NVIDIA's SHIELD Android TV appears to be getting closer to its Android 9 Pie update.
There’s been nothing officially confirmed by the company as of yet, but the SHIELD’s listing on the Google Play Developer Console was recently updated to confirm support for Android 9 Pie. While this in itself is not a confirmation the update is en route, it is a good indicator that progress on making the update available is moving along.
This is specific to the 2017 version of the SHIELD TV as the 2015 version is still reportedly only showing support for Android 8 (Oreo) as its newest supported version.
In reality, this is likely to only be a short-lived difference between the two model listings considering the differences between the 2015 and 2017 SHIELD TV models is minimal to say the least. In other words, there’s no technical reason as to why the 2015 model won’t see the update and NVIDIA’s track record highly suggests its focus will be on rolling out the Android upgrade to both devices in a similar fashion and along a similar time-frame.
While the listings do not provide us with any firm indication on the rollout time, there has been recent speculation that NVIDIA is preparing to announce a newer version of the popular Android TV device. A suggestion that also came from the Google Play Developer Console.
The information on this new model is limited, but if one is in the works, and as expected being readied for launch soon, then it stands to reason that version will come running on Android 9 Pie from launch. Early indications have already pointed to the newer version of Android in use and more generally speaking, newer devices tend to come running on a newer version of Android.
It probably can also be assumed that if that is the case then the two older SHIELD TV units should not be too far behind when it comes to the commencement of their respective upgrade rollouts.
In either case, the Android 9 Pie rollout already feels long overdue. Android TV has never been lightning fast when it comes to upgrade support and although NVIDIA has proven to be one of the better OEMs in this respect, it is still largely abiding by the same slow laws that appear to govern Android TV in general.
Arguably, it appears as if even NVIDIA is starting to slow down macro updates as well. While Google has been attempting to roll out Android updates faster year-on-year, Android 9 Pie for the SHIELD is already trailing behind Android Oreo, considering Oreo started hitting SHIELD devices in June of last year.
Android 9 Pie, is of course, 2018’s version of Android and when it comes to other versions of the operating system, such as mobile, much of the talk has already moved on to this year’s Android release, Android Q.
Based on the pattern that now seems to be in effect, owners of an existing Android TV device will likely have to wait until next year at the very earliest before they see any sort of Android Q equivalent upgrade, if it becomes available at all.