NEWS IN BRIEF: Google Maps, Asian Android, Gartner, AOL, Certicom

Google has introduced a new feature to Google Maps - the ability to track the location of users friends via their mobile phone. The opt-in service will allow users to update their location status on-the-fly.

SingTel has revealed the first Android-powered phone released in Asia, the HTC Dream, which will soon launch in Singapore and Australia.

North American enterprises will operate more mobile phones than desktop phones by 2011, according to Gartner. This shift has been driven by the use of smartphones, wireless email and IP telephony services.

AOL recorded an operating loss of $1.9 billion in Q4, CIO reports. The result was largely due to a $2.2 billion asset write-down, but revenue fell 23% to $968 million.

Certicom has given the thumbs-up to RIM's renewed bid for the security vendor. Rim doubled its bid price to C$3 ($2.43) per share, 43% higher than VeriSign's offer. VeriSign has until February 11 to increase its price.