even with Google’s optimizations, the Java VM cannot outpace iOS and performant apps on Apple’s platform.
Will Swift replace Java for Android developers?
Developers already applaud the possibility of coding Android apps in Swift and thusly decrease their turn-around-time for projects through easier ports. Users would surely enjoy the added performance boost and more timely releases of big apps for the Android platform, which are currently often delayed as the iTunes App Store remains by far the most profitable mobile app marketplace.
For now, Google is not planning any short term replacements for Java in the Android platform. But as the overall quality and performance of Swift are highly tempting, Google is reportedly considering a long-term implementation that goes deep into the core of their very own mobile operating system. But before we’ll see a Swift-powered Android, there will probably be initial support for the language and a bunch of apps to test out the capabilities of the combination.
More and more companies are betting on Swift
Google is not the only corporation that is interested in adopting Apple’s new technology. Old rival and former giant IBM is also considering Swift and plans to support future developments of the language. The latter partnership isn’t as surprising though, as IBM and Apple have cooperated in the business sector for a while now.