Adapters are simple devices. On one side of the adapter is a data structure like a Java object storing data. SimpleAdapter handles Java objects that can be meaningfully translated into Strings by invoking the objects' toString() method
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(every Java object supports that but for quite many of them, the toString() format is not meaningful for the end user). On the other side of the adapter, there is a View that the data structure was transformed into. That View is displayed to the user. As we use Adapters to supports list views, the Adapter handles lists of Java objects (that are eventually transformed into a list of Views).