Directly above shot of a smartphone getting charged with wireless charging device on a cabinet in the living room

Android 15 is set to revolutionize how devices charge by potentially enabling NFC (near-field communication) technology.

Commonly used for contactless payments and to charge phones wirelessly, this addition was discovered in the latest Android 15 Beta release by Android Authority. Dubbed “NfcCharging,” it could introduce wireless charging capabilities to a wider range of devices, particularly budget models that typically lack Qi charging (the current standard for wireless power).

How would ‘NFC charging’ work?

Although NFC charging offers a slower charging rate, peaking at just 1W, it could still prove beneficial in emergencies. For instance, it would take around five hours to fully charge a 5,000mAh battery — making it a less efficient, yet convenient alternative. Primarily, NFC charging could be more useful for smaller devices like earbuds, styluses, and smartwatches due to their low-power requirements and smaller battery sizes.

This emerging technology promises to make wireless charging more accessible, especially for devices too small to support Qi’s larger antennas. With NFC antennas being significantly more compact, they could easily fit into a greater variety of devices.

While the concept of NFC charging has been around for some years, its implementation has been limited. However, if integrated into Android natively, it could set a new trend for device charging, potentially paving the way for replacing Qi charging if the speed and efficiency of NFC can be enhanced. This would simplify the internal design by reducing the number of required antennas and allowing for larger batteries or additional features within devices.

Expected to debut between August and October 2024, more insights into NFC charging and other Android 15 updates are likely to be unveiled at the Google I/O 2024 event on May 14.