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Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0) Hands-on

Android is now three years old, and with v4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich Google has given it perhaps the biggest update yet. With elements pulled in from Gingerbread and Honeycomb, ICS also has plenty of new functionality debuting on the Samsung Galaxy Nexus. We’ve spent some hands-on time with Android 4.0 on the new Nexus, so check out our first impressions after the cut.

The big takeaway is how consistent Android feels in this 4.0 release. Google has obviously worked hard to not only introduce new features but bring the older functionality up to speed so that everything fits together seamlessly, addressing a common criticism by iOS users that Android can feel piecemeal. The Roboto font looks great on the Galaxy Nexus’ high-res display, and the animations shown in page transitions and when you tap on-screen icons like the new virtual buttons for home, back and menu are eye-catching enough to be interesting but not so involved as to slow the overall experience down.

The homescreen is more flexible now, with similar widgets to Honeycomb but resizable in Ice Cream Sandwich. Rather than just a selection of different sizes, you can now pull widgets to expand them, useful for showing more of your inbox or calendar. iOS’ folder creation system – dragging and dropping icons on top of each other to quickly create a new folder – now appears in Android 4.0, and you can reorganize icons within that folder as well as pin it to the favorites tray at the bottom. Both apps and speed-dials can be put in folders.

The iPhone 4S has Siri, while Android sticks with its existing voice control system – now supercharged for real-time dictation. Rather than speaking, waiting and then watching a block of text appear, you can now see your words appear in real-time, including dictating smiley faces. It was hard going fighting the background noise at the demo center here to get an accurate impression of how well it all works, so that will have to wait until the full review. Still, it gave us a chance to try the new text control tools for the onscreen keyboard – like tapping a word for the in-line spellcheck – a system which works well. Cut/copy/paste has been boosted with the ability to drag highlighted text around the page.

Android Beam is the other big, eye-catching feature, Google using NFC to transfer webpage links, Android Market listings, YouTube links, people cards and more. NFC’s promise has always been about simplicity, and Ice Cream Sandwich delivers: hold two Galaxy Nexus phones back to back and, if the app you’re in supports Beam then a dialog automatically pops up to send the information. Tap the display and it shoots across – it’s easy to do even if you’re not looking at the screen. Sensibly Google has bundled the Android Beam APIs with the 4.0 SDK, available now, so third-party apps will be able to join in, something which could well have more of an impact on NFC adoption than mobile payments.

Ice Cream Sandwich hands-on demo

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Android’s browser has been reworked, now supporting up to 16 simultaneous tabs navigated between using the same UI as for the app switcher. A side-swipe shuts down an unwanted tab. Bookmarks are pulled across from Chrome on your desktop, but more useful is the new “Request Desktop Site” option in the menu which attempts to pull in the full webpage rather than the default mobile version many sites serve up. It’s a big improvement on trying to dig around a site’s page for an often well hidden option for the full site, and worked well on the test pages we tried it with. There are also new incognito mode options and the ability to see the most visited pages, as well as an offline page save so that you can come back to a site – images and all – even without a connection.

Google’s Face Unlock system for the homescreen obviously depends on your registering your face with the 1.3-megapixel front camera, but in the demos we’ve been shown it works well. If it can’t recognize you – we’ll have to wait until review samples arrive to see quite how often that happens – the regular gesture/pin unlock options are available too.

iPhone 4S vs Galaxy Nexus camera speedtest:

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Video, meanwhile, supports 1080p HD from the Galaxy Nexus’ 5-megapixel optics, and adds continuous autofocus during recording along with the ability to zoom. Timelapse recording is also supported natively, another app you won’t need to download. Most useful is likely to be the ability to capture photos while simultaneously recording video, which works well.

While Android phones have not necessarily always offered the best battery life, Google has always delivered the best tools for monitoring power usage. That focus has carried over to data usage in Ice Cream Sandwich, with the ability to track and limit what’s using mobile data and when. As with power there’s a simple graph showing your consumption, though with a predicted data use trajectory for the rest of the month rather than an estimate of what runtime you have left. Pull down a capping line and you can set a warning alert for if you exceed, say, 1.5GB each month; optionally you can have the phone lock down mobile data altogether after that point, great if you’re roaming internationally and only have a limited amount of data before facing extortionate per-MB fees.

