iPhone Developers Unite!

The South Florida iPhone Developers Group is a great indicator that the tech community in South Florida is not only alive and well, but growing. The group, organized by Ben Bloch, has grown from 84 members to 114 members in just over a month. As the person responsible for organizing the South Florida iPhone Meetup Group, it’s only natural that Bloch be the person to tell us why we should be excited about iPhone OS 3.0…

Bloch’s response:

The most noteworthy things about 3.0 are in-app purchasing and push notifications. I know a lot of our members are excited about new ways to monetize iPhone applications with in-app purchasing, including selling subscriptions to content and offering virtual goods. Push notifications offer developers new ways to keep users informed and engaged when they aren’t using the application.

Push notifications seem to be circumvention for one of the major complaints about the iPhone – the inability to have applications run in the background. With push notifications, users can still get alerts from an application even if it’s closed. So far, the benefits of push notifications can be seen in a few obvious scenarios (new IMs, new Tweets, challenges from opponents in casual games, and news alerts). Give iPhone developers a little more time, and I’m sure we’ll see even more creative uses of these kinds of notifications.

The in-app purchasing feature seems music to a developer’s ears, and I don’t just mean a ca-ching sound. So what’s the benefit, other than an additional way to monetize? In-app purchasing makes it possible to consolidate like-themed applications. For instance, Davide DiCillo, creator of Art for iPhone, has to sell an app for each individual artist that is part of his project. With in-app purchasing, DiCillo could sell one app that allows users to choose which artist they want content from within the app. DiCillo, a South Florida iPhone developer and Bloch’s assistant organizer for the South Florida iPhone Developer Group, does  a great job of explaining the benefits of this feature on his blog.

Bloch founded the South Florida iPhone Developer group in July, 2008 in honor of all the excitement surrounding the iPhone platform at the time. The purpose of the group is to share the enthusiasm for the platform and provide a forum for making connections and, of course, help advance the South Florida tech community in turn. Group meetings are held at Brikolodge, Miami’s coworking space, which Bloch says “has been a great venue for our events, and another strong piece of evidence that our tech community is alive and well”.