Citing anonymous sources, The Next Web reports that Google is considering making Swift a “first class” language for Android. But Google isn’t the only tech giant eyeing Swift: Facebook and Uber are said to be considering a similar move.
Ever since Apple launched Swift, the programming language has seen rapid adoption, and going open-source has given it the push necessary to increase its popularity even more. Since then, the demand for developers familiar with the Swift language has spiked, and now Google is considering adopting it for Android. Since Swift is now open-source, Google can do that, but there are certain challenges it needs to address, and it has to choose between Swift and another programming language, Kotlin.
While using Swift for Android sounds like science fiction, it isn’t impossible. As The Next Web points out, Google would need a runtime for Swift, to make its entire standard library Swift ready, and to support the language APIs and SDKs. This means work, as some APIs need to be re-written.
Facebook and Uber are also showing interest in Swift: TNW points to a Github pull request in the Swift repository named “Port to Android” made by a Facebook employee. Also, sources have confirmed Facebook is working with Swift internally, although they didn’t specify how thoroughly.
Uber, on the other hand, seems to have less work to do than the other two, and it already has an example it can follow: Lyft’s transition to Swift.
Don’t expect either this transition to happen anytime soon or a public announcement from the aforementioned companies.