Stats-hounds will love the granularity on offer, with the ability to zoom in on a specific part of your historic use and see which apps have been using what data. There’s differentiation between foreground and background data use, too, which is great to see what’s been quietly chomping away at your bundle, and you can block background data use on a per app basis.

The best aspect of Android 4.0 is how it all sits together. Google’s smartphone OS has always been more flexible than rivals, but it’s also felt more ramshackle: sacrificing some consistency along the way. Ice Cream Sandwich doesn’t fix that completely, though it’s a big improvement on what we’ve seen before. Integration of multiple third-party services, like Facebook, Twitter and the like, is handled with zero fuss and in a way that appears seamless. Google is still polishing the release build, and so there was some performance jerkiness at times, but when it moved fast it simply flew on the Galaxy Nexus’ 1.2GHz dual-core.

Google couldn’t say when other devices might get Ice Cream Sandwich upgrades, so it seems the only way – for the moment, anyway – will be grabbing a Samsung Galaxy Nexus when it hits shelves in November. From what we’ve seen today, of both Samsung’s hardware and Google’s software, that’s something we’re very much looking forward to.

Galaxy Nexus Hands-on:

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Official Ice Cream Sandwich Update For Htc Sensation Leaked: 3.32.401.3.

HTC seem to be very close to completing the Ice Cream Sandwich Android 4.0.3 update for the HTC Sensation. An official OTA (Over the Air) ICS update for the HTC Sensation was leaked, and it looks like it might be a beta version of the final update that HTC will release officially. This means that the official release date might be very close at hand, which should get a lot of people excited. The update comes with Sense 3.6 instead of Sense 4 which might disappoint some people, but this might change with the official update.

The leaked update is not a proper RUU and hence is not flashable directly, but XDA developer rmk40 has very generously and very quickly released a rooted version of the update, flashable from ClockworkMod recovery, which you can download and flash on your HTC Sensation right away, following this simple step by step guide.

Read on to find out how to install the 3.32.401.3 ICS update on your HTC Sensation.

Compatibility

This ROM and the guide below are compatible only and only with the HTC Sensation. It’s not compatible with any other device. Check your device model in Settings » About phone.

Warning!

The methods and procedures discussed here are considered risky and you should not attempt anything if you don’t know exactly what you are doing. If any damage occurs to you or your device, including a bricked, non-functional device, we won’t be held liable. You have been forewarned!

Pre-Installation Requirements

Rooted HTC Sensation with Clockworkmod Recovery installed.

Sufficiently charged battery, at least 50% is recommended.

Update: the post has been updated, with new step 11 taking care of flashing of bootloader required to make the Sensation boot with ICS Rom. For those who have already flashed the ICS rom below and are stuck with phone not booting, download file from step 1 and do step 11 (11.1 to 11.5). For those who haven’t anything yet, simply follow the full guide as said. Both step 1 and step 11 are very very important!!

Important! You need have the latest bootloader — meant for the ICS — in order to get your Sensation to work/boot. You should visit this page to get the boot file (or called firmware file: PG58IMG.zip). You got to check your CID and MID using the tools given there and then download the chúng tôi file from the many versions listed there, choosing one which matches your phone’s CID and MID. It’s a little bit tricky, but it’s just plain with-patience reading of all the info there, so do it carefully and nicely. After you’ve downloaded the chúng tôi for your phone, proceed to step 2 below, you will be using the chúng tôi file in step 11 below. (Just FYI, the PG58IMG.zip files available for download there are listed in post #2 there, while how to check your CID and MID is given in post #1 there.)

Download the Ice Cream Sandwich Rom file → Download Link 

Transfer the downloaded zip files from step 1 and step 2 to the SD card on the HTC Sensation.

Turn off the phone.

Start Clockworkmod recovery by simultaneously pressing and holding the Volume down button and the Power button. From the resulting HBOOT menu, press Volume down to select the Recovery option and press the Power button to activate it. In recovery, use Volume buttons to navigate and Power button to select.

Select “wipe data/factory reset”, then select “Yes” on the next screen to confirm data wipe.

Now select “install zip from sdcard”, then select “choose zip from sdcard”. Scroll to the update file on the sdcard (from step 2) and select it.

Important!. Do not reboot/restart the phone. instead, Power it Off. After the installation is complete, select “go back” and then Power Off the phone.

