In other words, Sony's promise of Gingerbread on the new Xperia Arc didn't exactly mean Android 2.3. It's possible that version 2.4 is merely a minor improvement over Android 2.3, adding fixes and extra features that Google didn't manage to finish in time for Gingerbread's deadline. Could codename Gingerbread encompass versions 2.3 and 2.4 much like how versions 2.0 and 2.1 were both under the codename Éclair?
In either case, Android 2.4 reportedly brings a noticeable speed increase over Android 2.3, including no delays when switching between windows and apps. There are also new animations when moving shortcuts and widgets around the homescreen, a software-based noise reduction option for voice calls, and references to video chat in the menus.
This news further begs the question about whether we're in the process of seeing a split occurring. Will Google try to have companies use Android 2.x for smartphones and Android 3.x for tablets or will we see everyone get pushed to Android 3.x eventually?