Major brands — Google, Facebook and Uber — were at a meeting in London discussing the new language. Sources tell The Next Web that Google is considering making Swift a “first class” language for Android, while Facebook and Uber are also looking to make Swift more central to their operations.
As noted by Poptm blog, there would be substantial work involved in making it a first-class language for Android. For one, Android’s standard library would be made Swift-compatible, and Android would need a Swift runtime.
“Google’s Android operating system currently supports Java as its first-class language, and sources say it is not meant to replace Java, at least initially,” reads the report.
Sources claim that the object-oriented Kotlin programming language was also discussed as a first class development language for Android, but Google reportedly isn’t keen on embracing Kotlin as it’s proven itself “a bit too slow” when compiling.
I’m not surprise Google is shopping for Java alternatives. Not only is Java code slow and inefficient but Google’s own implementation of the standard Java libraries are at the heart of a years-long copyright lawsuit that Oracle filed against Google.
Since introduction, it has received mostly praises from enthusiastic developers of iPhone, iPod, iPad and Mac applications. Many developers have made the transition runtime from Objective-C to Swift for its simplicity, clean structure and code efficiency.
For example, the popular iPhone and iPad applications such as Lyft, Pixelmator and Vimeo have all been rebuilt top to bottom with Swift.
Google’s annual developer conference, I/O, is coming up just over a month. As the London meeting involving Google, Facebook and Uber alleged to have only taken place at the end of last year may be too early for Google to announce anything at I/O 2016, we may have to wait until next year.