Android front man Hugo Barra leaves Google for Xiaomi

first_imgIf you go watch the last few Android presentations you’ll see a man that won’t be on stage to tell you about Google products anymore. His name is Hugo Barra, and pretty soon he’ll be taking the Chinese smartphone manufacturer Xiaomi to all new heights as their global VP.If you’re anywhere but China, you may not have ever heard of Xiaomi before. Their products don’t have a huge reach outside of China, though their custom version of Android has fans in the Android modder/hacker scene all over the world.MIUI started out as a highly stylized flavor of Android based on CyanogenMod. Their time with MIUI development gave Xiaomi great insight into what their consumers wanted from a smartphone. As a result, their last smartphone release saw lines that wrapped around every store they were sold in come launch day.Xiaomi is a powerful force in China, and now they want to bring their hardware to the rest of the world. Fortunately for Xiaomi, at the same time Google’s VP of Android product management happened to be looking for a new job.It’s not clear right now who will take Hugo’s place in the Android pyramid, but the loss is significant for Google. The Android side of the Mountain View company has seen a lot of senior loss recently, with Andy Rubin leaving to start a new project inside of Google, and the Android Open Source Project lead software engineer leaving the company entirely.Google’s Android team is massive, but some of these recently departed members have been a part of the project since very near the beginning. Android has certainly changed quite a bit over the last year, due in no small part to additions like Matias Duarte, so it’s difficult to say with any certainly what the fallout of Barra’s departure will really be for now.last_img

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