Mobile application development in general, and the Android platform in particular, are hot topics among educators because of their power to motivate and engage students. Unfortunately, Android’s software API is not designed for beginners and presents a number of stumbling blocks to classroom use. Sofia, the Simple Open Framework for Inventive Android Applications, is a new abstraction layer over the Android API that provides a cleaner, simpler, easier to use API for beginners and professionals alike. It includes a novel event dispatch design that eliminates the glue code required by more conventional frameworks, provides a powerful 2D shape package with declarative animation support and physics simulation, streamlines the process of writing multi-activity apps for Android, and addresses a number of other issues that make Android hard to use in introductory courses.

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