Google has officially confirmed that starting from Android N, it will be replacing Oracle’s Java APIs with open source OpenJDK. It made the confirmation in a response sent to VentureBeat. While the real reason behind the move is unknown, there is a high probability that it has something to do with the legal dispute between Oracle and Google.
Oracle bought Java’s developer Sun Microsystems in 2010 and sued Google over copyright issues for using its APIs in Android without permission. In response to this, Google had said that APIs can not be copyrighted and a decision was taken in its favor in 2012. However, a Federal Court overruled the decision in 2014 and accepted that Google did infringe copyright by using APIs without permission. Later in 2015, the case was taken to the U.S. Supreme Court which refused to hear it and sent it back to lower courts. A legal result is yet to be announced and both the companies are still standing by their respective statements.
In its statement to VentureBeat, a Google spokesperson said,
“As an open-source platform, Android is built upon the collaboration of the open-source community. In our upcoming release of Android, we plan to move Android’s Java language libraries to an OpenJDK-based approach, creating a common code base for developers to build apps and services. Google has long worked with and contributed to the OpenJDK community, and we look forward to making even more contributions to the OpenJDK project in the future.”
The decision to go with OpenJDK instead of Java APIs starting from Android N will not be changing anything significantly for end users, but as for developers, it will make it things little easier for them as everyone will be coding on same platform and libraries.