Last Saturday we had a local Cocoa Washington DC Meetup over at Bear Rock Cafe in Falls Church, VA. It was the third of these meetups that I helped organize, the first in 2006 (aka CocoaDevHouse Washington DC) and the second last year. We’re planning to have these more often now – about once a month.

There were 8 of us there and it was a diverse group. Two of us had shipping Mac OS X apps: Booxter and WebnoteHappy. Two more were working on creating new Mac apps, which is great to see. One of us had a shipping web front-end for a Mac telephony device. And another of us worked on an AFP/Print Server that ran on Windows. Several of us were of course interested in developing for the iPhone.

There was a lot of discussion about the iPhone. Specifically: how much should iPhone apps be priced? It seems like there’s a bigger market for iPhone, but it seems like the price points will be lower.

Also, extrapolating from the fact that roughly 2/3rds of iTunes users are Windows users, its likely that iPhone will be also roughly 2/3rds Windows users. So you can’t just assume that iPhone users will have access to a Mac to run a companion desktop app.

We talked a bunch about the neat things that were built into the iPhone like the accelerometers, location, and camera.

We were also curious if there would be some common Apple API for Push, like how iPhone supports “push” email. That would help us write apps that depend on asynchronous events being received. On the Mac, you would write a background app that polls or listens to some queue. It might be interesting if this push API was somehow integrated with .Mac.

Also we were wondering if iTunes syncing would be available for iPhone apps.

We talked at length about the high bar that is set for Mac applications. You have to have a good application icon and a good look and feel overall. Someone said it was intimidating. I think though that this results in a better overall experience for everyone because when apps are released they have a much better chance of being good overall.

Then we debated the age-old question of quitting your day job. We decided that it’d be good to:

a) have a lot of savings,

b) write your website marketing copy first (so you build the right things),

c) make sure your wife/significant other supports you and

d) know your worst case scenario – which in the DC area is usually just getting a job.

Finally we wrapped up with a bit of Intellectual Property advice: write down your idea, put it in an envelope, stick on a stamp and mail it to yourself. The postal service postmark serves as a cheap way to authenticate the time that you had that idea and establishes prior art.

Bear Rock Cafe was a great host – they gave us a reserved table with a semi-private room and pushed together a few tables for us. They also had wifi though I think I was the only one with his laptop open, taking notes.

Expect the next one to be in the first or second week of May. Viva Cocoa!