Go 1.4 gets Android support
Written by Kay Ewbank   
Tuesday, 16 December 2014

A new version of Go has been announced by Google with support for developing native Android apps along with better garbage collection.




The Android support is still at the ‘heavy development’ stage, according to the Go blog. Writing about the new release on the blog, Andrew Gerrand said that using the support in the core and the libraries in the repository, it is now possible to write simple Android apps using only Go code. However, he says that at this stage,

“the support libraries are still nascent and under heavy development. Early adopters should expect a bumpy ride, but we welcome the community to get involved.”

The Android support is provided via the golang.org/x/mobile repository. This has packages that generate language bindings to enable the calling of Go code from Java to create a fully native app. The repository also has example code and bindings for OpenGL. The release notes  say that the focus will be on supporting games written in Go, and that this much smaller subset of Android apps will be written against the much smaller C-based Games API surface.

The plan is that the app will use OpenGL to draw to the entire screen without exposing any of the Android screen management infrastructure. Once the Android support is released in the final version, all the APIs supported by the Android NDK will be exposed via a Go package.

The other major change to Go 1.4 is to the garbage collector. This is partially to form the basis of a fully concurrent collector that is undergoing development over the next few releases. There’s also a change to the syntax of for-range loops.

You may now write "for range s {" to loop over each item from s, without having to assign the value, loop index, or map key. O

ther changes are detailed in the release notes. This release also coincides with the project's move from Mercurial to Git (for source control), Rietveld to Gerrit (for code review), and Google Code to Github (for issue tracking and wiki). The move affects the core Go repository and its sub-repositories.

You can find the canonical Git repositories at go.googlesource.com, and the issue tracker and wiki at the golang/go GitHub repo.




More Information

Go 1.4 is released

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