Flashing the chúng tôi bootloader/firmware file (from step 1):

Now is the time to flash the bootloader/firmware file from fastboot mode. Boot (start the phone) into bootloader mode to install the PG58IMG.zip bootloader/firmware file you downloaded in step 1. For this, press and hold Volume down and hit Power key, hold the Volume Down key until bootloader screen shows up.

Now select fastboot to enter fastboot mode where the phone will automatically check for the PG58IMG.zip file on sdcard and on finding one, will ask you to whether Update the phone with it.

Select Yes when it asks to update the phone. And watch it as it readies your phone for the treat called Ice Cream Sandwich.

After the chúng tôi has been flashed, rebooting the phone should be fine. Btw, some users have reported that only after they flashed the PG58IMG.zip 2 times, their phone booted successfully. So, don’t be shy of flashing the PG58IMG.zip file again if required.

After it’s done, simply select the Reboot option from the bootloader mode itself to restart the device.

(It’s very important that you downloaded the right PG58IMG.zip file in step 1 above from that page linked there. There is also a method to create a custom PG58IMG.zip file particularly for your phone so that it works with charm, and for that, you can see the guide there titled as “How to edit the chúng tôi File via Windows”. Do this and you’ll get a cusotm PG58IMG.zip file which you can use in step 11.1 to 11.5 above. once again, read everything carefully and on’t make silly mistakes and you’ll be fine. blame HTC for such complicated procedures, we love ya Sammy!)

Well, it should work perfectly okay now but in case it doesn’t, do let us know.

Android P Developer Preview 5 Quick Hands

We can’t blame these manufacturers for changing Android, after all, it’s good to have more options and custom features that aren’t implemented in the main OS. If you recall, Samsung was the first company to introduce multi-window on Android, though it was limited to some apps, on the 4.2 JellyBean based TouchWiz UX. A few years later, Google decided that Multi-Windows was one thing that users would enjoy on Android, and debuted it with Android 7.1.2 Nougat.

The only problem with these custom skins is, that once Google releases a new version of Android, those companies lag behind the giant of search, due to the number of changes that they need to implement on each new update. Project Treble was made to minimize this process, by separating the vendor specific files from the software framework. Thanks to Project Treble, we’re seeing a lot of smartphones running the beta version of Android P without issues and nearly synced with Google official updates.

Project Treble also opened the floodgates of the Android Custom ROM community, that started to work on official and unofficial implementations of Treble for a wide variety of Android smartphones. Thanks to the continuous work of the community, developers started to build GSI (Generic System Images) of various custom ROMs that could be easily flashed on the System partition of Treble-enabled devices, thanks to Treble and the GSI different handsets are able to run the same System Image of a specific ROM without issues. A few weeks ago, the recognized developer behind the Android P Beta port for the Moto Z, Erfan Abdi made a Semi-GSI (Only for Qualcomm devices) of Android P Developer Preview 3 that could be flashed on multiple smartphones. After that announcement, we started to see tons of smartphones running the early build of Google’s upcoming software. During this week, Google unveiled the Android Developer Preview 5 for all Pixel handsets, just a few hours after the release, Erfan provided a new GSI with the update.

Thanks to the continuous work of the Redmi Note 5 (Pro) developers, the handset is now one of the few that can run this Android P DP5 build without issues. Everything is good on the hardware part, and the software is also working without issues. Of course, this work is originated from a Beta, so we can face one or two problems here or there, but in the end, this build is ready for the daily usage.

A brand New System UI Recents Menu Overhaul

Here we have a change that will have mixed feedback among users. With Android P, Google decided to drop the recurring vertical pile of cards in favor of a horizontal menu for the recent applications. We are all familiarized with this kind of implementation on MIUI, but it’s the first time that we see something like that on Vanilla Android.

If you’re running the stock Pixel Launcher (ships with the P GSI), you’ll get the vertical list of applications and a small menu below of the apps with the Google Search bar and the five most used/recent applications. If you swipe up on this menu, you’ll get transported directly to the app drawer. Worth noting that if you’re using a different launcher, this menu becomes unavailable. Swiping the horizontal menu of apps to the left-edge show us the “Clear All” option, it was unavailable in previous builds but was introduced again on this new update.

