Facebook may have been a hunting ground last year for developers expanding their social mobile programs, but their sights are set on growing with Google in 2012, a new study suggests.

According to a new report by mobile platform company Appcelerator and analyst firm International Data Corporation (IDC), developers are more interested in using Google products such as Google+, search, Gmail and the Android Market to implement their social strategies.

The survey — which was conducted among 2,173 developers worldwide — found that 39% of participants said the network effects of Google’s initiatives are more important to their social strategies in 2012 than Facebook’s social graph.

SEE ALSO: Facebook Wants to Own Your Social Graph

“Google is learning some good lessons from Facebook about what not to do and what to do better,” Appcelerator principal analyst Michael King told Mashable. “We didn’t expect Google to expect to do so well against Facebook, but it puts them at an advantage. Many developers now see Google as offering more opportunities for growth than Facebook.”

The report also found that developers have expressed less interest in developing Android apps this year “due to continued fragmentation of the platform” and are looking to expand their iOS efforts. It noted that HTML5 will play a bigger role in the mobile app development space this year.

About 79% of mobile developers who took the survey indicated they plan to integrate HTML5 into their apps in 2012. Not surprisingly, overall mobile app development continues to grow. More than half (53.5%) said they are focusing on mobile strategies compared to 27.4% in 2010.

Do you think that this is a sign that more consumers could leave Facebook to access app programs on other sites? Do you think Google+ could take on Facebook in the future? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

More About: Facebook, Google, Social Media, trending

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2000

 




 

Google began its St Patrick’s celebrations in 2000 with a green logo sporting a jaunty leprechaun’s hat.

Click here to view this gallery.

Top of the morning to you! Today is Saint Patrick’s Day and here at Mashable we’re celebrating with a gallery of all the Doodles Google has ever posted on March 17.

There’s plenty of different shades of green, a good few shamrocks and yes, you guessed it, a leprechaun or two to be spotted in our ultimate Saint Patrick’s Day Google Doodle collection.

SEE ALSO: How to Animate Your Google+ Profile
So, don an oversized green hat, grab yourself a Guinness and take a look through our image gallery. Let us know in the comments below how you’ll be celebrating St. Paddy’s special day this year.

More About: dev and design, features, gallery, Google, google doodles, st patricks day, trending

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1. Pi Symbol Ice Cube Tray

You can’t have a Pi Day party without Pi-shaped frozen water!

Cost: $12.98

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Pi Day is upon us once again! Obviously, March 14 (3.14) is an appropriate day to celebrate the irrational number — and it also happens to be Albert Einstein’s birthday!

Here at Mashable, we’re geeking out with 10 awesome accessories that honor pi. From clothing to kitchen accessories, we’ve found a range of items that feature everyone’s favorite mathematical constant.

SEE ALSO: 10 Awesome Accessories Featuring the Vintage Apple Logo [RAINBOWS]
 

Take a look through our mathtastic gallery of goodies. Let us know in the comments below how you’re celebrating Pi Day.

More About: accessories, features, Holidays, math, trending

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firefox-chrome-metro-600

If you’re reading this on a PC, it’s probably on Google Chrome or Firefox — the two most popular browsers on Windows that Mashable readers use. It’s a telling example about how most tech-savvy Windows users don’t use the default browser on their machines, Internet Explorer. But how’s that going to change when Windows 8 launches later this year?

Windows 8, as you may know, has two modes: the familiar desktop, and the all-new Metro interface (for a primer on Windows 8, check out this link). Metro differs from traditional Windows in many ways, but one of the ways that’s not often talked about is that Microsoft will have final say over what apps run on it, since Windows 8 users will only be able to download Metro apps from the Windows Store.

With such ironclad control over the new operating system, would Microsoft even allow other web browsers to run in Metro? The answer is yes, and Mozilla is already hard at work developing the Metro version of Firefox, one of the company’s developers revealed on his personal blog. He also revealed a little tidbit: Browser apps will work somewhat differently than other Metro apps.

Mozilla engineer Brian R. Bondy says there are three types of Windows 8 apps: those that run solely in the classic desktop, Metro apps, and Metro-enabled browsers for the desktop. It’s the last one that Metro versions of Firefox (and presumably Google Chrome) will be.

