In this tutorial we’ll look at things that can be done with the Gradle build to speed up the build time.
Speed up your Android Gradle Build
As our Android Studio project size increases, the gradle build performance becomes critical. The gradle speed for even the simplest project is pretty slow. Though every project comes up with it’s own complexity and uniqueness which causes it to have a different build speed. Nevertheless one thing that is pretty common in regard to the build speeds is that it takes our precious time that in return hampers our productivity. A few basic tricks can help us save those extra seconds per build and that makes a big difference to the productivity.
- Make sure you’re using the latest version of Gradle. Generally with every new update there is a significant improvement in performance.
Note: Java 1.8 is faster than 1.6. Make sure it’s updated too.
- Try to minimize the use of modules. There are many cases where we need to fork the library to modify it to fit according to our needs. A module takes 4x greater time than a
aardependency. This happens due to the fact that the module needs to be built from the scratch every time.
- Enable gradle Offline Work from Preferences-> Build, Execution, Deployment-> Build Tools-> Gradle. This will not allow the gradle to access the network during build and force it to resolve the dependencies from the cache itself.
Note: This only works if all the dependencies are downloaded and stored in the cache once. If you need to modify or add a new dependency you’ll have to disable this option else the build would fail.
- Open up the gradle.properties file from the root of your project. Add the following lines of code in it.
Gradle daemon is a background process. Adding this would consume some extra memory while building.
The above line of code enables compilation of multiple modules at the same time. Besides that it also gives us other benefits such as;
- Re-using the configuration for unchanged projects
- Project-level is up-to-date checks
- Using pre-built artifacts in the place of building dependent projects
Adding the following line of code also aids us in speeding up the build.
Another important property is;
org.gradle.jvmargs=-Xmx2048m -XX:MaxPermSize=512m -XX:+HeapDumpOnOutOfMemoryError -Dfile.encoding=UTF-8
The above line is used to allow Java compilers to have available memory up to 2 GB (2048 MB). It should only be used if you have available memory more than 2 GB.
This is how the gradle.properties file should look like:
- Avoid dynamic dependencies such as
Dynamic Dependencies slow down your build since they keep searching for the latest builds every time. To improve the performance we need to fix the version in place.
- Use only those dependencies that you need. For example google maps dependency, instead of importing
compile 'com.google.android.gms:play-services:8.4.0'just import
Bringing such tweaks into use in our project saves a lot of time in the long run. I hope these gradle build tips will help you in improving your project build time.