Keyboard shortcut enables hidden split-screen functionality on the NVIDIA SHIELD TV

Keyboard shortcut enables hidden split-screen functionality on the NVIDIA SHIELD TV

Android TV boxes for consumers aren’t exactly the most popular products out there (StrategyAnalytics estimates that 1 out of every 10 smart TV is Android TV-based), but they have a respectable amount of users. The NVIDIA SHIELD TV is one of the few products running the platform that has gained a lot of popularity in the community. The reasons for its popularity include the continuous software support (4 years of consistent updates since the 2015 model was released!) and the powerful Tegra X1 SoC, which is why the recent news about potentially new SHIELD accessories got so many users hyped up. Unfortunately, the underlying Android TV still needs room for improvement. One useful quality-of-life feature that’s available on other Android-based products, but is hidden away on Android TV, is split-screen functionality. We recently learned that one user found out how to activate it on the SHIELD TV.

It is unclear if this is intended functionality or if Google or NVIDIA accidentally left the input in the software. The nature of the functionality suggests to us that this should work on other Android TV devices, but we didn’t manage to get it working on the Xiaomi Mi Box S running Android 8.1 Oreo. For the feature to work, you will need a keyboard connected to the device via Bluetooth or a wire. You have two ways to enable split-screen:

  • Press Windows + ^ (CMD + ^ on Mac keyboard) to run the current app on the right side. The previous app will run on the left side.
  • Press Windows + $ (CMD + $ on Mac keyboard) to run the current app on the right side. The previous app will run on the left side.

Android TV has one limitation that might prevent you from launching the split-screen mode—it can’t detect 3 keystrokes. So, to run applications in split-screen, you will need a keyboard which has dedicated ^ and $ buttons, as Android TV won’t allow you to use Windows/CMD, Shift, and $/^ at once. Nevertheless, I think this is a feature that will help a lot of users. I’ve seen questions on forums around the Internet asking for a split-screen mode on Android TV boxes. As you’d imagine, these boxes are often connected to fairly big screen TVs, so it’d be great to run applications side by side.


Via: GeForce Forums

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