Android was built on top of Java, which began life at Sun Microsystems before being acquired by Oracle. There’s been a bit of legal issue between Oracle and Google over the latter’s use of Java, and this is likely at least a small factor in Google’s decision to abandon Oracle’s proprietary Java APIs in the next version of Android. A bigger factor, I’d speculate, is that with the balance of Android being open-source, moving to an open source Java implementation is probably the right thing to do.
Google has confirmed that it will move to OpenJDK, the open source version of the Java Development Kit, in the next version of Android dubbed Android N. The move was spotted by keen watchers of the Android codebase, and has later been confirmed to VentureBeat:
“As an open-source platform, Android is built upon the collaboration of the open-source community,” a Google spokesperson told VentureBeat. “In our upcoming release of Android, we plan to move Android’s Java language libraries to an OpenJDK-based approach, creating a common code base for developers to build apps and services. Google has long worked with and contributed to the OpenJDK community, and we look forward to making even more contributions to the OpenJDK project in the future.”
It looks as though this has been in train for a while now — going back to February 2015 — but with Google’s recent statement confirming the move, the change must be just about complete. We should see the results in six months or so once Android N makes an appearance.