Bytes: What’s new in tech
Sell your house with a click
A real estate startup called Opendoor wants to make buying and selling homes as easy as any other online transaction, said Farhad Manjoo in The New York Times. After you register your address on the site and answer a few basic questions, Opendoor will make an offer on your home within 24 hours. Once you’ve accepted the offer, the company can close on the sale in as little as three days following a home inspection. Opendoor then sells your house on its own online marketplace. Unlike traditional real estate agents, who typically charge a commission of between 5 and 6 percent, Opendoor charges an average of around 7.5 percent. Right now, Opendoor operates in Dallas, Las Vegas, and Phoenix, with plans to expand to new markets by the end of the year.
Apple drops some coding knowledge
Apple wants to help high schools and colleges train the next generation of app developers, said Greg Toppo in USA Today. The tech giant recently unveiled a free app-building curriculum, including 180 hours of lesson plans and instructional projects “designed to stretch out over the course of a school year.” The course focuses on Swift, a programming language used to create apps for Mac and iOS devices, and builds on Apple’s “Everyone Can Code” curriculum, which covers kindergarten through 12th grade and is geared toward students “with little to no prior coding experience.” Apple says six community college systems have already committed to teaching the material this fall to an estimated 500,000 students. The course materials are available online in the iBooks store.
Warby Parker’s optometrist
“Warby Parker wants to get you the right prescription glasses without forcing you to get an in-person eye test,” said Josh Constine in TechCrunch.com. The low-cost eyeglasses retailer is testing a new app that uses your smartphone and computer to administer a 20-minute, at-home eye test. Warby Parker’s Prescription Check app has users stand back from their computer screen, where the test is displayed, while reading instructions from their smartphone. When the test is done, results are sent to a doctor who signs off on the final prescription. For now, the app is only available to existing Warby Parker customers between the ages of 18 and 40 who live in California, Florida, New York, and Virginia and can only be used to confirm existing prescriptions; updated prescriptions will be available in the future.