As many of you are already aware, Android Studio is using Gradle behind the scenes to build your applications and libraries. Over the last year and a half, both Android Studio and Gradle have matured significantly. With the recent Android Studio 0.8.11 release, there was a Gradle update of major versions from 1.12 to 2.1. While most devs won’t notice a difference other than Studio telling you the newer Android plugin (version 0.13.0) requires 2.1, the jump forward can affect your Gradle based builds. The impact comes both from the version shift from 1.x to 2.x and the Android Gradle plugin. Let’s start with a look at the 2.0 release of Gradle.
The Gradle update to 2.0 was a major step forward for the build tool. Like many tools it introduced a number of improvements and fixed issues along the way. In the Gradle team’s announcement about 2.0 it was stated that the major version bump is being used as a clear signal that there will be compatibility shift. The Gradle team has done an outstanding job of maintaining backwards compatibility throughout its lifetime. But, like any good software project, it continues to evolve and often features which are not widely used or deemed unmaintainable are dropped. Gradle’s team indicates these features to be culled by marking them as deprecated in the documentation as well as within the tool itself. Thus, the 2.x release indicates a clean break where things will no longer be fully compatible with previous releases.
By and large this Gradle update should have minimal to no effect on simple Android builds. Most of the changes really had an impact on the plugin developers. But, I did say, “minimal to no effect,” which means there […]