Friday Grab Bag: The Cost of Hot Dogs and New Nexus Coming?

If you cannot get enough of Facebook on your mobile devices this will be very good news. The company has delivered an app called ‘Facebook Home’ that is an Android program which replaces your normal Android home screen.

Scheduled to be launched within the next two weeks the app will also come preinstalled on new HTC First Phones that will be available from AT&T. Facebook is working to launch a version for tablets in the near future. Head over to TechCrunch to see what the new features will be.

Next Gen Nexus rumored for July
The latest in the tablet rumors is that Google’s popular Nexus tablet will be seeing a platform refresh this coming July, according to a report in Reuters, and from the sounds of the report the company plans to be very aggressive in its pricing.

The new Nexus would feature greater screen resolution, a thinner bezel and a new processor, dropping Nvidia in favor of Qualcomm. It is reported the company will be seeking to sell 8 million tablets in the second half of the year.

Speaking of Google rumors another has it building an Android powered notebook that it is planning to launch as early as in the third quarter of this year.

Amazon Kindle Phone on the way?
Computerworld is reporting that Amazon is looking at developing and delivering a smartphone that it would deliver later this year. It is not clear of Amazon would make it a type of Kindle phone or if it would be a more traditional Android device.

Amazon recently hired Charles Kindel who had formerly headed up Microsoft’s Windows Phone application and platform developer relations. Apparently Kindel has been blogging that he was hired by Amazon to ‘do something secret” I am sure blogging will help keep it a secret.

Ematic delivers low cost Android tablet
If you are looking for a low cost tablet, possibly as a single use device or one that you are not afraid to have damaged you might want to look at the latest offering from Ematic and its $79.99 7-inch Genesis Prime tablet.

While certainly not designed to set the world on fire with its features it does have a 1.1GHz Intel Core Duo processor, 4GB on-board storage, 5GB cloud storage, 512MB of RAM, front-facing VGA camera and 4.5 hours of battery life.

No peanuts or crackerjacks here
Sports fans are always competitive and now they can see how they rank in two very important categories- how much they are spending on beer and on hot dogs at the ball yard, thanks to a survey by CNN Money.

I have to say I surprised at the differences. You can buy six hot dogs at Cincinnati’s Great American Park for the price of one at the New York Met’s Citi Field, for instance. Beer is most expensive in Washington D.C. and cheapest in Cleveland.

Google Expands Hardware Offerings with Latest Trio

Google did not let the cancellation of its New York event due to Hurricane Sandy get it down and came to market today with a trio of new products including a pair of tablets as well as a new smartphone all running the latest version of Android.

Starting smallest first is the latest in its smartphone lineup, the Nexus 4, built by partner LG. It features a quad core processor, a 4.7-inch 320 ppi screen with wireless charging capabilities. On the software side there are several new or enhanced products starting with the latest version of its Android operating system, Jelly Bean 4.2., support for Gesture Typing and a new photo technology called Photo Sphere.

The 8GB version is available for $299 while the 16GB for $349; available unlocked and without a contract on November 13. The 16GB version will also be available through T-Mobile for $199, with a 2-year contract

It has revamped its existing Nexus 7 to make it slightly thinner and lighter and with expanded communications capabilities with HSPA+ mobile data plans from carriers such as AT&T. The Wi-Fi-only versions will larger storage options: 16GB for $200 for the original version or 32GB for $250. The 32GB HSPA+ version of the tablet will cost $300.

The company has also broken into the 10-inch tablet space with the debut of the here’s also the Nexus 10, built in partnership with Samsung. With a high end display with a 2560 x 1600 resolution display and a battery than can support nine hours of video playback. It has a range of interesting features including support for multiple users with their own profiles and apps. The Nexus 10 will be also be available on November 13 in two storage capacities- the 16GB for $399 and the 32GB for $499.

The move comes days after Microsoft entered the 10-inch tablet space with the first of its Surface tablets. A host of third party Windows 8 tablets are expected in the next few weeks and months. Apple has also just expanded its iPad franchise with the release of the iPad mini last week. It was just a few weeks ago that Amazon expanded its Kindle lineup.

One thing is for certain-consumers looking for a tablet this holiday season will have a much broader, much better built lineup of products from a much bigger range of developers.

Mobile Sports Report TechWatch: New Nexus, Windows 8, iPads on Horizon

This should be the start of a great couple of weeks for techies. Apple has its event on Wednesday, purportedly to announce the new iPad Mini but with Apple they could have an entirely different product to surprise the market, although I doubt it. Then Microsoft takes center stage the following day in New York to announce its Windows 8 operating system and show off its Surface tablets, along with the offerings from its OEMs.

The following week Microsoft unveils Windows 8 Phone along with Nokia and other partners in San Francisco. At the same time Google is hosting an Android event in New York. After all of this settles it will be time to look for the holiday gifts, at least the ones that you are going to get for yourself to keep your mobile sports jones going.

The Google announcement looks as if there will be several major components, according to Cnet. The next generation of the Android operating system, 4.2 will be on the table as well as a Nexus 4 phone from LG and a larger Nexus tablet, the Nexus 10, this time made by Samsung.

Google to settle with FTC?
The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Google is considering settling a case with the Federal Trade Commission over claims its Motorola Mobility unit violated antitrust laws. It has to do with how it licensed patents that were listed as industry standards.

Acer’s 7-inch tablet priced at $230
According to a report in the WebProNews Acer will be listing its 7-inch Iconia Tab A110 at $230. Slated for release on Oct.30 the tablet will have a 1024 x 600 resolution, 1GB of RAM and 8GB of storage while powered by a Nvidia Tegra quad-core processor.

4K is now Ultra HD
If you have been looking at cameras, televisions and other devices that list among their features that they are 4k you probably know that it means that they have a horizontal resolution of approximately 4,000 pixels. Well now the Consumer Electronics Association has decided to toss that into the trash and use the term Ultra HD when used with televisions that support 4k.

The minimum requirements to use the Ultra HD tag will be resolution of at least eight million active pixels, which is a minimum 3,840 x 2,160 resolution. Displays must have an aspect ratio of at least 16×9 and must have a digital input capable of carrying native 4K video, instead of relying solely on up-converting.

Apps bolster smartphone usage
Market research firm NPD has studied the issue of whether additional apps lead to more time on a smartphone. It found that yes, the connected consumer does spend additional time using the smartphone. The company’s Connected Intelligence SmartMeter found that when comparing monthly usage of minutes per day for August 2012 versus August 2011, Android smartphone users spent nearly one-fifth more time on their smartphones daily – 247 minutes, or over four hours versus 210 minutes or 3.5 hours. While I think many intuitively have believed this it is very nice to have someone actually do the research to back up opinions.