Android 15 Might Decouple NFC From System Updates

Android 15 Might Decouple NFC From System Updates

The NFC stack may soon be updated independently of Android system updates.

Google long ago started separating some core components from the Android system itself and calling them mainline modules that can be updated independently from the system. This allows Google to roll out security patches and even feature updates to many more devices much more quickly than it can for older phones that don't even have the same upgrade policy. Up to date from the best Android phones. The final component to receive this overhaul could be the NFC stack, which could be a core unit in Android 15.


As Mishaal Rahman points out, hints have surfaced in the Android Open Source Project's source code that the company is working on converting the NFC stack into a mainline module. The description couldn't be more detailed: "Change the security level to SUBSCRIBE_TO_KEYGUARD. This is required for the NFC stack (currently a platform APK, but plans to become a core module in the future)."

As the change is only now visible, it probably won't come to Android 14 and is already a planned tweak for Android 15 next year.

What this means in terms of end-user benefit is not entirely clear. The change is likely to serve as a precautionary measure if vulnerabilities are discovered in the NFC package, allowing Google to react quickly to problems rather than waiting for phone manufacturers to release updates.

The NFC stack is the newest component of the system. Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and Ultra Broadband are now the main units. In Android 14, Google separates the share sheet from the system, allowing feature updates to be rolled out faster. Also included is Health Connect, which provides fitness apps with a secure and private way to sync and access your health data in standard formats. Finally, the company also separated DNS over HTTPS from system updates.

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