The next version of Google’s mobile operating system will go by the name Android N.
Now, there is no word on which dessert Google will go for this time, but what is clear at the moment is that the new OS will drop Java APIs for Oracle’s OpenJDK.
This news showed up sometime last month where it was noticed that Google used OpenJDK to commit up to 8,902 files rather than use the traditional JDK version. The search engine giant has confirmed this report and to add to it; this change will affect other operating systems that will follow Android N.
Oracle vs. Google
Google and Oracle have not shared the best relationships of all. In 2010, the two were involved in a legal case where the latter attempted to sue the former for matters of copyright and patent infringement on Java APIs.
Google used its version of Java when implementing Android OS. However, the issue came to names, functionality as well as organization, which according to Oracle, the search engine giant used the same as the Java API. The case between these two companies is still in court up to now, but with the current deal on the table, it remains to be unclear whether the dispute has been settled out of court or if this is just happening by coincidence. However, it is highly unlikely that the case has been settled.
Many Android developers have been unhappy with Google’s Java Android implementation and in fact, a good number of them have been looking for alternatives to this problem. Some have resorted to using languages such as Kotlin, which offers some features that are missing from the present Java Android implementation to fill this wanting gap, for instance, static typing. There are others who wish Google could replace its reliance on Java with other languages such as Swift or Go, but this could take lots of time.
Nonetheless, the news that Google will finally be getting rid of Java application programming interfaces for the open source Java Development Kit will be greeted with broad smiles on many Android developers’ faces.