Google’s Hugo Barra to join China’s Xiaomi Mobile, will oversee global expansion plans

Hugo Barra Nexus 7

Google’s Hugo Barra, current Vice President of Android Product Management, has announced he will be leaving the company, and in the next few weeks, joining the Chinese smartphone manufacturer Xiaomi. He shared the news on his Google+ page, saying, “After nearly five-and-a-half years at Google and almost three years as a member of the Android team … I have decided to start a new career chapter.”

While Barra’s name may not be as familiar to everyone in the same way as Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, there’s a good chance you’ll recognize his face, as he has appeared on stage at various Google events over the past years. Most recently, during Google’s breakfast meeting at the start of August, he introduced the new Nexus 7.

So that’s a reminder about Hugo Barra, but what about the company he’s joining? Xiaomi probably won’t be a name you recognize at all, as up until now it has only produced hardware for China. But that’s almost certainly going to change, as Barra will be Vice President of Xiaomi Global. In his Google+ post, he says he’s going to be working on expanding their, “Incredible product portfolio and business globally.” A tweet from Xiaomi Mobile’s Twitter account confirms this, saying, “Hugo will be responsible for international business development and Android strategic partnerships.”

Xiaomi MI-2aRecently valued at $10 billion, Xiaomi sold 7 million phones in China during the first half of 2013, and Canalys puts it as the sixth largest smartphone company in the region with a 5 percent market share. The company’s founder and CEO, Lei Jun, has been referred to as China’s Steve Jobs, thanks to his penchant for jeans and black tops, and the clever marketing tactics his company uses.

As for its phones, its MI-2a (pictured to the right) and MI-2s have both gone on sale this year, boasting solid mid-range specs such as a 4.5-inch, 720p screen, an 8-megapixel camera, and dual-core processors. Its most recent announcement is the Hongmi, which uses a quad-core MediaTek chip to power its 4.7-inch screen. All its phones use Google Android, but like Amazon, Xiaomi’s version, called MiUI, is heavily modified.

If Xiaomi wants to make a splash outside China, it knows it’ll probably going to have to do better, so we’re excited to see its plans for global expansion in the future.

Photography

Golf ball-sized Lume Cube Air is a pocketable LED for photos and video

Off-camera lighting for smartphones and GoPros just got even smaller. Meet the Lume Cube Air, a smaller portable LED light designed for photos and videos that weighs only about two ounces.
Mobile

Upcoming Galaxy S10 may support 8K video and have Neural Processing Unit

While we still may be months away from an announcement, there's no doubt about it: Samsung is working hard on its successor to the Galaxy S9. Here's everything we know about the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S10.
Movies & TV

Winter coming in spring? HBO reveals 'Game of Thrones' season 8 premiere date

With the eighth and final season looming, Game of Thrones fever has officially become a pandemic. Our list of all the relevant news and rumors will help make the wait more bearable, if you don't mind spoilers.
DT Daily

Hip-hop artist Rakeem Miles talks musical upbringing, ‘Dante’s Toys’

Rakeem Miles may be best known for his musical endeavors, but he's looking to change that with his forthcoming animated show. On Monday's DT Daily, we discuss Miles' origins, what drives his passions, his favorite superhero, and more.
Gaming

Here's where Xur is and what he has for wares this week in 'Destiny 2: Forsaken'

The weekly vendor in Destiny 2: Forsaken always brings Exotic weapons and armor, some of the toughest loot to find in the game. Here's everything you need to know to track down Xur: Where he is, when he shows up, and what he's stocking.
Mobile

Best Google Pixel 3 XL screen protectors

It's tough to find good screen protectors, but the 6.3-inch OLED screen in the Google Pixel 3 XL definitely demands to be protected from scratches and impact damage. We've picked out the best options and included insight into the downsides.
Mobile

Taking shots in the dark with Night Sight, the Pixel’s newest photo feature

The Google Pixel range has always been the home of some of the mobile world's best phone cameras. That performance is now getting even better with the introduction of the low-light Night Sight mode.
Mobile

Pocket Casts adds more cross-sync, curation, and Siri Shortcuts

Pocket Casts is a pocket staple for many podcast fanatics. But it's about to get even better with the introduction Pocket Casts 7.0 that adds intelligent curation, Siri Shortcuts support, and a streamlined UI.
Product Review

Mediocre battery and a big notch slight Google's otherwise perfect Pixel phone

Google’s Pixel 3 XL has two big flaws: The gigantic notch on the front, and mediocre battery life. That being said, this is the best Android experience you can find in a smartphone today.
Music

Here's our head-to-head comparison of Pandora and Spotify

Which music streaming platform is best for you? We pit Spotify versus Pandora, two mighty streaming services with on-demand music and massive catalogs, comparing every facet of the two services to help you decide which is best.
Mobile

Netflix is testing a cheap mobile-only subscription tier in some markets

Netflix is trying to reach potential subscribers in emerging markets. To that end, the company has begun rolling out a cheaper, mobile-only subscription tier, which comes at around $4 per month -- half the price of the Basic subscription…
Mobile

Samsung will reportedly announce its folding smartphone at MWC in February

Samsung has been showcasing bendable display tech for a few years and now a folding smartphone might finally arrive. The Galaxy X, or perhaps the Galaxy F, may be the company's first example. Here's everything we know about it.
Mobile

Check out 30 of the best iPhone games you need to be playing

The iPhone has some of our favorite games available for any mobile platform. Here are the best iPhone games for every big-name genre, whether you're into puzzles, strategy, or something else entirely.
Mobile

Text messages are disappearing on Pixel 3s, but a fix is on the way

The Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL are arguably the best Android phones out there right now -- but they aren't perfect. Users have reported a number of issues and problems related to the Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL. Here's how to fix them.