Google is currently considering the adoption of Swift as its leading programming language for the Android platform. Presently, Android runs primarily on a platform of Java, but there are some major benefits that Swift can provide. Swift is designed to be an open-source, highly efficient, and easy to use language, which could open up development for the Android.
The Move Away from Java
The majority of Android is currently developed in Java and C++, but there are some limitations to the Java platform. This is especially true in areas of memory management and resource usage. By switching to a more efficient and modernized language, Google’s developers may be able to capitalize on the limited resources within mobile devices. They may also be able to encourage more development on Android by third-party developers. Though Java is an incredibly popular cross-platform language, it is now seen by many as being outdated, especially compared to the newer languages that have been developed.
Swift isn’t the only language that is being considered by Google. Google’s developers are additionally considering Kotlin, which is a very similar language that already runs in Android Studio. Just as Swift was developed as a replacement for Objective C, Kotlin is designed to be a replacement language for Java. Kotlin would certainly be easier for Google to adopt, but might not bring with it the long-term benefits that Swift can provide.
Increasing Interest in Swift
Google isn’t the only major developer considering a switch to Swift. Both Uber and Facebook are also considering a switch to Swift for their operational needs. Swift is an alternative language to Objective C, designed for rapid development and ease of use. However, because it is another language, it does require that a platform be rebuilt in order to utilize it. This means that while developers may not be eager to switch over their platforms right now, they may want to use it when they overhaul their code in the future. So far, Swift has been used in apps such as Vimeo and Lyft, and it is especially well-adapted for mobile platforms. Consequently, many developers that feature primarily mobile development have been considering where it will fit into their development future.
The Future of Swift
Swift is likely to see continued increases in adoption as more developers take advantage of its unique benefits. Developers interested in breaking into the field of app development or remaining current on technology may want to invest some time into learning it. Luckily, Swift is considered to have a very low barrier to entry, and it will look familiar to anyone with a background in C or Java.
Regardless of whether or not Google makes the shift, Swift remains one of the fastest growing languages in the world. It will likely continue to build in popularity over the next few years, and it isn’t likely that Google or Facebook are going to be making their transitions any time soon. If you’re a mobile app developer who specializes in languages such as Swift or Objective C, you can consult our current job listings for new and active positions within the development industry.