Google has confirmed that it'll be switching to OpenJDK for Java application programming interfaces (APIs) and will no longer use Oracle's proprietary Java Development Kit (JDK) beginning with Android N, the next Android version which is already in the works.
The development came to light when a "mysterious Android codebase summit" surfaced at Hacker News back in November.
Android offers some Java API libraries that can be used to develop apps via Java, which are divided in two: the APIs used for the libraries and the Google-developed code to make them function.
Meanwhile, Oracle develops Java and has two applications of libraries, including the proprietary version of JDK and OpenJDK.
Android already partly uses OpenJDK, and Google focusing on it could mean that it'll be letting others use its code.
Google's Piotr Jastrzebski created the codebase commit on Feb. 16. Google's Narayan Kamath then uploaded the latest rewrite of the commit on Nov. 11. According to the page, the process changed 8,902 files, and it evidently indicates that Android has received the OpenJDK code.
Initial import of OpenJdk files.
Create new libcore/ojluni directory with src/main/java and
Build ojluni into core-oj jar.
Use openjdk classes from java.awt.font package.
Copy all files from jdk/src/share/classes and jdk/src/solaris/classes
directories in openjdk into libcore/ojluni/src/main/java.
Copy following native files from openjdk to
libcore/ojluni/src/main/native:[a long file list]
On that note, Google's change of direction could be attributed to the legal hubbub between the company and Oracle. It was a game of legal tug-of-war, where court decisions went back and forth between each party's favor.
"To explain if you are just joining in: This pretty much means Oracle [v.] Google, a case with major ramifications for the industry has been settled out of court. I don't see how this can be interpreted any other way," the user named grizzles says on Hacker News.
The case is far from over, though, not to mention Google won't be able to completely change the Android versions that have already rolled out.
At any rate, Android's future will be relying mainly on OpenJDK now, and Oracle's proprietary version of the JDK will be out of Google's plate.
On an interesting note, Google CEO Sundar Pichai announced at the Delhi University in India that the final name of the upcoming operating system could be decided through an online poll.