If you press the top of an application on the recents menu, you’ll get a cool small menu where you can launch the Multi-Window mode or get to the App Info menu of the application on the settings. A new cool feature that was introduced with the DP5 is the ability to select text in some applications direct from the recents menu, this is neat when you need to quickly copy a specific text and past in other application. Of course, this seems to be limited to some apps, once that Android P gets release we may see its availability by further expanded by developers.

Adaptive Battery, Amazing results

With Android P, Google is taking a new heavy approach to deal with the battery life issues of its operating system. The new feature is called Adaptive Battery and works by limiting the battery usage of infrequently used applications. Also, with time your phone will learn how to limit these applications and battery according to your usage.

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At the start, I thought that this Adaptive Battery would be more a placebo, but after using it I got my jaw dropped by how it improves the energy consumption. I got the best idle results of ever with Android P, there is no way to compare with Android Oreo, Adaptive Battery really kicks out the frequent issues with Apps draining the battery on the background.

I used my phone for a lot of time, with some occasional Asphalt 9 gaming and still had 74% of battery left in the middle of a working day. Of course, these results may vary from user to user, but I’m really satisfied with the changes that Android P will bring for the battery life. Worth noting that this is a Beta, and it could be further improved with the official release and upcoming updates.

Cool looking Volume Control

Google re-designed the Power Menu on Android 8.1 Oreo introducing a small menu that surfaces on the right edge when you press the power button, now the company decided to do the same treatment to the Volume Menu by introducing a new vertical control for volume. Through the Volume control, you can access the Settings Sound menu, change between Sound, Silent and Vibrate mods, and adjust the volume by pressing the button or swiping the cool looking bar.

On the Sound Settings, Google also introduced a new option to control the In-Call volume directly from there.

Gestures Everywhere

With the arrival of 18:9 taller and bezel-less display, companies started to think on ways of enlarging those “infinite” displays even more by removing any possible visual interruption like a… “virtual button.”

Apple was probably the first company to introduce a gestures navigation feature, but it was due to the complete absence of navigation buttons on the iPhone X. Android always had the recurring combo of three buttons – Home, Back, and Recents. With Android P the company introduces a new gesture control.

The Rome button gets replaced by a horizontal pill, that you can swipe up for getting a view of the recents menu. The back button gets redesigned on this mode, and lose its size and fill, becoming a simple left arrow. If you swipe the home pill to the right you can navigate through the Horizontal menu of applications.

Google’s gestures implementation isn’t the best and the company itself recognizes it. Of course, it’ll be a matter of taste whether use it or not. Thankfully, you still have the three buttons if you don’t like the new navigation controls.

Other stuff

To end this post, I’ll list some of the additional things that we’ll be able to found on the upcoming Android P. While this update brings some new cool features, its main novelty will be the UI refreshments imposed by Material Design 2.0. Once that Android P gets released we’ll start to see Google shipping its own applications aligned with the design introduced by the new version of the operating system. This new design implementation has some good things and others that aren’t so good, one, for example, is the new settings menu design, it may be a matter of taste, but it doesn’t seem to fit with the remaining aspects of the OS, it basically looks with a previous version of Samsung TouchWiz. OnePlus in counterpart, made a version of this settings menu with a much better design than Google, of course, we’ll have to deal with it since it’s not going away.

This is

Sparta

… Android 9.0

The name still remains a mystery, some will bet on Popsicle, other on Pistache Pie, we even had rumors involving Huawei about the name Pistachio… But in the end, only time will confirm the name of the upcoming version of Android. One thing we know, this will be the 9.0 version of the world’s most used Operating System. Worth noting that the entire About Settings menu got a visual refreshment where we have information about the device, the Google account linked to it, the Phone Number and the Software related information.

Conclusion

To end this post, I’ll like to tell that this wasn’t a technical review of the Android Developer Preview 5, but a simple hands-on of the software based on my usage and experience. Also, it was cool to show how perfectly the system is running on a phone that wasn’t supposed to be part of the Beta program, despite how fine it is working.

The Redmi Note 5 is just one of the handsets that are getting a huge benefit from Project Treble, that made this early build of Android P available for a ton of handsets with it. Worth noting, that Treble has just one year of life, and in the future, it can bring more and more benefits to the Android community.

