[4/1/2016] Google’s planned mobile operating system, which has been referred to as Android N, will leverage OpenJDK APIs rather than Google’s own Java implementation alone. The move has been praised as good for Java overall and might help the company in its ongoing legal battle with Oracle.
Oracle has griped that Android violates Java copyrights and patents. OpenJDK provides an accessible open source version of Java.
Google’s Java implementation has featured Apache Harmony libraries. Android itself has leveraged Java development, but has relied on the Dalvik runtime and now the Art alternative.
Tools vendor Codename One, which enables development of Apple iOS, Android, and Windows applications via Java, lauded the move but questioned Google’s intentions. “This is amazing news and a huge step forward for Java,” said Shai Almog, co-founder of Codename One, in a blog post. “It’s still unclear if this is just another move or the inkling of a settlement between Google and Oracle, but I’m very hopeful that this is indeed a settlement.”
Google’s OpenJDK shift “could be the start of the long anticipated ‘peace process’ or at least a ceasefire between Google and Oracle,” Almog said. “This could allow us all to align behind one Java version eventually (taking into consideration the slow Android update process). It could help bring Java back into vogue with some developers who considered the closed nature of Java problematic.”
Future releases of Android will still be based on Google’s own implementation but will use OpenJDK, Google explained in a published report.