SlashGear has been hanging out with Google this week, at the I/O 2009 conference. You can read our first day and second day highlights for the full details, but perhaps the most interesting news was Google's Wave demo for iPhone and Android, and Andy Rubin's confirmation that there should be 18-20 Android handsets on the market by the end of the year. One of those is expected to be the HTC Hero; make sure to check out the promo video for the chin-heavy smartphone.
Gizmodo got their hands on Microsoft's answer to the iPod Touch: the Zune HD. So far, they've only had a few minutes to play with the device, but their impressions are favorable. Giz claims that the UI is nicer than the iPod Touch (and the iPhone) and the overall design and "beauty" of the device is much nicer than that iPod Touch.
Those mock up photos leaked earlier in the month turned out to be the real deal. Microsoft announced the Zune HD today. The device is meant to compete with Apple's iPod Touch. The HD comes from the device's support of HD Radio and 720P HD video (through the optional docking station) and will feature a 3.3" 16:9 multi-touch OLED display. This makes it the first portable media player to include HD radio, giving it a higher quality sound than standard definition radio.
The Zune HD is actually a "digital entertainment handheld" that will allow Microsoft to take on Apple, Sony, Nintendo and Google, claim the latest leaks. In fact, according to TeamXbox.com, rumors regarding the Zune HD actually started filtering in all the way back in August 2008; their sources tell them that the Microsoft device - codenamed "xYz", to suggest the bridge between Xbox and Zune - will be a converged device but not a phone, and have a large WVGA touchscreen display together with "hardware features not found on any handheld on the market".
It now looks like June will not see a new Microsoft Zune HD launch, as the company admits it accidentally linked to a fake Twitter account. Rumors started earlier this week, after a tweet from account "officethemovie" suggested that a new Zune would land next month; however, the account Microsoft's Office 2010 Movie site intended to link to is "Office2010Movie".
More Microsoft Zune news today, as the company's own developers tip a new product set to launch in June. The Office 2010 team are mainly intending to twitter about their software, but they've also suggested that "June 2009 will be an important month for Zune lovers"; a second tweet advised would-be iPhone and Palm Pre buyers to hold off in anticipation of a new Microsoft product launch.
After artwork images leaked online of the new Zune HD, more details are now coming out about the next generation MP3 player from Microsoft. The Zune HD is rumored to feature an AMOLED capacitive touch display with a 16:9 aspect ratio, and HDMI out. It will coming in 16GB and 32GB flavors, and will be poised to compete directly with Apple's iPod Touch.