Google moves toward Chrome as Oracle threatens to establish Android's Java infringement

Posted:
in iPhone edited May 2014
Oracle's Java infringement case against Google's Android is reportedly nearing a reversal of last year's original finding that defended Android. Meanwhile, Google is focusing new attention on Chrome web apps rather than a continuation of Android's original "embrace and extend" Java strategy.

Dalvik


Two moves announced today cast new doubt on the future of the current state of Android as a Java-like platform for running Dalvik virtual machine middleware on mobile devices with limited resources, the company's original strategy for Android (above).

Android Dalvik in hot Java

The first comes from the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. Florian Mueller of FOSS Patents drew early attention to two reports indicating that the court will likely reverse last year's ruling by District Judge William Alsup.

That decision had stated that Google's copying of Oracle's Java API code for use in Android wasn't an infringement of Oracle's rights because the appropriated code wasn't protected by copyright. With a reversal, Oracle can sue for damages and seek to force Google to make Android compatible with Java.

Back in the early 1980s, Apple similarly sued copycat vendor Franklin for cloning its Apple II code. It initially lost before the ruling was overturned by an appeals court that found Apple's code was worthy of copyright in a landmark case that shifted the industry.

If last year's ruling in Google's favor is indeed overturned, there may still be an opportunity for Google to argue that its use of Oracle's Java code was permitted as fair use. In any case, losing the appeal would greatly complicate Google's future plans for Android.

Google moves toward Chrome


With the Java-like architecture of Android's app platform under renewed scrutiny, Google moved to steal headlines with the announcement today that the former leader of Android, Andy Rubin, is now working on robots, a media distraction on the order of Amazon's "Prime Air" stunt for Cyber Monday.

Additionally, a report by Emil Protalinski of The Next Web states that Google is working to bring Chrome web apps to Android and iOS devices as early as next month.

Essentially, Google's plans for Chrome would allow developers to create web-based apps that could run on virtually any mobile device, leveraging the middleware of the web via JavaScript rather than the Java-like virtual machine used by Android.

Google has succeeded in promoting the widespread adoption of Android at the expense of Oracle's own Java (which was similarly on more than 80 percent of phones prior to Android). However, despite replacing the fragmented mess of various Java Mobile implementations with the monoculture of Google's own Dalvik VM, Android hasn't created a rich, successful ecosystem for mobile apps comparable to Apple's iOS App Store.

Shifting away from Android's Dalvik and toward Chrome would allow Google the opportunity to reassert control over the mobile app platform, not just on devices that shipped with Android, but also the other, more valuable half of the mobile market that's using iOS, a market segment that dominates education, the enterprise and affluent users who make purchases.

Additionally, by focusing app development on web apps via Chrome, Google can also move away from Android as a development platform, distancing itself from the core of Oracle's complaint.

Google has also made no secret of Cordova, its plan to host Chrome web apps on Android, a strategy outlined by Mobile Chrome Apps software engineer Michal Mocny this summer (below).

Mobile web apps

Apple already supports web apps on iOS, allowing developers to wrap a generic, standards based mobile web app to appear and behave similarly to a native iOS app written in Objective-C to Apple's proprietary Cocoa Touch development platform.

However, developers including Facebook have backed away from cross platform mobile web apps as a viable strategy, citing the performance and additional sophistication that can be achieved with native code."The biggest mistake we made as a company was betting too much on HTML5 instead of native" - Mark Zuckerberg

Last year, Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg said "we've had a bunch of missteps" in deploying mobile Facebook apps, and that "the biggest mistake we made as a company was betting too much on HTML5 instead of native [platforms]." He added "Native [platform development] is going to be the approach that we go with for iOS and Android" and that "We're betting completely on it."

Apart from Android's Dalvik, Google lacks a substantial native platform code strategy, greatly preferring to use the web as the front end for its popular services ranging from Gmail to Google Docs. In contrast, Apple prefers native apps on iOS and OS X, having only recently created a web version of its iWork suite, and directing any iOS users who seek to access iCloud via the web to use Apple's native iOS apps instead.

Google's move to focus on Chrome was easy to predict after the company replaced Rubin as the head of Android with Sundar Pichai, who had previously worked on Google's Chrome browser and led Chrome OS development.

The move to 64-bit processors in future mobile devices would also be much easier with Chrome, enabling Google to transition just the Android brand to new hardware without having to invest further in Android's defining Dalvik architecture in order to bring it into compliance with Oracle's Java standards.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 114
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,905member
    "Oracle's Java infringement case against Google's Android is reportedly nearing a reversal of last year's original finding that defended Android."

    My fingers are crossed! Go Larry, spare no evil people.
  • Reply 2 of 114

    The natives will succeed !

  • Reply 3 of 114
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 4,424member

    even more fragmentation from Google, so any developers they convinced to develop for android phone will now have to support yet another version of their programs and deal with all the various issue associated with the new interface.

     

    Yeah this is going to go well for them, But if you were in their shoes right about now with all the lawsuits both in the software and hardware worlds around Android and loosing out on the mobile market from an ads placement stand point, they have to do something which is platform agnostic. But we know how well that going to suck for the users...

     

    The best part is they sent Andy off to play with Robots, that is Corporate speak for "He is on specially assignment" thus on his way out but they making him work off his contractual requirements, no golden parachute for him. 