SEE ALSO: Windows 8 Consumer Preview: The Good, the Bad and the Metro [REVIEW]
Bondy references a Microsoft white paper that says Metro-style browsers aren’t completely confined to the Metro environment. That means, as Bondy describes, that the browser can be just as powerful as its desktop equivalent, with the ability to multitask, download files in the background and render web-based HTML5 apps in their entirety.

That’s because, if Internet Explorer 10 is any indication, that the browser is essentially the same animal whether it’s running in the desktop or Metro — it’s only the user interface that’s different. Still, that involves quite a bit of coding, and Bondy says it’s a “very large project.”

There’s a catch, though: For a browser to run in Metro, the user must pick it as the default browser. That likely won’t be an issue for most fans of Firefox and Chrome, but it does mean you won’t be able to have multiple browsers open in Metro.


BONUS: A Tour of Windows 8


 

Start Menu

Here’s what greets you every time you log into your Windows 8 machine. Yes, the tiles are customizable, though it’s a little unwieldy in practice.

Click here to view this gallery.

More About: Firefox, google chrome, IE10, internet explorer, Metro, trending, web browsers, Windows 8

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A new lifestyle-inspired iOS wallpaper app, Paper’d, is available Monday, offering free, professionally designed wallpapers based on everything from pop culture to worldwide travel.

The app was created by two best friends Jamie Varon and Nicole Antoinette. You may remember Varon from 2009 when she created the website TwitterShouldHireMe.com. The site got a ton of attention, which ultimately led her to create the high-end boutique web design company Shatterboxx in April of that year.

A few months after creating Shatterboxx she stumbled upon now business-partner Antoinette’s blog, reached out to her on Twitter, and the two became friends. Fast forward to December 2009, the Twitter buddies finally met in San Francisco, decided to move in together 24 hours later, and within a few weeks Antoinette became the other half of the Shatterboxx team.

Shatterboxx has done design work for a number of popular blogs including TheBloggess and Rocket Shoes, but this is its first introduction into the app world.

“I always wanted to change the wallpaper on my phone. I would look all over the Internet for options, and they were all on websites. That’s so inefficient,” Varon told Mashable. She found that most wallpaper options were also just curated pictures from the web. “None of it meets the quality of what I’d want to put on my phone,” she said.

The project started out as creating wallpapers for her personal use that she would also share with friends. When her friends started emailing her asking for new wallpapers, Varon realized that there might be a larger market for the designs.

 

Paper’d was created by two best friends Jamie Varon and Nicole Antoinette.

Click here to view this gallery.

“People don’t need this app, but it will be super fun to have,” says Varon. “We’re passionate about design, and these are things people will look at and say ‘That’s cool!’”

Paper’d offers 200 free, hand-designed wallpapers, as well as around 260 additional images that are part of locked collections priced between $0.99 to $1.99 a piece. Each wallpaper comes with a lock screen image as well as a complementing home screen image. Images –including those that are part of locked collections — can be previewed on your iPhone before you download, and you can choose to download just one wallpaper or an entire collection to your Camera Roll at once.

Varon anticipates adding at least one new collection of wallpapers to the app each week, potentially more or less over time depending on demand.

Curious how two people could go from Twitter friends to launching an app together? Check out the infographic below for more on Varon and Antoinette’s story.

More About: apps, iphone, trending, Twitter

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Android users, the time has almost come. Instagram, the popular photo-filtering and sharing app, is on its way to Google’s mobile operating system.

Co-founder Kevin Systrom announced at SXSW Sunday that the long-awaited Android version of Instagram is nearly here. He teased the version on stage, but didn’t provide a demo. The Android version is currently being tested in private beta and will be released “very soon.”

“In some ways, it’s better than our iOS app. It’s crazy,” Systrom said. In a Q&A following his presentation, Systrom said the app is fast, works great on large screens and can share photos to Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and other networks.

What took the startup so long to bring what’s clearly an extremely popular app to Android? “I don’t think it took us so long. We just had priorities. Had we tried to be both on Android and iPhone at the same time, it would’ve been tough to innovate in the way that we have,” he said.

Systrom announced, in December of last year at LeWeb, that the Android app was in development. Knowing that it’s in testing now means Instagram for Android is at least that much closer to release — but nothing more specific.

