Android N is the name of the next version of mobile products that will release Google in 2016. And the big news about it is, for the first time, they won’t use Oracle’s proprietary Java application programming interfaces (APIs).
This information was confirmed by a Google spokesperson to VentureBeat, three days before the New Year. “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”, quoted the website.
According to it, Google now will use OpenJDK, the open source version of Oracle’s Java Development Kit. This source is still controlled by Oracle, but Google is allowed to use it.
Even when this decision has changed 8902 files of programming in Android, Google has said it will simplify the app development by giving a common codebase for Java instead of having multiple codebases, as it works now.
Behind the story
APIs allow different applications to talk to each other, and many developers want to be able to freely copy them to make it easier for apps working together. Google has related this change to the necessity of getting a bigger impact when designing features and improvements in its products. But, in the other hand, a lot of people say this is not a casualty.
In fact, it may be an anticipated answer to a legal battle which started five years ago when Oracle sued Google for using its Java APIs in its Android devices, violating Oracle’s patent and without giving them a proper compensation for copyright.
In 2012, a jury from a district court in United States determined that Google wasn’t violating Oracle’s property because Java’s APIs can’t be copyrighted. But, in 2014, this decision was partially reversed after Oracle appealed. Again in 2015 the U.S. Supreme Court sent the case back to a lower court and now it is still open.