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Android Gingerbread is the codename given to version 2.3 of the Android platform. Some of the improvements in this version include a refined user interface, faster text input, support for near field communication (NFC) and system enhancements for game development.
The Android Gingerbread SDK (software development kit) was released on December 6, 2010. Like all versions of the Android platform, version 2.3 received a dessert for its codename.
On Android Gingerbread, users interact with a more refined user interface compared to previous versions. The user interface is more intuitive, responds faster and sports a more organized appearance. Faster text input, one-touch word selection and copy/paste actions, longer usage time and well-thought application management are some of the new features.
In addition, users are able to make Internet calls to contacts having Session Initiation Protocol (SIP). If the phone itself has NFC capabilities, the user can swipe NFC tags on certain products and advertising material to view additional information on the device.
Many improvements with this version are designed to benefit game developers. Android Gingerbread features a concurrent garbage collector reducing application pause time. The faster event distribution mechanism allows quicker response to touch and keyboard events, which are typically needed in games. Its updated video driver also exhibits better 3D graphics performance.
Developers using native code in their programs will be able to take advantage of input and sensor events. The platform also provides additional APIs for communicating with different sensors such as gyroscopes, rotation vector, linear acceleration, gravity and barometers.
Android Gingerbread also comes with an API for creating audio effects. Using this API, developers can add equalization, base boosts, headphone virtualization and even reverb to audio tracks and sounds.
By using the Android Gingerbread API for NFC technology, developers can create applications targeted towards commercial use. An NFC-enabled device is typically used to scan NFC tags embedded in stickers, smart posters and other materials to display additional information.