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Xiaomi's Hugo Barra talks Lollipop update plans, Android One, and expansion

Celebrating the release of Xiaomi's first 4G phone in India, the Redmi 4G, Hugo Barra was interviewed by The Next Web where he shared some interesting info regarding the Lollipop update plans and Android One,

Published onNovember 26, 2014

Hugo Barra Xiaomi -10

Xiaomi is everywhere these days, at least in its home country of China. The world’s #3 smartphone OEM is expanding its global presence in a big way. For many however, they first learned of the Chinese company when Google’s Hugo Barra jumped ship last year.

In a recent interview with The Next Web, Barra sheds some light on the company’s plans, both for itself and Android:

[quote qtext=”Upgrading to Lollipop is my #1 priority from a product perspective for our global business. As you know, we customize Android significantly and have our own design language — so what we’re tasked with now is not only all the technical aspects of putting Android 5.0 on our devices, like at the kernel level, but we also have to marry Google’s Material Design language with ours.” qperson=”Hugo Barra ” qsource=”The Next Web” qposition=”center”]

Xiaomi’s top tier devices, the Mi line, will see its luscious Lollipop update in the first few months of 2015, according to Barra.

Apparently there is a delicate balance that must be struck between porting the MIUI skin while at the same time allowing the Material Design elements of Android 5.0 to shine through. This conscious decision is responsible for the delay. This will prove to be a rather interesting marriage if things turn out well, because many have already been complaining about the way Samsung is handling the newest Android update as seen in the various leaked videos of TouchWiz.

It’s actually refreshing to hear that Xiaomi is trying to find a way to let Google’s UI design shine through while still retaining its own unique visual flair.


On an entirely different matter, Barra also spoke on his company’s plans for Android One. The platform was launched in India a short while ago on three different devices, though admittedly none of them have gotten off to a flying start:

[quote qtext=”We’re huge fans of Android One, and we want to be part of it. It’s just a matter of time, timing and other details, but we’d definitely like to get to it. ” qperson=”Hugo Barra” qsource=”The Next Web” qposition=”center”]

And even more interestingly, when questioned about competiting with other premium OEMs like HTC, Barra remarked that “with the Mi4, we’ve already proven that we know how to build beautiful devices. On that front, there are some amazing things in the works already, so keep an eye out for all that in the future.”

As one might be inclined to think, Xiaomi is rapidly becoming a big deal. While the North American and European markets wait for the first big Chinese OEM to make a major push, South-East Asia is already enjoying some love, with more countries to come around the world.

All those interested in the full interview, as well as in-depth discussion of the Indian mobile market should be sure to hit up the source link below.

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