Build an Android system app from the AOSP source tree

Is there a way to build an Android system app from AOSP without having to clone the entire code tree and having to build the entire OS?

Just being able to build the unmodified app from a Linux shell is sufficient, with any toolchain that will do the job. Being able to make modifications in an IDE (Eclipse or Android Studio) is not a requirement (a text editor will do for making changes).

The app in question is CarrierConfig. Most of the app is just assets, the code consists of just one single Java class (~400 lines of code), but with a four internal dependencies not exposed through the SDK API:


These are what prevents me from simple adding a generic build.gradle and running it through the gradle toolchain. The build artifact is a simple APK file, with which I would then patch the system image.

So how would I build this app without needing the entire AOSP source code (just the actual dependencies, and dependencies of dependencies etc.)?

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