Earlier today NVIDIA confirmed it has now started rolling out SHIELD Software Experience Upgrade 8.0 to its SHIELD TV devices.
While all updates and upgrades are important to some degree, this one is more notable than others as it also brings with it an OS upgrade to Android 9 Pie. This represents the first Android TV device to be upgraded to Android 9 Pie, resulting in a device that's as up to date as the very few select Android TV devices that launched with Android Pie.
With Android Pie having now started its journey out to devices, NVIDIA says users can now expect a "redesigned settings menu and faster and easier setup for new users.".
As is usually the case with NVIDIA, while the upgrade to Android Pie is certainly the centerpiece of this upgrade it is not the sum of the SHIELD Software Experience Upgrade 8.0.
For those wondering what else is included, NVIDIA has now provided a full breakdown of what SHIELD owners can look forward to. Here's the changelog.
- Updates "Display and Sounds" advanced setting into two easier to navigate menus.
- Adds option to match content color space (Settings > Display & Sound > Advanced).
- Improves volume dynamic range for USB and bluetooth connected headsets.
- SHIELD TV remote app adds bluetooth assist for pairing and improves connection.
- Enables 720p refresh rate switching on supported apps.
- Adds "Disconnect Bluetooth accessories" option to quick settings.
- Adds IR power control options to customize on/off functionality.
- Adds option to turn off USB power when SHIELD sleeps.
- Adds option to connect to 2.4GHz or 5GHz Wi-Fi network with shared SSID.
- Latest accessory firmware versions: SHIELD controller (2017): v1.30, SHIELD controller (2015): v1.96/99/3.71/0.32, SHIELD remote (2017): v1.43, SHIELD remote (2015): v.1.36
As is explained by the changes above, this update is rolling out to both the 2015 and 2017 versions of the SHIELD TV.
This is particularly noteworthy for the 2015 version as it just goes to show how well-supported SHIELD TV devices are by NVIDIA. This is not always the case with the Android TV platform as regular and long-term updates continues to prove to be an issue for some Android TV makers and suppliers.
That's not the case with NVIDIA though as with the 2015 version now over four-years old, this upgrade to Android 9 Pie makes it one of, if not, the best-supported Android devices to date.
To put this into perspective, when the original NVIDIA SHIELD launched back in May of 2015 it did so on Android 5.1. That's Android Lollipop.
Since then it has continually received every major OS update and as proven today, at the same time as when the newer and current SHIELD TV model receives its update.
This is not only good news for owners of the 2015 model but should also be cause for attention for those thinking of buying a new Android TV device. This is especially true if they are considering picking up the new NVIDIA SHIELD that's rumored to be on the way as NVIDIA has made it perfectly clear today that once one of its SHIELD Android TV devices have been purchased, it will continue to receive OS updates and upgrades for years to come.