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Having very recently acquired my first Android phone, I am interested in Apps development. I know this site tries to avoid dev specific questions, but I hope you'll still find my question relevant.

I am wondering whether to learn development for the "upcoming" Android4.0 version or to stick to the "current" 2.3 version. The arguments pro 4.0 are obvious but here are a few advantages about 2.3:

  • Documentation is widely more available. Tutorials are easier to find. People in the community are more familiar and more likely to help.

  • 2.3 is on my phone (Galaxy SII). 4.0 won't be for some time. I don't want my app to be confined to an emulator or a SDK.

In order to help me make up my mind, I have one specific question to ask:

How long will the 2.3 version still be around?

  • Are there any upcoming phone scheduled with that version?
  • Will Google/manufacturers still provide updates, patches and support?
  • Is it likely that (like some notorious open source projects) the 2.x branch will be forked and keep evolving?

Being new to the community, I'm hoping you could provide answers based both on references to official announcements, and past behaviours when Android went from 1.x to 2.x

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1 Answer

When you're about to start Android app development, you should not stick to the 'old' Gingerbread version.

Of course you'll still use many things introduced in Android 2.3 and older, so most of the tutorials still work. This is very important, because even if you target API level 15, you need to care about backward compatibility!

As an unexperienced developer, later Android versions help you writing better apps. For example Android 3+ applications forces developers to use AsyncTasks for networking services, so your application does not freeze on network issues.

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