Worth to mention the name of Erfan Abdi, that made the dream of a lot of custom ROM enthusiasts by providing this Android P GSI. It’s one of the infinite possibilities of this open source software called Android. If you’ll like to test the Android P DP5 just head to the sourced link, where you can find more details about this semi-GSI.

With the release of the fifth and last Developer Preview of Android P, its official announcement can be considered imminent. If we judge Google’s schedule on the two past years, we supposed that the company will be debuting the new update for Pixel handsets towards the end of August or earlier in September, once that the final build of Android P gets released, I wouldn’t be surprised if a GSI containing the update emerge for all Treble enabled devices.

Women’s Ice Hockey Terriers Head To Ncaas

Women’s Ice Hockey Terriers Head to NCAAs Hoping for momentum from third consecutive Hockey East championship

The BU women’s ice hockey team claimed its third consecutive Hockey East championship with a 3-2 victory over Boston College last Sunday. Photos by Michael Silverwood

The women’s ice hockey Terriers have a shot at redemption tomorrow when they take on the Minnesota Golden Gophers in the quarterfinals of the NCAA tournament. Nearly a year ago, the BU women fell just short of a national title when the Gophers took the championship game 6-3.

After dropping three of their five final regular season games, the Terriers pulled off a trio of one-goal victories—over Providence, Northeastern, and Boston College—last weekend in Hyannis to claim a third consecutive Hockey East title and earn their fifth consecutive NCAA berth. Finishing the year with a 24-12-1 overall record, the Terriers come into the NCAA tournament as the lowest seed and will face the top-seeded Gophers on their home ice in Minneapolis tomorrow.

“We were a little bit up and down in the final months of the season,” says Terrier head coach Brian Durocher. “So getting on a roll with three wins in a row and hanging another banner in the arena should really help us regain some momentum in time for the national tournament.”

“We know what the crowd’s going to be like,” says Hockey East Player of the Year Sarah Lefort (CGS’14). “We know they’re going to bring a lot of intensity and that we’re going to be the underdogs, but for everybody except the freshmen to have been there and skated on that ice with even more on the line last year, it should take a little bit of the nerves away and let us play our game.”

For goaltender Kerrin Sperry (CAS’13, GRS’16), tomorrow’s game marks her fourth consecutive year starting in an NCAA tournament contest. Sperry was named the Hockey East Tournament Most Valuable Player for the second straight year after stopping 119 of 125 shots during BU’s three wins last weekend. She stopped all 18 Boston College shots in the fourth quarter of the championship game and helped the Terriers defeat their archrival for the first time in this season’s five meetings.

“Three straight Hockey East titles is an amazing accomplishment. It’s great to be part of a team that is so skilled and so determined,” Sperry says. “We know that we have a lot to get done before we can even consider what it would mean to win a national championship, and we’re just going to take it one minute at a time, one play at a time, and in my case, one puck at a time.”

If the Terriers get past Minnesota, they will earn a trip to the Frozen Four in Hamden, Conn., next weekend. Win or lose, Durocher counts the season as a success. “We’ve earned a Hockey East championship, won 24 games, and seen the evolution of a lot of young players that have shown that they can play here at a high level,” he says.

With 13 underclassmen playing pivotal roles, Durocher believes the program has a promising future. He credits the team for refusing to concede this season as a rebuilding year.

For Sperry, there are no thoughts about next year—only the next opponent. “For the seniors, it comes down to the fact that we win or go home,” she says. “If that means that you have to swallow whatever nervousness you have and just go out and play, then we’ll have to do it. Some people said this will be a rebuilding year, but we’ve really turned that on its head. We’ve been underdogs all year and it’s really motivated us, so it shouldn’t be much different when we go to Minnesota as underdogs again.”

Nate Weitzer can be reached at [email protected].

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Review: Bluetooth 4.0 ‘Passport’ Smart Watch From Martian Watches

There were more than a few Bluetooth-enabled smart watches on display at CES this year. We were on-hand for the official press unveiling of the Pebble e-paper watch, which is expected to start shipping to over 80,000 backers later this month. We also spotted Martian Watches, CooKoo, I’mWatch, and a small handful of other watches designed to pair and work with your iPhone or other mobile devices. Many have seen the Pebble, up until now, as the frontrunner mainly due to the 10 million in funding it raised through Kickstarter. While rumor has it Apple is interested in creating a smart watch of its own, we will hear a lot more about smart watches in 2013 if CES is any indication. Over the past week and a half, I had the chance to put one of these smart watches to the test: the Bluetooth 4.0 “Passport” from Martian Watches.

