Gradle 7.0, the latest release of the popular software build tool leveraged in Android development and elsewhere, offers faster incremental builds as well as support for Java 16.
With the Gradle 7.0 release, introduced April 9, file system watching is enabled by default, to make incremental builds quicker. The capability was introduced as an opt-in feature in Gradle 6.5 and deemed production-ready in Gradle 6.7.
When file system watching is enabled, Gradle maintains what it has learned about the file system in memory between builds and skips reading from the file system on each build. With an incremental build, input and output files are checked to find out what needs to be rebuilt. This capability usually saves a lot of time but adds some I/O overhead, which can be noticeable in large projects when not much has changed since the prior build.