The news comes from The Next Web, which explains in a recent article that around the time Swift was going open source, interesting discussions were taking place between several high-profile companies.
Still, Google will have some tough, but not impossible, technical hurdles to overcome if it does add support for Apple’s Swift on Android, meaning such a move could be years out, if it happens at all. Compared to Swift on Android devices, Facebook and Uber’s dream of having Swift run server-side and then rewriting client-side apps looks more doable.
Apps running on the Android platform could be set for a significant transition after it was reported that Google is considering a major change in its development guidelines. Yet Swift is nevertheless hugely popular among certain developers, and GitHub apparently told The Next Web that Apple’s language is the website’s 11th most popular, which is no mean feat.
While we would have thought that there would be little choice between Oracle and Apple as evil software outfits, the fact that Apple uncharacteristically made Swift open source might make life a bit brighter for Google. Google would, as The Next Web notes, need to make “its entire standard library Swift-ready, and support the language in APIs and SDKs”. Facebook and Uber’s interest in Swift is said to do with the language’s ability to function client and server side.
Ever since the Oracle lawsuit started, these kind of “Google is moving away from Java to [insert_name] language” have come up a few more times. Other languages are also being considered, including newcomer Kotlin, but Swift is thought to be the favourite due to its active developer community.
Furthermore, Google is seeking a replacement for Java, which is its current first language. It is easy to write but also powerful and feature-rich, capable of creating high-quality apps without the complexities of older languages such as Java.
Apple and Google have yet to comment. Stay Tuned for more.