An Italian school has launched the first Android-specific course in Apple's increasingly popular open source Swift programming language.

The Swift University based in Reggio Emilia claims to be the first, globally, to offer the course for Android, and aims to show students how to use the programming language across both platforms while avoiding the limitations associated with cross-platform middleware such as Xamarin.

At the heart of the course is the use of a bespoke integrated development environment (IDE), rather than a converter, that allows coders to program in Swift instead of Java while using the normal classes of the Android SDK. The course summary, through Google Translate, is as follows:

swift android

By attending this course you will learn how to program apps for Android devices via the Android SDK but written in the Swift language. Thanks to this innovative course, students can easily port iOS projects to Android and/or develop a multi-platform app without using a middleware. This course is suitable for those who are already programmers in Swift, Java, C #, Objective-C and other programming languages. Topics are updated to the latest version of Android SDK.

Swift was introduced by Apple in 2014, with the aim of replacing Objective-C as an easier-to-learn language, and garnered major support from IBM and a variety of apps like Lyft, Pixelmator, and Vimeo. Since then it has steadily risen to prominence among both emerging and established developers, and last month broke into the top 10 in the TIOBE Index, which ranks programming languages by popularity.

Apple has actively promoted Swift as ideal for children who are keen to code, demonstrating its gentle learning curve in Swift Playgrounds, an app that teaches children how to use the language. Apple has been updating and refining Swift since its debut, and unveiled Swift 3.1 on March 27.

(Thanks, Marcello!)

Tags: Swift, Android

Top Rated Comments

iBluetooth Avatar
94 months ago
I don't understand. Doesn't everything on Android need to run on the JVM? Are they compiling Swift to bytecode for JVM? I'm not an Android developer so I don't know how this would work.
Android has native development for C code, for those parts of apps that need to run fast like in games running many frames per second, as Java is slow and has garbage collection which can start unpredictably. The Swift is run like a C app in NDK.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
muharremoglu Avatar
94 months ago
Guys look at this maybe it could help...
https://realm.io/news/swift-on-android/
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Schnapple Avatar
94 months ago
What limitations are those?
Not 100% sure what they mean but I've done a project in Xamarin (back before Microsoft bought them).

If you're writing an Android app using Android Studio or Eclipse and Java and something doesn't work it might be a problem with Google's code, but you have the vast sea of Android developers to talk to about it. If you're writing an Android app using Xamarin it could be Google's fault, it could be Xamarin's fault (you're not interacting with Google's Android SDK you're dealing with Xamarin's .NET-based wrappers around everything), it could be the Mono Project's fault (since Xamarin is basically commercial Mono), it could be Microsoft's fault (since Mono is a re implementation of .NET, and yes there's been a few issues I've run into where it's blamed on Microsoft). And the only people you can interact with is the tiny subset of Xamarin Android developers and you might just be waiting for one of the four parties involved to fix their stuff or you get to take it into your own hands. Meanwhile the guys doing "native Java" are off and running.

That's the main thing I can think of. A number of the other issues wouldn't be resolved by this, like how very little code is truly cross platform. Your business rules come across for the ride, that's cool. But interaction with the OS is different per-platform. Networking, graphics, etc. is all different. So you're not losing the need to write/maintain all that separately, you just get to do it with the same syntax is all.

Of course he could just be referring to the idea that their compiler doesn't turn Swift into code that runs on Android directly but rather compiles Swift into terrifying-to-read Java and then compiles it, which would avoid the wrapper issue to some extent, but would still likely have some problems like however reliable their translator is.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Gorms Avatar
94 months ago
Oh, how I dream of official support for Swift from the Android team.

Who am I kidding, they'd stick with it for 4 years then fork it to create their own version, Swiftyer, or something. *side eyes Blink*
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Agent OrangeZ Avatar
94 months ago
Please, does anyone know what method or way they are using? Please provide a link, I would much rather use Swift than Java. (and its not 1. april)
Well... according to the story... there is an Italian school that would love for you to enroll in their course so they can teach you how to do it. Just sayin'...
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
djcerla Avatar
94 months ago
Giving a glass of water to someone in Hell

Steve Jobs
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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