The problem with some software updates is that depending on the severity of the bug or flaw, developers might wait to couple an update for a particular feature or hardware component with other updates before pushing it out. This is because it is generally more efficient to release one massive update than multiple smaller updates.
That might change for future Android updates, in particular for the NFC component of Android phones. This is according to a tweet by Mishaal Rahman where he tweeted that in a future Android release, most likely Android 15, Google could decouple NFC updates from system updates and make it part of Project Mainline.
Following the Bluetooth, WiFi, and UWB stacks, Google will next turn Android's NFC stack into a modular system component, ie. a Project Mainline module!
It's too early for this to happen in Android 14, but the NFC stack could become a Mainline module as early as Android 15. pic.twitter.com/55icKYJsdz
— Mishaal Rahman (@MishaalRahman) May 8, 2023
For those unfamiliar, Project Mainline is where Google has decoupled other hardware/software features from main Android system updates. This includes WiFi, Bluetooth, and UWB, where the idea is that by decoupling them, they can be updated independently and security/bug fixes can be pushed out quicker without having to wait for it to be part of the main system update.
Since NFC is used by phones to help facilitate payments, it’s important that the tech and software powering it remain as secure as possible and can receive patches and fixes ASAP. As Rahman notes, it might be too early for the decoupling to happen in Android 14, so the most likely candidate will be Android 15, so we might still have to wait a while before that happens.