OpenJDK Planning to Bring Java to iOS Platform
OpenJDK Planning to Bring Java to iOS Platform
By Bhupinder Kour
July 11, 2019 5 min read
Last update on: July 18, 2019
  • OpenJDK planning to allow Java development for Android and iOS device.
  • It will be focusing heavily on iOS devices.
  • It introduced GraalVM ahead-of-time compiler.

The OpenJDK and Java Community has recently proposed the idea of making Java capable to enter uncharted territory – iOS. The community has shared that they are looking to restart their work on the OpenJDK Mobile center project to make this happen.

But the questions that arise here are – What made them take this decision? And what exactly is OpenJDK Mobile project? 

Let’s uncover the answers here.

OpenJDK 

OpenJDK (Open Java Development Kit) is a FOSS (Free and open-source) implementation of Java SE (Java Platform Standard Edition). It was developed by OpenJDK and Java Community, Oracle Corporation, IBM, SAP SE, Red Hat, and Apple Inc, and is used for creating solutions that are compatible with Linux, Mac OS X, OpenIndiana, and many other platforms.

Released back in 2007, OpenJDK has recently come up with an update under the project name ‘OpenJDK Mobile Center’ that has brought it back into the limelight.

This project has introduced a set of APIs in the latest version of the OpenJDK source repository to Android and iOS – giving developers an opportunity to use Java development tools in the mobile ecosystem. 

It has also come up with various other opportunities like handling UI controls for the client applications, maintaining a seamless communication with the help of server-side cloud and third-party services, and employing platform-specific APIs to eventually produce a native executable for Android and iOS devices.

However, the prime focus has been kept over the iOS platform. This is because though initial Android versions have supported Java for development, there is no such opportunity available in Apple iOS ecosystem. iOS does not offer any traditional support for Java, JVM (Java Virtual Machine), and the whole concept of JIT (Just-in-time) Compilation.

So, with the perspective to make Java presence active on both platforms, the team has introduced GraalVM ahead-of-time compiler for effective code compilation at the build time in iOS, which will aid developers to connect the compiled Java code with their native libraries and make the whole executable for Apple platform. 

This implies the Java developers will no longer be required to invest their time in learning Objective-C or Swift for getting into iOS app development world. They will be able to employ the cross-platform environment of Java for creating iPhone mobility solutions and leverage better competitive advantages.

While bringing Java for iOS is the prime element of this proposal, the community is also planning to introduce Gluon’s own Eclipse plugin and obsolete RoboVM tool for using Java on Android devices.

Besides, they are also planning to release a synchronized fork of OpenJDK master using Project Skara.

This, as a whole, gives a clear indication that Java is planning to bring revolutionary changes in the mobile app economy – both in Android and iOS ecosystem. So, not only for Java developers, it is a great opportunity for those in Android and iOS application development also. They will be able to tap on new opportunities in the mobile industry and leverage higher advantages.

So, if you are also a Java developer or someone in the Android/iOS mobile ecosystem, keep yourself updated with all such announcements related to OpenJDK mobile – for which can rely upon our news section.

Bhupinder Kour
Bhupinder Kour
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