A number of companies including Google and Facebook are reportedly interested in adopting Apple's Swift programming language. According to The Next Web's sources, representatives from Google, Facebook and Uber attended a meeting in London to discuss the language.
Based on the details that are known so far, it seems Google will be putting Swift to the most use. Facebook and Uber just say they will make Swift more central to their operations, whereas Google want to allow Android developers to use the language, as an alternative to Java.
Google's interest in Swift likely has something to do with the on-going legal battle between Google and Oracle (who owns Java). If a move to Swift does happen, Google would have to make much of the software Android relies upon Swift-ready, including APIs and SDKs. Other software such as Android Studio would also need to incorporate Swift.
Since its launch in the summer of 2014, Swift has become a popular alternative to Objective-C among iOS developers. Towards the end of 2015 it was open sourced, and just last month the language was updated to include Linux support. If Google decide to make Swift a first class language on its Android platform there's a good chance it will be popular among developers.
Google's annual developer conference, I/O, is coming up in just over a month. As the London meeting involving Google, Facebook and Uber is alleged to have only taken place at the end of last year it may be too early for Google to announce anything at I/O 2016, we may have to wait until next year.
As to why these companies had to meet to discuss a language, it's probable that Google wants Uber and Facebook to update their apps to use Swift, which it could showcase if it ever introduces Swift as a language for app development.
Source: The Next Web