A few things to note right off the bat: First, unlike the Pebble and I’m Watch, which integrate a larger display, the focus of Martian Watches is voice command. There is some debate whether a smart watch, one that the average iPhone user might use on a daily basis, should resemble an iPod nano-like touchscreen or a more traditional timepiece design. Martian Watches is going with the latter, but it integrates a small 96-by-16 pixel OLED display capable of displaying notifications and scrolling text for incoming messages and calls.

While Pebble and others hope to create an ecosystem of third-party apps that can run on small, touch-enabled displays, the name of the game is voice command for Martian Watches. That means, in the case of iPhone users, you’ll be able to activate and control Siri right from your wrist. It also means as Siri improves and adds more functionality, your Martian Watch does too. However, Martian packs some other non-Siri features that make it a true competitor to the other Bluetooth smart watches hitting the market…

Voice Commands/Siri: 

If you can do it with Siri, you can probably do it from your Martian Watch. The only downside is that sometimes Siri displays visual information in responses that will not be viewable on your watch. Asking for next week’s weather forecast, for instance, will display a seven-day forecast typically, while asking for tomorrow’s weather will provide an audible response from Siri. It’s sometimes just a matter of rephrasing your question to get a response you can hear.

For commands, such as setting reminders, creating new text messages, nearby restaurants, and movie listings, you can for the most part, as highlighted in the video above, navigate the entire process from the watch. You’ll also be able to send tweets with Siri, ask to check email, etc., but Martian told us third-party app integration is coming via an iOS app (the app will be limited to just sending notifications from third-party apps to the watch initially).

Display/notifications: 

Out of the box, Martian Watches have the ability to receive notifications for incoming calls and text messages (pairing is as easy as any other Bluetooth device). However, the upcoming iOS app will also enable notifications for third-party apps like Gmail, Twitter, Facebook, etc. As for the notifications themselves, text messages, for example, display the name of the sender followed by scrolling text for the first 40 characters. You can also ask to “read text,” if you would prefer to listen. The same goes for calls, with the name of the incoming caller displayed on the small OLED display. Vibrations—thanks to a “Light Touch” vibrating motor inside the watch— also accompany incoming notifications.

Sending/receiving text messages:

You can create and send new texts at any time just as you would with Siri. Activate Siri with a press of the top button and ask to “Send text to Mark,” for instance. You can also reply to incoming texts with a “reply” command. These types of commands worked flawlessly for me, and I didn’t have any complaints with the watch’s mic when interacting with Siri. Calling works the same way, but call quality is where I first ran into issues…

Calling:

While placing calls is as easy commanding Siri to “Call Mike,” I ran into some issues with call quality once engaged in a conversation. The speaker provided quite clear and totally adequate calling on my end, but the person receiving my call often had a hard time hearing me. This problem isn’t as much of one in quiet environments, but I was sometimes forced to hold the watch closer to my mouth than I would have liked when outside and around a lot of background noise. Martian noted that excessive background noise on the receiving end “causes Martian’s microphone to think the person is speaking, which in turn cuts off your speech.” The call quality is noticeably reduced on the watch compared to your iPhone, but it wasn’t enough for me to stop using the device and was only a real issue on about 10 percent to 15 percent of calls.

Design: 

Perhaps my favorite part of the Passport from Martian Watches is its aesthetic design. Having larger displays as the entire watch face, like the Pebble or I’mWatch, comes with a few benefits: larger text, customizable UI, easier content input, etc. However, it also forces you to walk around with an iPod nano-like gadget on your wrist, as opposed to a more traditional, formal watch design. The fact that Martian Watches is going for a more classic watch design isn’t an accident. They want you to be able to wear the Passport with a suit or during any formal occasion. That might justify the $299 price point (significantly more than the $150 Pebble). Some have theorized that a watch from Apple would aim for a similar blend of traditional watch aesthetics and functionality, despite the company selling many third-party watch band products for its sixth-gen iPod nano. Martian will also sell leather and stainless steel bands from its online store.

