Nvidia officially releases Android TV 11 for Shield TV
Nvidia is probably best known for its graphics cards, but the company has also sold set-top boxes powered by Android TV under the ‘Shield’ name since 2015. Even though Nvidia has refreshed the hardware a few times since then (and made a separate stick model), all Shield TV devices are still supported by software updates. Now the company is rolling out Android TV 11 to all Shield TV products, including the original 2015 model.
Back in August 2020, Nvidia said it was skipping the Android TV 10 update for Shield devices, due to the minimal amount of changes. Reports of an Android TV 11 update in beta testing cropped up in October, and last month, Nvidia briefly published recovery images for the upgrade. The update is finally official, now branded as “Shield Experience 9.0.0.”
Nvidia says the upgrade includes everything offered in Android TV 11, including an updated Gboard keyboard, the same one-time permissions found on phones and tablets, and support for the aptX codec with wireless headphones. Google’s initial Android TV 11 update included support for the Nintendo Switch Pro Controller (over Bluetooth and USB) and Steam Controller (over USB), as well as additional media codecs.
Since the Android TV 10 update was skipped, Nvidia Shield owners can also look forward to the handful of changes from that release. Android TV 10 added TLS 1.3 support, a Thermal API for managing temperatures, peer-to-peer Wi-Fi connections, and a few other new features.
It’s impressive that Nvidia is still supporting every Shield TV device, as far back as the original model from 2015. There are few Android devices that still receive updates after three years, much less seven years. Nvidia’s Shield lineup was also one of the only ways to get a set-top box with a clean Android TV experience for several years, but more recently, devices like the Chromecast with Google TV and Xiaomi TV Stick 4K have added more possible options for buyers.