In December of 2010, Android released Android 2.3, nicknamed “Gingerbread,” as a successor to version 2.2, Froyo. Gingerbread changed the design of the user interface in an attempt to streamline functionality, including an update for the Download Manager and an improvement to suggested text input.
Gingerbread also generally improved support for native code development and enhanced audio and graphical skillsets for game development. Gingerbread also improved support for front-facing (or second) device cameras and for physical sensors (like barometers and gyroscopes). Additionally, Gingerbread was the first Android version to include support for Near Field Communication (NFC), allowing the device to read “smart” tags in the physical world that link to web addresses.
Android issued a handful of small updates for version 2.3 over the course of the first two-thirds of 2011 (2.3.2-2.3.7), which fixed phone-specific bugs, improved Gmail, introduced support for Google Talk, and introduced Google Wallet for specific phones.
Gingerbread was followed by a tablet-only Android version in February 2011, Android 3 (“Honeycomb”), and in the realm of cell phones, Android 4.0, nicknamed “Ice Cream Sandwich,” first publicly released in October 2011.