The NVIDIA Shield TV is currently receiving the long-awaited Android 9 Pie update.
Arriving as part of the “SHIELD Experience Upgrade 8.0”, the Pie update also brings with it several new features to what many agree is one of the best, if not exactly the best, Android experiences on the big screen.
According to the update changelog, some of the new features coming with the Shield’s Experience Upgrade 8.0 include a redesigned settings menu which is now more simplified.
As I found out once my unit finished installing the update, clicking on Settings takes one to a very simple menu that splits settings into two: Quick Settings and General Settings.
Almost everything that used to clutter the settings menu is now hidden under Device Preferences in General Settings.
As promised, with today’s update, the NVIDIA Shield has become one of the earliest devices to take advantage of Google and Amazon’s recent truce. The Experience Upgrade 8.0 brings with it the ability to cast movies and TV shows from the Amazon Prime Video Android application to the Shield in all their 4K glory.
As Amazon Prime Video users rejoice, Netflix users will also be happy to know that the NVIDIA Shield now delivers Dolby Digital Plus 5.1 audio up to 640kbps.
Gamers (and everyone else who uses the service) on Twitch will be happy to know that they can now use the on-screen keyboard to chat up their favourite streamers while also benefitting from the improved navigation that comes with the updated user interface.
Still sticking with gamers, there are over 20 new games that have made their way to NVIDIA’s own cloud game streaming service, GeForce Now (Project Stadia for who?).
While in my usage of the Shield, with the previous version of its software, I have been unable to fully exploit the hundreds of games GeForce Now avails thanks to my sad internet situation, those with a good connection will probably not be giving the Shield controller any peace for a few hours after updating. Maybe even Nintendo Switch users may join in the fun.
There are also several other additions that come with the update as can be seen below:
Those setting up a Shield for the first time – or if you reset yours – will have less incentive to get a keyboard like I do since with this update, the Shield is letting users transfer passwords for things like Wi-Fi and Google accounts from their smartphones. This feature is thanks to “Autofill with Google” which was introduced in Android Pie last year.
Those that have HDR TVs will benefit from the “Match content colour space” display setting (found in Settings > Device Preferences > Display & Sound > Advanced display settings) which results in the TV getting better at delivering adaptive colours for supported content.
In addition to the main media console, accessories such as the remote and the controller are also receiving firmware updates. I was prompted to update the controller immediately after main console’s update was installed. Interestingly, the same is yet to happen for the remote even though version 1.43 for the 2017 model (like my unit) and 1.36 for the 2015 model should also be rolling out.
The console’s update, which clocks in at about 940 megabytes, is currently rolling out to users around the world so if you are yet to receive it, just be patient, it will come.