Systrom also announced Sunday that the iOS version of Instagram — which was named Apple’s iOS app of the year last year — has seen some 27 million downloads.


BONUS: The Best Instagram Photos Ever Taken


 

1. Maura Grace (@folkfibers)

Josh Riedel: “I love the way you can travel through photos. Maura (@folkfibers) travels the USA in her VW van, and her photos take you along for the ride. I like to imagine Maura pulling to the side of the road and leaning out her window to snap this shot as she’s leaving the park.”

Click here to view this gallery.

More About: android, Android apps, instagram, trending

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1. LooGix

 




 

LooGix lets you make GIFs from a minimum of two frames to a maximum of 10. You can adjust the size and speed to preset levels.

In addition to GIF-making, this service offers “special effects,” such as blurring, rotation, fading, etc.

Once you’re done, upload your GIF to social services, get the HTML code to embed or send it via email.

Click here to view this gallery.

If a picture tells a thousand words, then an animated GIF must be good for a few more. Whether you want to animate your avatar, get involved in a meme, or amuse your friends with a funny photo sequence, an animated GIF is a great way to do it.

We have found — and tried and tested — five free online services that make creating animated GIFs an absolute cinch. With click-to-upload functionality and simple settings to customize your creation, you’ll be a GIF-engineer in no time at all.

SEE ALSO: How to Animate Your Google+ Profile
Take a look through the gallery for a brief overview of the five free tools we’ve tried and tested. And remember folks, animated GIFs should be used sparingly.

More About: features, GIFs, online, photo editing, software, trending

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Daylight Saving Time can make waking up the morning after “springing forward” or “falling back” the most confusing times of the year. Fortunately, the Internet is now home to an absurdly accurate clock that can instantly put any confusion to rest.

Time.is tells you whether your computer clock is fast or slow — down to ±5 millisecond.

Though Time.is boasts about being the world’s most accurate web clock, before its latest upgrade, it had been thrown off by as much as 300 milliseconds because of network latency. Now, the site’s accuracy has been significantly improved by using your current location to compensate for the minimum latency of your connection, giving it almost-perfect accuracy.

When I sampled Time.is, it told me the clock on my computer was 1.7 seconds slow. It also knew I was in Brooklyn, N.Y. and sent me this helpful alert: “Brooklyn switches to daylight saving time at 02:00 on Sunday, March 11. The time is set one hour forward.”

Advanced users can take advantage of Time.is’s calendar, favorite locations and find the time difference between two locations. The clock is truly global — you can adjust the first day of the week (Saturday, Sunday or Monday), the date format and the time format.

Have you seen any other great time-telling resources online? What about mobile apps? Share your go-to clocks in the comments.


BONUS: 5 Ways to Turn Your iPhone Into an Alarm Clock


 

1. Luckybits BirdBox Alarm Clock

This avian-themed offering will add a touch of whimsy to your bedside table. Once you’ve chosen your BirdBox from the four colors available, and downloaded the free app, you’ve got a sweet (or should that be tweet?) way to wake up in the morning.

The iPhone fits in the box and displays an analogue clock through the hole. You can tap the screen to see the birds inside and wake to the sound of the birds cuckooing — much more pleasant than blaring alarms.

Cost: $11.95

Click here to view this gallery.

More About: alarm clocks, Clocks, trending

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1. Personal Killer Whale Submarine

 




 

Seabreacher Y not only looks like a 17-foot killer whale, it acts like one too. But this is one killer whale you’d like to be sitting inside. It’s powerful enough to hydroplane along the surface at 50mph and zip along underwater at 25mph.

Besides its killer looks, it even has a rear-facing camera ‘s video you can watch on an LCD screen. It’s not a deep-diving sub, though, going only 5 feet down, but the fun begins when you throttle up and leap the thing out of the water like a porpoise.

Save up your $100,000, and you too can turn into a virtual killer whale.

[via DVICE]

Click here to view this gallery.

In a week dominated by Apple’s iPad event, there were a surprising number of fascinating tech products introduced at the same time. We dug deep, looking for not only the coolest products and designs, but those that are unusual, useful, and futuristic as well.

We continued our experimentation with Windows 8, and found a plug-in that’s already been developed, perhaps easing the pain of the transition for those resistant to change.

We also got our hands on a spectacular (yet pricy) lens system for the iPhone, and found it to be an exceptional product.

