In Oracle’s exclusive developer preview release of standard Java 8, it has revealed the compatibility of Java 8 with ARM processors, which equip most smartphone devices. The Java 8 platform would include many rich capabilities, including JavaFX rich media platform, which hints at the development of a possible Oracle based OS for smartphones.
Oracle.com blogger Roger Brinkley quoted that Java SE (Standard Edition) 8 Developer Preview Release for ARM is intended to get ARM developers testing Java SE 8 before its release on September 2013.
Forrester Research analyst John Rymer believes that the move is targeted to hurt the development of Android on the Java frontier. As we all know, Google won the patent-infringement lawsuit by Oracle, earlier this year. Clearly, Oracle wants to retaliate with an even stronger blow. Hence, it is developing JDK [Java Development Kit] 8 and JavaFX with ARM support. They can prove to be a viable alternative to the much popular Android OS for ARM devices.
However, considering the amount of popularity Android has gained and the way it has been adapted into billions off gadgets, switching to a Java platform can’t be Oracle’s overnight ploy. Some experts believe that JavaFX would never gain much developer attention.
According to Rymer, JavaFX would fetch less adaptation as it was developed by Sun Micro Systems to compete against Adobe Flash/Flex, and Microsoft Silverlight. Originally, it was developed with an idea to provide a rich, portable app environment by bringing functions provided by the browser plugins into the Java Core. However, as the idea never gained much attention, it is highly unlikely that it could be a possible threat to Android, for now at least.
However, we cannot count off Oracle so early. Though the road might be tough, if developers feel that Android is not a good platform to develop secure, robust applications, they may switch to Java 8. We all know how much developers have been complaining about malicious apps on Android, and the lack of DRM support. (Paid apps can easily be downloaded from third-party app stores for free) Besides, there are also a lot of bugs in the former versions of Android- Android 2.3, which threaten the integrity and the working of the apps. Developers have been complaining about the fragmentation issue, too. Hence, there are lot many reasons to switch from Android, provided they have a better platform and sufficient amount of audience.
In the current scenario, however, the road looks tough. Developers have been already using their Java skills to develop applications supporting the Dalvik virtual machine running on Android devices. According to a leading blog- Info World, the chances of an open source implementation of Java running on Android via the OpenJDK project are very slim.
Though it would take a lot more to threaten the dominance of Android in the smartphone market, Oracle is at least trying to fire a few long distance shots. With JavaFX support for ARM, though Oracle cannot win the race now, it can at least stay in it.