Tech news from around the web:

Google has officially launched games on its social network, Google+, ZDnet reports. The launch, which will roll out gradually, includes games like Angry Birds, Bejeweled Blitz and Zynga Poker, the company said on its blogRead more

Tech news from around the web:

Online game group Zynga has teamed up with Chinese social network Tencent to launch a version of its CityVille game for the mainland Chinese market, VentureBeat reports. Tencent is China’s most popular internet service portal with more than 674m users. Read more

Tablet makers are reintroducing the pen in digital form in their attempts to gain an advantage over Apple and its iPad. Lenovo’s ThinkPad Tablet, unveiled on Wednesday, offers an optional pen that allows on-screen handwriting to be converted to text, among other applications. This week’s Personal Technology column in the FT’s Business Life section looks at this and other pen options including the HTC Flyer, Penultimate for the iPad and the Livescribe Echo. Read more

Quietly brilliant. The pithy two-word slogan of Taiwan’s HTC could readily sum up the company’s recent performance.  Read more

Taiwanese smartphone maker HTC clearly did not take Chinese New Year off. On the first day after public holidays ended, HTC announced it had made two investments that could expand its online offerings.

The first is buying a US$40m stake in OnLive, the company offering console-style games over the internet. The second is a GBP30m acquisition of Saffron Digital, a London-based mobile video specialist. Read more

From around the web:

  • ComScore’s 2010 digital trends shows that email usage is down 59% among teens, TechCrunch reports.
  • Groupon founder and CEO Andrew Mason has responded to the Super Bowl ad controversy. He writes on the company blog, “The last thing we wanted was to offend our customers – it’s bad business and it’s not where our hearts are.”

 Read more

Taiwanese handset maker HTC began 2011 with an announcement at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas of three flavours of 4G phones for the leading operators in the US. The Thunderbolt should appear on Verizon’s LTE network by the spring, Sprint’s Wimax network will feature the Evo Shift and AT&T ‘s HSPA+ network has the Inspire from February 13. I have been testing the Inspire, which is very similar to the Desire HD, available in Europe and Asia. Read more

Tech news from around the web:

  • Twitter is set to more than triple its advertising revenue to $150m this year as more companies use it to spread marketing messages, according to Bloomberg, with ad sales set to hit $250m by 2012.
  • In a move that could let its users avoid having their online actions monitored, Mozilla Corp is planning to add a “do-not-track” feature to its Firefox browser, the Wall Street Journal reports. The announcement would make Firefox the first Web browser to heed the Federal Trade Commission’s call for the development of a do-not-track system.

 Read more

It’s two years this month since the birth of the first Android phone, the HTC G1, with its godfather T-Mobile celebrating with the release of an official successor, the G2.

Of course, there have been many other Android phones in between, but the G2 is as good a milestone as any to assess how far these Google phones have come. Read more

Part of the charm of HTC, the fast-growing Taiwanese smartphone company, is that it strives to maintain an air of eager-to-please humbleness – or as its marketing tagline goes, of being “quietly brilliant” – even as it climbs through the ranks of the world’s biggest smartphone makers.
So it was a bit of a surprise when Cheng Hui-ming, chief financial officer, bawled out an analyst during the quarterly results conference call on Thursday for asking what seemed a rather innocuous question. Read more

Another day, another raft of new patent infringement lawsuits. Thursday saw Apple file new claims against Taiwan’s HTC, this time alleging that the smartphone maker infringed patents including the technology for the “slide to unlock” start screen. Read more

As lines began to form for the iPhone 4 outside Apple stores on Wednesday, Motorola and Verizon Wireless tried to steal a little of the limelight with their unveiling of the next-generation Droid X.

However, the new smartphone seems more of a competitor to another Android phone – the HTC Evo, sold by Sprint. Read more

The first fourth-generation cellphone in the US – the HTC Evo on Sprint’s WiMax network – is a fast, video-rich smartphone that can turn itself into a Wi-Fi hotspot. Read our Personal Technology review from the Business Life section of Friday’s FT:

“Even without its 4G mobile broadband capabilities, HTC’s Android-powered EVO 4G smartphone is an impressive touchscreen-based handset because it combines many of the best features found in other devices to produce what could start a whole new category, which might possibly be called ‘superphones’.”

 Read more

In this week’s Personal Technology column in the FT’s Business Life section, we look at whether the latest HTC smartphone is deserving of its superlative name.

“Names can become a hostage to fortune but Taiwan’s HTC clearly hopes this will not be the case with the Droid Incredible. While the latest in HTC’s rapidly expanding portfolio of smartphones may not quite qualify as “incredible”, it is perhaps the best Android operating system-based handset to date.”

 Read more

HTC scored a hit with the Android-powered myTouch 3G when it was launched by T-Mobile USA in July last year. Now the Taiwanese smartphone maker has followed up with the myTouch 3G Slide which features a slide-out mini-Qwerty keyboard and the curiously named ‘Genius Button’ on the front of the handset.

Pressing the Genius Button enables users to use voice commands to control the phone and its features including making calls, composing and sending texts and e-mails or searching for a nearby restaurant. It will also read text messages aloud, and lets users  dictate and send responses. Read more

There’s further evidence today that Google’s Nexus One has so far been a flop.

The phone barely registers in a comparison of the amount of internet traffic generated by the 11 handsets that use Google’s Android operating system:

(Nexus One is the narrow green line barely noticeable at bottom right). Read more

There are not many companies that can get both Google and Microsoft executives to show up at a construction site to say what an indispensable partner they are, but Taiwanese smartphone maker HTC did just that on Friday when they held the ground-breaking ceremony for their new HQ and R&D centre in Taipei.


 Read more

HTC’s Android-powered  Evo 4G – the first Wimax-enabled smartphone which will be offered for sale by Sprint Nextel this summer in the US – was unquestionably the star of the telecoms industry’s CTIA show in Las Vegas this week. (See Chris Nuttall’s earlier post.) But it was not the only smartphone show in town.

Other new smartphones launched at CTIA included HTC’s HD2 which looks very similar to the Evo 4G but runs Microsoft’s Windows Mobile 6.5 and is available from T-Mobile immediately for $199  – if you can find one. Read more

The first 4G phone in the US, the HTC Evo unveiled by Sprint at the CTIA show on Tuesday, ticks just about all the boxes for my ideal phone.

We await details of pricing and plans and exactly when the handset will be available this summer, but the features are mouth-watering enough to satisfy the thirst of smartphone addicts for the time being. Details after the jump. Read more

HTC, the Taiwan smartphone maker sued earlier this month by Apple for alleged patent infringement, said on Thursday that it “disagrees with Apple’s legal actions and will fully defend itself”.

The statement is HTC’s first official response to the lawsuit, but HTC’s statement reveals relatively little about the company’s planned legal strategy. HTC did not say how and when it would make a formal legal response to Apple’s suit.

The statement, however, did emphasise a long list of HTC’s technological ’firsts’ that predate the iPhone. Read more