Android may soon support Apple's Swift programming language

Android may soon support Apple's Swift programming language
While many people think of Apple only in terms of a closed ecosystem, the company did announce an open source programming language -- Swift -- two years ago, and made it open source at the end of last year. Swift has already generated some interest from the industry. There have even reportedly been big talks at Google about potentially making Swift a so-called "first class" language for Android.

Right now, Java is the only first-class programming language for Android, and reports claim that Google isn't looking to replace Java, at least not at first. The theory is that because of the ongoing litigation issues with Oracle over Google's use of Java, the company may be looking for a new option. Swift has been found to be very fast, and since it is open source, Google could use it without issue. It is also possible that Android using Swift could cut down the number of apps that launch on iOS before Android. 

According to reports, representatives for Google, Facebook, and Uber met at the end of last year in London to discuss how each company could adopt Swift. Facebook and Uber were allegedly thinking about making it "more central to operations", while Google was thinking about supporting it more aggressively in Android. 

Of course, even if Google were to do so, it would be a long and involved process because it would need to rewrite a lot of Android code and APIs. So, considering it is still only something in discussion, we won't expect any announcements all that soon. 

source: The Next Web

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41 Comments

1. vincelongman

Posts: 5694; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

Sounds good, it would make porting apps between Android and iOS easier

29. sgodsell

Posts: 7368; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

The actual Swift language is open source, but the Swift runtime is not open source. There is binary builds for Linux which Apple supports OS/X, iOS, and Linux. So I can see an Android port of this, but since the binary objects are closed source, then I don't see this going too far with Android, and especially not replacing any other real open source development.

40. vincelongman

Posts: 5694; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

That's disappointing Hopefully Apple open sources those later And hopefully Apple finally start supporting Vulkan in iOS/macOS But I can see Apple sticking with Metal to try make porting to Android harder, at the cost of their macOS users

2. Zylam

Posts: 1817; Member since: Oct 20, 2010

Ouch that's gotta hurt for the average fandroid, knowning that an app made on Apples programming language is running on their precious Android. However, having apps launch on both platforms at the same time or closer than now, now that's a great advantage! Let the infestation reign.

4. Subie

Posts: 2364; Member since: Aug 01, 2015

I don't see why that would hurt. Does it hurt iPhone users if they have Google maps on their phone. Or how about Blackberry's BBM running on IOS. Personally I like the idea of more cross platform compatibility.

5. tedkord

Posts: 17357; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

Shhhhh. Don't harsh his hate with facts.

14. AlikMalix unregistered

I think he meant that the android fans that hate everything Apple will hate that their android device will be running apple software - eating them up, knowing that their beliefs that Apple can't do anything right will be adopted by their savior android. I can already see years of denial of Google actually implements this on android. Once again, I'm talkin about the Apple-hater-bandwagon, not the regular tech fans that prefer android for their own reasons.

15. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

Look at the last few days. Last week you commented on Android fans who defended their OS like it was a religion, as you're alluding to here again. I'd direct you to any articles that had anything bad to say or at the very least wasn't positive to say about Apple. And you were in there quite a bit yourself. This religion BS cuts both ways. There are just as many Apple fans who take things too far as well. So quit trying to paint this as an Android only area when there are extremists in every camp.

18. AlikMalix unregistered

I don't disagree with you, I don't hide that I'm an iOS fan and I do very often, push apples side to offset the "extreme" redicule of iOS that are half truths and lies - but I don't mind redicule of Apple - I even have voiced plenty of my own. Just can't stand them trashing iOS users because they don't like android or prefer apples way of doing things. But would you agree that this kind of news will burn some of these guys up from the inside?

26. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

But it's OK if people trash Android users for the reverse? You keep bringing up how iOS users are persecuted, and how Android fans spread all these lies. Well, the same thing happens to Android users, and WP users, and BB, etc. Seriously everytime you make it seem like iOS users have it so much worse than any other OS. Sorry, but it happens to every group, and none are much worse than others. You want to talk about extreme behavior, look at the iPhone SE review. Anyone tried to say anything critical of it and got body slammed by multiple iOS fans. It was ridiculous. It's not the perfect device, but you'd certainly think so the way you guys were religiously defending it. I'm sure it will burn some people up, so what? You complain about how they treat you and then do the same thing back to them. That's likely to stop this. It's just a cycle. Article comes out that Apple is better at something, you guys get cocky and rag on them, they get angry and defensive. Article comes out that Android is better at something, they get cocky and rag on you guys, you get angry and defensive. Lather, rinse, repeat.

31. AlikMalix unregistered

I ONLY go for the trolls, did you not read my last paragraph. It's not ok to trash anyone for their choice or lack of one, either way. I don't redicule android users choice, ever!!! I only show that despite that Apple isn't perfect, android has worse problems. Read my comments if you're going to reply and also read what I'm replying to - my comments and level of redicule is derived from the original comment that I'm replying to!!!! Read!!!

34. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

Again the superiority complex. Apple isn't perfect, but Android is worse. That is you opinion, and that isn't fact. And yes, I do read your posts, which is why I know you repeatedly mispell the word ridicule (not redicule). You say you don't ridicule Android users choice, ever!!! Right? And then you turn around and say why Android is lacking, which is ridiculing their choice, isn't it? I don't have a problem with discussing the merits and drawbacks of each OS. But you act like yours not doing the same thing. Saying you're and idiot for using and inferior product and saying you're using an inferior product is the same thing, the only difference is the idiot is implied. Otherwise what can someone infer if you say they're using an inferior product? That they're smart. So you're doing the same thing,just being more subtle about it.

16. Jimrod

Posts: 1605; Member since: Sep 22, 2014

Strangely enough I don't know any Apple users who "hate" Android, they just use what they like - on the other hand the hate from Android users to Apple products/users on sites like this is incredible, or sad and pathetic, not sure which really.

22. jroc74

Posts: 6023; Member since: Dec 30, 2010

Its not as bad now....but back in 2008 thru 2010...the Apple hating Android thing was huge. When it looked like Android wasnt going anywhere the hate died down from Apple folks.

28. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

That's where I believe most of this started. When I joined this site, the Apple users were the majority and looked down their noses at anything non Apple. Now there are an equal or majority of Android users who came up during that and want to fight fire with fire. When I started in smartphones, I was just going to get an Android device until Apple brought the iPhone to Verizon. But after seeing how these groups act, and my experience with Android, I decided to stay. It's funny also, depending on the site, who's the oppressive one. Part of the reason I stayed away from Apple was how they treated anyone else in those early years, and a reason I left Samsung as well. But go to an Android only site and it's the Samsung fans vs the Nexus fans. Something I think people from other OSs should realize is that not all Android fans are the same. Each group (Nexus, Samsung, Moto, HTC, LG, etc) are different. It's like talking about Americans as a whole when there are a lot of differences from region to region. People from New York are going to be different from people in California or the Midwest, so it's does them a disservice to lump them all together.

32. AlikMalix unregistered

VZ for me it starred the day I got my iPhone. It was this guy who (before iPhones) always trolled me that Verizon is better than AT&T - I couldn't care (even though Verizon did have overall better coverage nationwide) AT&T gave me no problems where I lived. Until I finally got a drop in him that the first touchscreen smartphone was only on AT&T. While Verizon users ran around with Flipphones, AT&T customers enjoyed the future of touch screens. Everyone wanted iPhones. But a year goes by - nothing!!! Then I got excited about googles is that deemed to be Called android. Google owned Internet as far as I was concerned - so this was going to be interesting. The same guy above full of resentment toward inability to own an touchscreen found an new messiah - the android that's going to kill iPhone!!!! Then you know the rest of the story - one iPhone killer after another but I have been rediculed for having a great performin devices vs the buggy laggy early androids just because I didn't have (get ready for this) - WIDGETS! Widgets was the epitome of smartphone innovation, apparently. Obviously no one cared for widgets as it just delivered information that iOS delivers just fine with notifications. I was constantly reduculced for owning a device that didn't have widgets. So I started to learn more and more about the iPhone and it's capabilities (to get back at this guy - this is where I realized that I was using about 20% of what my 3GS was great at. I also learned huge shortcomings of early android and even tried one finally (Samsung s4). Android was not ready even then because of bloat, redundancies, lag, and constant battery drains when the device is just laying there. There were no permissions, no way to remove software I didn't even install, the updates were a clusterfrack of a problem and there was no one to assist you unless you call some cheap automated phone number - good luck with that. My experience with the best of android is that there's no best of android - one decides Lacks bloat but also lacks good camera. The other got great screen but he bad battery life, third device has great features but has so much bloat it kills experience. And so on. Android collectively is great compared to iOS - but you learn fast that if you take the best of all android you'll be end up with several devices. Or you can forgo the system file manager and widgets and have a device that's a great in every aspect you need. I still get the -" my device has huge resolution than your iPhone" all I hear is "my device drops battery juice and performance for absolute no reason to have anything sharper than what I already have". I do the same thing - I say " hey where are your kids" - they say "I don't know" I say "Siri where's my daughter" Ta-Da! Hey look "app permissions = control" I hear " i can root my device - facepalm... I'm sure you have plenty of opposite examples and so do I. people forget that both sides have pro's and cons. It's up to people.

33. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

So you complain about people taking shots at Apple, but then you essentially say that anyone who uses Android is an idiot. How is that any different? You're giving reasons why you think Apple is superior, there are Android fans who can do the reverse why they like Android better than Apple. It's no different than Ford vs Chevy, Mac vs PC, etc. So what if the guy found his Messiah in the form of Android, which, I'm sorry but these are your priorities you need to be hit in the head with a tack hammer. But again, he says it's an iPhone killer, and it wasn't. So what? There are people who are not going to share your opinion on more things than just mobile tech, are you going to take every thing so personally everytime someone does it? What I find funny is every one of these little essays you're writing is your attempt to justify why it's OK for you to do the same thing as what others are doing to you. The only problem is you make it sound like only you are justified in doing it. My point is once you take loyalty to this level, there really is no difference from one side to the other. Everyone is supremely confident in how much better their choice is to the point they are willing to overlook issues in said choice. As far as there is no best of Android because they're all lacking something, you're not going to see that is because until recently they only had one model so it wasn't the best or the worst, it was just there. Now, the iPhone SE is easier to hold but lacks force touch and has a crappy FFC. The iPhone 6s has a better FFC but lacks OIS and better battery life that is on the 6s Plus. The problem I see with your analogy is you say it's up to people, both sides have pros and cons, but everytime you point out Android's cons as facts rather than opinions. What you may find a con others may consider a plus. I consider Apple using an older slower FPS in the SE a con, where Apple users consider it a plus because it was too fast.

35. XperiaFanZone

Posts: 2277; Member since: Sep 21, 2012

"Then you know the rest of the story - one iPhone killer after another but I have been rediculed for having a great performin devices vs the buggy laggy early androids just because I didn't have (get ready for this) - WIDGETS! Widgets was the epitome of smartphone innovation, apparently. " Not this bulls**t you post over and over again, you've been sat down a lot of times yet the only response you can come up with is "you're the only one who uses such features on Android"

43. jroc74

Posts: 6023; Member since: Dec 30, 2010

Yup, thats exactly where it started. When the iPhone became an overnight sensation, you had many Apple, iPhone fans looking down on every phone in existence...not just Android. When Android was barely a blip you had so many predicting when Android was gonna disappear. And straight up laughing at Android. When the tides changed....it became really quite and then Android fans started dominating forums. So some either werent around back then or they choose to forget about it.

45. Mercedes-Benz

Posts: 403; Member since: Jan 18, 2015

because android before 4.0 sucks ?

36. Optimusryga

Posts: 7; Member since: Jul 19, 2015

Ever gone to BGR before? If u havent, make out time and visit that blog its a cesspool of android haters..from the blog writers to the commenters..its like world war 2 only this time its words that do the firing

38. tedkord

Posts: 17357; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

Again, you don't read here or other forums much. The Android hate is real and severe.

30. sgodsell

Posts: 7368; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

A real tech fan would already know that Apples Swift is not a real open source project, especially since the Swift runtime is binary objects only. Oh, sure Apple supports OS/X, iOS, and Linux. Any real tech fan would already know that Android sits on top of Linux. At the end of the day this propaganda will help to get the Apple fans to believe in and start using Swift instead. Because Apple wants to leverage its iOS Developers into making apps for OS/X as well. That is much easier if you use Swift instead. The other thing is Apple needed to get on the IoT band wagon, and since the IoT and SBCs are dominated by Linux, then Swift is Apples answer into this world. Android already has a great foothold in the IoT area.

37. tedkord

Posts: 17357; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

We know what he was saying. It's still wrong.

20. yyzamin

Posts: 382; Member since: Aug 26, 2015

The difference is most iOS users don't care who does what with their phone. If the headline read Apple to replace Swift with Java the comments section would be full of hate towards Apple users

27. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

You mean the ones who repeatedly tell anyone who'll listen that Java is horrible and inferior? If that were to happen, you don't think it would be wrong to bring that up? Maybe if they didn't find the need to ridicule it in the first place, then other wouldn't feel the need to rub their noses in it. I'm getting really sick of the persecution complex from both sides, acting like they're innocent and the other side is attacking them without provocation. Here's a tip everyone, 99% of what you get you bring in yourselves. You don't want to get crap about what you like, don't bag on what other people like. It's a simple idea but apparently too difficult for anyone here to grasp.

7. XperiaFanZone

Posts: 2277; Member since: Sep 21, 2012

Why would it hurt an Android fan? It's not like the Apple fans were hurt knowing that Apple ripped off the surface pro. Oh, wait...

11. zunaidahmed

Posts: 1183; Member since: Dec 24, 2011

Wait, I never knew Apple had a full blown x86 based OSX tablet, oh wait, you are talking about the magnified iPad Air with a pencil xd

13. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

Not at all. If Swift is more efficient than Java I am all for it. And I already know existing Android programming. Earn myself a specialist diploma in Mobile Apps development.

21. jroc74

Posts: 6023; Member since: Dec 30, 2010

Like how Google uses Webkit? And has since day one? No....no ones hurt buddy.

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