​Google's Go programming language reaches version 1.5 with better mobile support

Google's Go language for building software for datacentres is being fleshed out as a tool to build mobile apps.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer

Programming language Go has reached its sixth major stable release.

Go was developed by Google engineers in 2007 to support faster programming on massive and high performance distributed systems. Its latest stable update, version 1.5, contains some significant changes, including better support for building Go apps for mobile devices like Apple's iPhone.

According to the Golang blog, among several new OS and architecture ports, Go 1.5 includes a new relatively "mature" port for darwin/arm, darwin/arm64 (Apple's iPhone and iPad devices), and linux/arm64.

"The new darwin/arm64 port and external linking features fuel the Go mobile project, an experiment to see how Go might be used for building apps on Android and iOS devices," Andrew Gerrand, an engineer at Google who works on Go, said.

Though Go is used mostly for solving server-side software problems, the project is also now taking in mobile. The latest release builds on Go 1.4, which added support for Android, allowing developers to write simple Android apps using only Go code.

Gerrand highlighted a few more features for developers that build with Go in the current release, including a completely redesigned garbage collector -- used to clean out old objects consuming memory -- with lower latency and better scheduling. The release's compiler tool chain has now been translated from C to Go and includes improved developer tools.

RedMonk's June programming language rankings, based on Stack Overflow data, recorded a rise in Go's popularity among developers, which has climbed quickly to become the fifteenth most widely used language, behind front-runners JavaScript and Oracle's Java. Apple's relatively new Swift language is the eighteenth most popular language.

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