Apple Makes Swift Open Source, Developers Rejoice | Crunch Report


Uber wants to color code your next ride, yahoo
messenger takes a giant leap into modern times, Facebook wants all y’all to start live broadcasting,and
more… It’s Thursday, December 3rd and this is Crunch
Report. Four Uber rivals have decided to team up and
fight the big guy. Lyft in the U.S., Didi Kuai-di in China, Ola in India and GrabTaxi
in SouthEast Asia have made a deal to work together on technology and services. So, starting
in Q1 of 2016, customers of each company will be able to use their local apps to order transportation
when they travel to the other markets in the network. The companies say that each country
will handle “mapping, routing and payments through a secure API.” A Didi spokesperson
tells TechCrunch “The idea is not to merge and acquire but to find people we can work
with. In China we have an urban population of 800 million but we are only currently serving
250 million, so we have a lot of room to grow, and this population will always be our priority.”
So far, the group has raised $7 billion in funding but Uber ALONE has raised $8.21 billion
and is reportedly raising another $2.1. BILLION. It’s worth nothing Didi has already invested
in Lyft, GrabTaxi and Ola, so further partnership isn’t too left field. Speaking of Uber, here in San Fancisco, AKA
startup hell, Ubers are plentiful. And these days with my broken foot, I take a minimum
of two Ubers per day just to get to and from work. Luckily, there are more than enough
Ubers, they’re everywhere, and my wait time is always under 5 minutes. The issue with
that? Getting into the wrong Uber. You see a Prius, you see the Uber sticker in the windshield,
you think it’s yours but they’re waiting for someone named Tracy. The embarrassment! The
shame! Thankfully, Uber’s already working on a solution. It’s called SPOT and it’s an
LED light that drivers attach to their windshield, and can display either a yellow, orange, pink,
purple, blue, or green hue… which is chosen by the passenger. So, you pick purple, and
the driver rolls up with a purple SPOT light and you know it’s them. Going even a step
farther, passengers can even hold down the purple button on their phone and wave it in
the air to help their driver find them. The feature is testing in Seattle, and if it’s
popular and helps Uber, it could be rolled out to more markets. As TechCrunch’s Josh
Constine points out, it may be asking a lot to get the majority of drivers to mount the
LED screen in the first place, and make sure they work properly. Also, let’s say I’m not
the only one who really loves the color purple and Tracy chooses purple too and her Uber
rolls up first? Still not totally foolproof. But much more so. Yahoo Messenger just got a revamp, focused
on mobile, group messaging and image sharing. So if for some reason you don’t want to use
Facebook Messenger, or WeChat, or WhatsApp, or Viber, or Line, or Telegram, Yahoo Messenger
might be just the messaging app for you! You olds remember that Yahoo Messenger’s been
around since 1998 as an alternative to AOL Instant Messenger on the desktop. Today, Yahoo
Messenger’s got a lot more competition.. although it’ll let you download original full size
photos if you want to save them in your camera roll, which other messaging apps don’t do.
You can unsend messages that you want to take back before the recipient reads it.. and you
can also “like” messages for those times you want someone to know you read the message
but don’t need to send a response like “ok”. A bit like FB Messenger’s thumbs up button.
Yahoo Messenger supports GIFs too in case you were worried. Yahoo is smart enough not
to make you use your Yahoo ID either. You can log in with your phone number and then
scan your address book to find other Yahoo Messenger contacts. Even so, this seems like
a pretty crowded market already. Facebook is now testing its Live streaming
video broadcasting feature with all users – not just journalists and celebrities – on
iOS in the U.S. So, very much like what Periscope does, but only Facebook friends will receive
notifications about broadcasts, and afterwards, replay videos are automatically saved and
remain permanently visible. The team at Facebook says Live is part of the company’s push “to
help friends and family feel like they’re in the moment with you”. Facebook also has
a new sharing format which lets you post multiple photos and videos as tiles in what it calls
Collages, available to iOS users starting today, and Android next year. Side note: I
can’t wait for a world where iOS and Android just always get the same updates at the same
time. To go back to the Periscope comparison again, Facebook is making this functionality
part of the News Feed itself, rather than a standalone app like Twitter has with Periscope.
That might lead to more usage overall. Apple’s programming language Swift, which
is used by OS X and iOS developers for desktop and mobile apps, has gone open source under
the Apache License. So now, all the source code, including the code for a new package
manager, can be edited and compiled for all sorts of programs without attribution. Apple’s
also spelling out more plans for Swift on a new site, swift.org. Swift’s creator, Chris
Lattner, started working on Swift in 2010 and Apple announced availability at a developer
conference in 2014. The code is available today and can be compiled anywhere on any
platform. That’s the report for today. I’m Sarah
Lane. Crunch Report airs every weekday at 7 pm Eastern,
4 pm Pacific, on techcrunch.com. You can also find us on iTunes, and on YouTube. See you
tomorrow!

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