9. Android 2.3
Run, run, as fast as you can. That's why they called it the Gingerbread Man. That variation on the old child's tale seems fitting of Android 2.3, which the development team says has been significantly enhanced for performance. The latest versions of the OS and SDK, released on Dec. 6, reportedly owe improvements to a new concurrent garbage collector as well as optimized event handling system-wide. A new framework for managing application lifecycle and windows are among the other major changes, and can be accessed directly from native code, as can input and sensor events, EGL/OpenGL ES, OpenSL ES and assets.
The platform can now accept gyroscopic sensor input, and supports VP8 and WebM video formats and AAC and AMR-wideband decoding for enhancing the multimedia experience. Audio enhancements include reverb effects, equalization, headphone virtualization and bass boost. Android now supports a front-facing camera, SIP, VoIP and Near Field Communications.