Looking to create a more versatile and powerful build system for Android developers, Google has been working on what is currently called "New Build System," a tool that aims to (one day) replace, unify, and build upon the functionality of Eclipse's ADT and Ant build systems.

While the new build system is still in very early stages (just reaching build 0.1 today) and not yet ready to build ship-able apps, it's already proving useful. Our own Artem cites the ability to build both dev and production versions of apps simultaneously and the ability to use the same build process between ADT and Linux as signs that the project is already showing great potential.

1. I wanted to use Eclipse to build 2 versions of the app - 1 dev and 1 production. There's no easy way to do that with ADT.

2. I wanted to use the same build procedure with ADT and Linux - same thing, no way.

The new build system looks like it'll solve these problems.

It's worth noting that the system is based on gradle, which bills itself as "build automation evolved," able to combine "the power and flexibility of Ant with the dependency management and conventions of Maven into a more effective way to build."

For now, Google is encouraging developers to "send feedback, lots of it," adding that the project is developed entirely in AOSP, meaning devs can get the source code and make their own contributions. Developers can also download a bundle of small projects that demonstrate some of the new system's abilities.

For more information, and a list of the project's current limitations, just hit the source link below.

Source: Android Tools Project Site Via Google+

Liam Spradlin
Liam loves Android, design, user experience, and travel. He doesn't love ill-proportioned letter forms, advertisements made entirely of stock photography, and writing biographical snippets.

  • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

    What a great start. Honestly, I didn't think the Android team would address these issues at all, so I'm happy they've realized there's a problem here that needs a good solution.

    Other developers care to chime in here?

    • Tony

      Does "new build system" mean unifying some things within eclipse, or does it mean they're getting rid of eclipse and making their own IDE?

      • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

        They are definitely not getting rid of Eclipse - it offers a lot of benefits to developers, it's my favorite IDE. This is strictly about the build tools.

        • Martyn Haigh

          You ever tried IntelliJ - so much better than Eclipse! Does take a while to untrain from the Eclipse key bindings though. V. happy about the 'New Build Tools' (catchy title) - the old ones are really constrictive.

          • Pieter Harmse

            I also use IntelliJ exclusively - could never get into Eclipse. Android is all about choice, and we definitely need more IDEs that support development for it.

        • Colin Richardson

          Damn, I was hoping they were getting rid of Eclipse. Eclipse has gotten so bloated to account for all types of "possible" languages to be thrown at it that it can't be stripped down again to make it fast and edgy.. Wouldn't be so bad if you could turn off almost everything and only turn on the things you want and change all key combos without tripping over 300 addon's along the way. With the new build system, I was hoping it would be like that.. Fresh start with Hindsight. Too bad..

          • ssj4Gogeta

            Well no one's stopping you from installing only the plugins that you need and even keeping separate Eclipse copies for different purposes, with different plugins.

          • Simon Belmont

            This! You beat me to it.

            I have a few different setups. Works great!

  • Xeltos

    I would love to see a full fledged open source android development studio with custom plug in/scripting support. from google itself. Which will make development more easier and fun.