Traditionally Apple has been the maintainer of Java for OS X. This is about to change. In the not too distant future Oracle will be taking over the reins from Apple. Oracle is the maintainer for Java on Windows, Linux as well as Solaris. Therefore, it only makes sense that Oracle be in charge of the OS X release as well.
Starting today, the Oracle Java Development Kit (JDK) 7 and JavaFX 2.1 SDK are both available for those Macs running 64-bit OS X 10.7 Lion. Neither the JDK nor JavaFX 2.1 support 32-bit systems. This will leave many 10.7 systems to be maintained by Apple’s Java releases. If you’re a Java developer you can go and download the SDKs from java.oracle.com. The current version is Java 7 Update 4.
The JDK and JavaFX 2.1 SDKs does not mean that the Java web-plugin is available for OS X users. Do not despire though, starting with Oracle’s next up, Java 7 Update 6, the web-plugin as well as the webstart will be available and maintained by Oracle. OS X users can now rejoice. The updates for OS X will be available simultaneously as their Windows, Linux and Solaris brethren. With this type of release cycle, it should eliminate some of the issues caused by Apple releasing Java 6 Update 31 for OS X six weeks after Windows, Linux and Solaris users received their updates. This release cycle could also eliminate malware like “Flashback”
If you’re a Java developer and you prefer the Mac then you should definitely check out JDK and JavaFX for OS X. Remember, you have to have a 64-bit Mac in order to develop with JDK or JavaFx on OS X.