Apple already has some history of their software running on Android. Their Move to iOS and Apple Music apps have been pretty well received based on the legitimate and honest reviews to be found on the Play Store. The next batch of Apple software to appear on Android might be a bit more surprising as sources have suggested that Google is at least considering the Apple Swift programming language as a “first class” language for Android.
Android currently calls Java its “first class” language, though we all know how Java’s new owner Oracle feels about that. Information provided to The Next Web tells us that Google wouldn’t want to supplant Java completely, at least not right away. These same sources believe that Google sees Swift as having greater future potential than Java. Since Apple recently made Swift open source, that would also fit well with Google’s open source dreams for Android.
Now, wanting to make this change and actually being able to make the change are two entirely different things. While it is certainly possible, it’s not as easy as simply wanting it to happen. The Next Web explains it far better than I ever could:
Swift can’t be copy-pasted for any platform, though. Specifically, Android would need a runtime for Swift — and that’s just for starters.
Google would also have to make its entire standard library Swift-ready, and support the language in APIs and SDKs. Some low-level Android APIs are C++, which Swift can not currently bridge to. Those would have to be re-written.
Swift would also not be useful in bridging higher level APIs in Java; they’d have to be re-written as well.
They do also mention, however, that a developer did get some Swift code running on Android, so it is definitely possible. Whether or not Google will want to make all of the necessary changes and adjustments to get the programming language running natively on Android is another story.
Google apparently isn’t the only company interested in Swift either. Facebook and Uber have also expressed some interest in the programming language, though all three companies declined comment when TNW reached out.
What do you think? Do you want to see Swift on Android? What other options might be better? Let us know in the comment section or on Facebook, Google+, or Twitter.Source: The Next Web
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