Tom Colvin

Tom Colvin

Android GDE, CTO at Apptaura

Basingstoke, United Kingdom

Tom Colvin is CTO of Apptaura, the app development specialists; and Conseal Security, the mobile app security experts. He has been a developer for over 20 years and worked with Android since Cupcake, and is a Google Developer Expert in Android

Area of Expertise

  • Information & Communications Technology


  • Android
  • Android Development
  • Kotlin
  • Firebase
  • Architecture

Don't fight the architecture

Good architecture smooths the development path of your Android app for years to come. Bad architecture results in developers spending more time maintaining code and fixing bugs than adding features.

Google's best practice guidelines have changed considerably recently, and the way we develop Android apps is very different from even just a few years ago. But more important than learning the rules is understanding the principles that underpin them, so you can make your own decisions.

So what does good Android app architecture look like? This talk is all about how to be a better, more forward-thinking developer.

After a brief tour of SOLID principles (beloved of interviewers for almost any programming role), we will explore the purpose of Clean Architecture, as well as patterns like MVVM. And finally we will see how a lot of this converges in Google's Modern App Architecture, and how more recent technologies like Hilt, Kotlin Flows and Jetpack Compose make life a lot easier.

This session is aimed at seasoned developers and those looking start a career in software development. Whilst all the examples are with Kotlin + Android, the underlying principles apply whatever your language.

This is an intermediate level talk which assumes a working knowledge of programming. Whilst all examples use Android + Kotlin, the basic principles apply equally to any programming language.

Fun with Android + Bluetooth: A capture-the-flag competition

Android is the perfect platform for hacking with Bluetooth peripherals. Learning how to connect to BLE devices is not only a useful skill for professional developers, it’s also massive fun! Recent releases of Android have improved how BLE interaction works, and this session takes you through the latest Android 14.

It's built around a capture-the-flag competition: the first person to write an app to read my password, wins!


- How to write code to send and receive messages from an Android device to any BLE peripheral
- How Android communicates with a BLE device
- All about BLE - how it works and what makes it different to Bluetooth Classic.

And when you get back home you’ll want to try out connecting with all the BLE devices you have lying around! Heart rate monitors, thermometers, proximity sensors, lights, radios, TVs, keyboards, garage doors, …

A very basic understanding of Android development is required. People will need a laptop with Android Studio and, if they want to join the competition, a physical Android device (not VM). I will bring a limited number of devices with me for those who don't have their own.

GDSC DevFest 2023 Sessionize Event

February 2024 Leeds, United Kingdom

DevFest London 2023 Sessionize Event

November 2023 London, United Kingdom

Appdevcon / Endpointcon 2023 Sessionize Event

May 2023 Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Tom Colvin

Android GDE, CTO at Apptaura

Basingstoke, United Kingdom

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