How are Android builds called

Bazel: Google changes build tool for Android

The Android operating system is to be built in the future exclusively with the build tool Bazel created by Google, as the company writes in its open source blog. This is a fundamental shift in what is arguably the most important part of building Android. "After extensive research to understand the best way to properly and quickly build the Android platform", Google made this decision.

  1. Usercentrics GmbH, Munich
  2. University Hospital Frankfurt, Frankfurt am Main

Google first introduced Bazel in 2015. It was originally developed as an internal project for its huge and distributed source code repositories. Ant, Gradle or Maven are very often used for Android, which is mainly written in Java. Make or CMake are often used for projects in C and C ++, which Android also uses.

Android has been relying on the classic make file for a long time and started replacing it with Soong and Ninja with Android 7. Ninja is also used in the Chromium project, for example. Above all, Google hopes that the use of Bazel for Android will provide greater flexibility in the build process and a better understanding of ongoing build processes and their dependencies. In addition, the configuration should become less complex. Google also hopes, thanks to Bazel, to be able to create reproducible builds of Android, which can instill greater confidence in the builds.

Google wants to distribute the migration phase to Bazel over the coming Android versions and in "digestible milestones" split up. The first step is to include Bazel in the Android code. However, despite the announced change, there should be no direct impact on the Android build either this year or in 2021.