The Passport model I tried came in at 0.52 inches thick and 2.5 oz with a silicone band, and it wasn’t much thicker or noticeably uncomfortable compared to the designer watch I wear on a regular basis. Martian Watches will ship three models ranging from $249 to $299. All models have the same functionality, but the “Victory” and “G2G” models sport different designs:

More features: 

You can pre-order all three models from the Martian Watches website now with the first shipments arriving sometime in February or March.

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Boston University Men’S Ice Hockey Faces Denver In First

Men’s Hockey Shooting for Return to Frozen Four Terriers face Denver in NCAA Tournament first round Saturday

Men’s hockey team captain Matt Grzelcyk (COM’16) will lead the number 11/12 Terriers in a matchup with number 6 Denver at the NCAA West Regional on Saturday, March 26. Photos by Rich Gagnon/BU Athletics

The BU men’s ice hockey Terriers face off against the Denver Pioneers in the opening round of the NCAA West Regional Tournament tomorrow, the first time in nine years they have scored back-to-back appearances in the NCAA Tournament. The 2024 national runner-up, the BU team (21-12-5) hopes to return to the Frozen Four and the National Championship game for the second-straight year.

Unlike last year, when BU claimed the Hockey East conference tournament crown, the Terrier men were swept two games to zero by UMass Lowell in the 2024 quarterfinal round. Despite the loss, they were awarded an at-large bid to the national single-elimination tournament by the NCAA selection committee on March 20. The tournament field, consisting of 16 teams playing in 4 geographic regions, is made up of 5 conference tournament winners and 11 at-large teams chosen by the committee.

“We’ve played 20 games against teams in this tournament, which is the most out of any team in the tournament,” says BU head coach David Quinn (CAS’89). “Our team is ready and tournament-tested because we feel like we’ve played in the national tournament the past two months, so I don’t think the moment is going to overwhelm us.”

Tomorrow’s game is the second time this season the Terriers have gone up against the Pioneers. On October 31 BU took a 5-4 overtime squeaker at Agganis Arena. Despite that victory, the team knows it faces a formidable competitor. Denver comes into Saturday’s matchup having won 11 of its last 13 games.

“They’re a well-coached team, so I know they’re a lot better team in March than in October—but I hope we are too,” Quinn says.

Both teams feature a well-rounded roster of experienced skaters, with no one player singled out for undivided attention from opposing defenders. A striking contrast between the teams, however, is the number of goals scored by period. Denver has been a quick-striking team all year, outscoring opponents 37-22 in the first period, while BU has outscored opponents 51-36 in the third period. In addition, both teams are 1-1-1 in games on neutral ice this season.

“In order to have success in the national tournament, you’d better be ready to play 60 minutes, and we’d better be ready from the drop of the puck,” says Quinn. “We want to get off to a fast start.”

After their early exit from this year’s Hockey East tournament, the Terriers have had time both to rest and to work on all facets of their game in practices.

“It’s tough—you want to win as many championships as you can, so losing Hockey East really stung for a few days,” says captain Matt Grzelcyk (COM’16). “One of the positives was we got a lot of rest going into this weekend, so we should feel rejuvenated.”

In addition, Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson (CAS’19) and Charlie McAvoy (CGS’17) landed spots on the Hockey East All-Rookie Team.

BU won’t be the only team representing the Hockey East conference in this year’s NCAA Tournament: a staggering six Hockey East teams received bids to the tournament: BU, Boston College, Notre Dame, UMass Lowell, and Northeastern, this year’s Hockey East tournament winner, who defeated UMass Lowell to take its first conference title since 1988.

“I think we all feel that we play in the best league in the country, so it’s nice to see us get that recognition over some of the western teams,” Grzelcyk says.

The BU men’s ice hockey team takes on the University of Denver Saturday, March 26, at 6:30 p.m. ET, in the NCAA Tournament West Regional at the Xcel Energy Center, 199 West Kellogg Blvd, Saint Paul, Minn. The game will be broadcast live on ESPNU and will be preceded by the other West Regional matchup, St. Cloud State University vs Ferris State University, at 5 p.m. ET, which will be broadcast live on ESPNews. The winner of each game will proceed to the West Regional final on Sunday, March 27, at 5 p.m., which will air live on ESPNU.

Josh Gutchess can be reached at [email protected].

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