It's not all that uncommon for software companies to roll out updates on a monthly, even weekly basis, but manufacturers are typically content to improve their products much more slowly. This isn't the case with Xiaomi, the successful Chinese smartphone maker Hugo Barra, former Vice President of Product Management for Android, left Google to join a few months ago. The company ships a new batch of phones every week, partially relying on user feedback to determine what changes they should make for each group - new shipments come out every Tuesday at noon Beijing time, containing new software builds and possible minor hardware tweaks.
Hugo Barra was the face of Android for the last several years. If Google needed someone out front for a demo, it was going to be Barra. He was personable and effective on stage, but he announced a few weeks ago that he was leaving Mountain View for Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi where he will serve as VP of global. It seemed abrupt, but Barra has revealed in an interview with All Things D that the move was in the works for some time.
Update 2: Hugo Barra himself has confirmed his plans on Google+. He'll become the new Vice President of Xiaomi Global. We wish you the best of luck, Hugo - you will be missed.
In a few weeks, I'll be joining the Xiaomi team in China to help them expand their incredible product portfolio and business globally — as Vice President, Xiaomi Global. I'm really looking forward to this new challenge, and am particularly excited about the opportunity to continue to help drive the Android ecosystem.