  • Reply 4 of 114
    magman1979magman1979 Posts: 1,108member
    Should I be breaking out the champaign yet that the fall of Android is upon us?
  • Reply 5 of 114
    mknoppmknopp Posts: 257member
    Holy smoke! So, in the end it won't be Apple or Microsoft that will kill Android (is it is now) but Google itself. I am going to play analyst right now and peer into my crystal ball and pull some BS out of my !%^% (analyst must be the best job in the world). I predict that five years from now Android on mobile devices will be only a very small fraction of what it is now. Samsung which is already distancing itself from Android, and is the largest producer of Android products, will finally transition to their own internal OS. Along with this exodus will be many of the third and fourth tier companies that bloat Android's sales figures with rock bottom price cheap products, because they only use Android because it is free. If they have to pay for a Java license then they will find another free solution. Most likely go back to their own in-house solutions that they used to run. I expect that Microsoft will actually be the biggest winner of this fall-out as their old whipping boys will come crawling back to Microsoft rather than paying for a version of Android that Google will no longer be supporting and they don't have the expertise or money to develop themselves.

    If you like I also do palm readings. :)
  • Reply 6 of 114
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,905member
    mknopp wrote: »
    Holy smoke! So, in the end it won't be Apple or Microsoft that will kill Android (is it is now) but Google itself. I am going to play analyst right now and peer into my crystal ball and pull some BS out of my !%^% (analyst must be the best job in the world). I predict that five years from now Android on mobile devices will be only a very small fraction of what it is now. Samsung which is already distancing itself from Android, and is the largest producer of Android products, will finally transition to their own internal OS. Along with this exodus will be many of the third and fourth tier companies that bloat Android's sales figures with rock bottom price cheap products, because they only use Android because it is free. If they have to pay for a Java license then they will find another free solution. Most likely go back to their own in-house solutions that they used to run. I expect that Microsoft will actually be the biggest winner of this fall-out as their old whipping boys will come crawling back to Microsoft rather than paying for a version of Android that Google will no longer be supporting and they don't have the expertise or money to develop themselves.

    If you like I also do palm readings. :)

    Hopefully Scansung's attempt at their own OS will fail miserably.
  • Reply 7 of 114
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,406member

    At the initial development of Android, Google even admitted in court that it was either illegally use Java to get to the mobile market quickly due to the iPhone, or to develop something from scratch and be late to the game.  Google essentially pulled a Samsung.  Copy/Infringe, ride the waves and get off before the rocks approach.



    I'm not a fan of Larry Ellison, but I hope he drops the hammer on Android.  Freakin wannabe-iOS clone...

  • Reply 8 of 114

    The telecoms’ response:

  • Reply 9 of 114

    This article makes it sound like Google's only hope is the use of web apps through Chrome if they lose the lawsuit to Oracle.  Google has already developed an alternative to Dalvik which is present on any device running Android 4.4 KitKat--it's called ART.  Not only does it supposedly avoid all of these issues with Oracle, but it is also supposed to speed everything up on the OS.  A double win!

  • Reply 10 of 114

    Uh, web apps already exist. k thx bye

  • Reply 11 of 114
    philboogiephilboogie Posts: 7,435member
    marcellus wrote: »
     Google has already developed an alternative to Dalvik which is present on any device running Android 4.4 KitKat--it's called ART.

    Will they Fork it for tablets ¿
  • Reply 12 of 114
    mknoppmknopp Posts: 257member

    I actually just had a thought. I wonder how many mobile phone manufacturing companies will simply exit that market if Android starts to include a licensing cost. Every quarter it is released that Apple and Samsung have over 100% of the profits because everyone else lost money. At what point does LG, HTC, Acer, etc. throw up their hands and say that they are done making mobile phones? I expect that any mention of having to invest or spend even more money into a profit blackhole would have to seriously raise that question.

     

    If not then I am going to add mobile phone manufacturer CEO as another greatest job ever where I could run a profit losing business for years on end and the investors are fine with it.

  • Reply 13 of 114
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post





    Hopefully Scansung's attempt at their own OS will fail miserably.

     

    Having worked for Samsung, I can tell you that it will most definitely fail. Samsung does everything half-ass. If people saw how this company is run, they would be shocked that it has been as successful as it has been. Above everything else, Samsung is a copier, not an innovator.

  • Reply 14 of 114
    Oracle should and will kick google, android, larry page and his glass moron partner as well as that dumb andy rubin with his stupid smile .....'ass! LMAO

    Listen folks, this is Larry Ellison we talking. Nobody and I mean nobody should mess with this guy.
  • Reply 15 of 114
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post





    Will they Fork it for tablets ¿


     

     

    Umm... Not entirely sure what you are getting at.  KitKat with ART included is currently available on phones and tablets.  I don't know a lot of details about ART, but I fail to see why forking for tablets would be a consideration ¿

  • Reply 16 of 114
    gwydiongwydion Posts: 1,067member

    Yap, Google will ditch Android and because of that they have spent more than a year developing a new runtime to replace Dalvik.

  • Reply 17 of 114
    Larry and Steve Jobs were best buds. They would both be laughing about this. One upstairs and the other down here.
  • Reply 18 of 114
    tundraboytundraboy Posts: 1,598member
    Fair use? Google claims that their use of Java Code is fair use? Building a whole line of business based on someone else's proprietary material is fair use? Ha, ha, ha.
  • Reply 19 of 114
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post





    Hopefully Scansung's attempt at their own OS will fail miserably.

     

    If their solution was better than Android, one would think they'd emphasize it.

  • Reply 20 of 114
    Really funny! I saw the headline, and thought to myself "that's a headline that could only have come via that paid shill of Oracle, Florian Muller". He also translated most of Oracles wet dreams into commentary during the first court case, but the judge and jury saw straight through it. One paragraph in, and bingo!

    Best of luck, guys. Maybe it won't be Judge Alsup needing to expose that this guy is paid by Oracle for his "independent" views this time around. Perhaps they may one day pick someone more plausible.
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