SEE ALSO: Previous editions of Top 10 Tech This Week
As is our wont, we found astonishing conveyances for traveling both underwater and on land, and tossed in a surprise or two along the way. So here it is, the latest Top 10 Tech This Week.

Here’s last week’s Top 10 Tech.

More About: cars, ipad, iphone, Top 10 Tech, trending, Windows 8

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The New iPad Details Hit Apple.com

 




 

The new 9.7-inch iPad has 2048 x 1536-pixel retina display, 5-megapixel camera (with the same optics sensor from the iPhone 4S) and 1080p video recording. It is available March 16 in black and white, powered by A5X chip (with quad-core graphics) and supports 4G LTE networks. It’s 9.4 millimeters thick and 1.4 pounds.

Wi-Fi only iPads cost $499 for 16 GB, $599 32 GB and $699 for 64 GB, while 4G versions cost $629 for 16 GB, $729 32 GB and $829 for 64 GB. Pre-orders start today, and the devices will be in stores March 16 in these 10 countries: U.S., UK, Japan, Canada, Switzerland, Germany, France, Hong Kong, Singapore and Australia.

Credit: Apple.com

Click here to view this gallery.

Apple announced a new 4G LTE iPad featuring a 9.7-inch retina display Wednesday, following months of speculation about the company’s next big launch.

Its name? The new iPad.

The company made the reveal on stage at San Francisco’s Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, home to Apple’s previous two iPad launches.

The new iPad — which starts at $499 — has retina display, a 5-megapixel camera (with the same optics sensor from the iPhone 4S) and 1080p video recording.

“[It has] text sharper than a newspaper. Photos will look incredible. Fonts look amazing,” said Phil Schiller, Apple’s SVP of worldwide marketing, during the event. “[It has] the best mobile display that has ever shipped.”

The new iPad will hit stores Friday, March 16, in the U.S., as well as in Japan, the UK, Canada, Switzerland, Germany, France, Hong Kong, Singapore and Australia. It will be available in both black and white.

Weighing in at 1.4 lbs and 9.4mm thick, the LTE device will work with AT&T and Verizon in the U.S., and Bell, Telus and Rogers in Canada. It will have 10 hours of battery life and 9 hours on 4G.

 

Photos on the New iPad

Images show up sharp and clear on the iPad’s new Retina Display.

Click here to view this gallery.

Pre-orders start today. Wi-Fi only iPads will cost $499 for 16 GB, $599 for 32 GB and $699 for 64 GB.

SEE ALSO: Live From the Apple iPad Event [LIVE BLOG]
4G models will cost $629 for 16 GB, $729 for 32 GB and $829 for 64 GB.

The iPad 2 will now cost $399 for Wi-Fi and $529 for Wi-Fi and 3G capabilities.

The iPad will also feature retina display with 2048 x 1536 pixels and 264 pixels in each inch. It will have a whopping 1 million more pixels than HDTV.

The new device will also boast 44% greater saturation and A5x quad-core graphics.


Camera


The tablet also comes with significant camera upgrades. An upgraded iSight camera has 5-megapixel resolution with backside illumination. In addition, the camera includes a 5-element lens and a hybrid IR filter. It also includes autofocus and white balance and an edge-to-edge, auto-focus lock. In essence, Apple has taken the optics of the iPhone 4S and put them in the iPad, albeit at a slightly lower megapixel rating.

The camera records video in 1080p, up from 720p on the iPad 2. It includes built in video stabilization, which as iPhone 4S users know, works surprisingly well.

Apple sent press invitations last week for today’s event, teasing “We have something you really have to see. And touch.” Although some believed the “see” alluded to a new retina display for the next-generation iPad others said it could be a reference to two product announcements — and that’s exactly what happened.

Apple also announced a new Apple TV, which features a streamlined interface and supports 1080p video. Movies and TV shows from iTunes are now available in 1080p.

Software updates are also available for iMovie, GarageBand and iWork — starting today. It also released a stunning new iPhoto for iPad app ($4.99) that will allow users to manage and edit pictures.

What do you think of the news? Is it what you were expecting? Let us know in the comments.

 

Apple iPad Event

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More Coverage of Apple’s New iPad


More About: apple, Apple TV, ipad, ipad 3, Mobile, Tablet, trending

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