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Android 2.3 Gingerbread was released at the end of 2010 and now, two years later and after several more major Android releases, it is still a force to be reckoned with. Its popularity and longevity are due to three key factors: its stability, its features and the phones which used it.

android 2.3 gingerbreadThis version of Android saw the most point releases of any Android version to date. The 2.2.x branch only got to 2.2.3 whereas Gingerbread received 7 point releases. This in itself made the 2.3 a version of choice. When combined with the fact that the next version of Android which could work on phones (Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich) wasn’t released until the end of 2011, it means that the only viable version for manufacturers was Gingerbread. Ultimately, the Android 4.0 take up was slow making Android 2.3 the de-facto standard well into the first half of 2012.

In terms of features, Android 2.3 was the first to support Near Field Communication (NFC) and it was also the first version to support multiple cameras on a device, including a front-facing camera, if fitted. This opened up new possibilities for video chatting with services like Skype and Google Talk.

[ Do read: Why Android 4.1 Is Better Than iOS from Apple ]

As for hardware requirements, Android 2.3 required a modest CPU and when compared with today’s hardware specifications, its needs seem almost low-end. But this needs to be seen in the context of the time. Back in 2010 and 2011, dual-core CPUs were a rarity and technology like 720p displays or 4G weren’t even in existence.

The popular phones of the time included the Google Nexus S (which was built by Samsung) and Samsung’s own Galaxy S2. Both phones became very popular (along with others from HTC and LG) and are still being used today. Also the perceived (and often real) difficulty in upgrading Android phones from one version to another means that many users still have the original version of Android shipped with the phone and haven’t attempted to upgrade.

Now at the end of 2012, of the remaining 50% of mobile devices, 27.5% run Android 4.0, just over 10% run Android 2.2 Froyo and a little more than 6% run Android 4.1/4.2 Jelly Bean.

What this means for app developers is that support for Android 2.x is still needed and will remain a practical requirement through 2013, but after this Android 4.x will become the minimum version  an app should support in real-world terms.

Image source: mobilemag

What do you think of Android 2.3 (Gingerbread)? Do share your opinion in the comment section, we’ll be glad to hear from you.
Written by Gary Sims – Edited by Nizam Khan
Gary Sims is a mobile app developer, technical writer and contributor to http://www.mobileadvertisingcomparison.com

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