The seemingly indefatigable Nvidia Shield is getting another major Android update, with the new Shield Software Experience Upgrade 9.0 that adds Android 11 and a host of other upgrades.
The new update is rolling out to all Shield set-top boxes, including the original model from 2015 — which originally ran Android 5.0 Lollipop when it first launched. The latest upgrade to Android 11 gives the popular set-top box the honor of being one of the most upgraded Android devices ever released. To put that in perspective, a comparable Android phone from 2015 would be the Galaxy S6, which never got past Android Nougat (Android 7.0).
In addition to updating the OS to Android 11, the latest Shield software is also bringing some other benefits. Nvidia is switching to use Google’s Gboard keyboard by default for text entry (meaning it’ll be easier to use Google Assistant in text fields), and Bluetooth support has been updated to add support for Bluetooth aptX and to automatically disconnect Bluetooth devices when the Shield enters sleep mode.
Subscribers to GeForce Now will also see some new perks. The Shield now supports 4K HDR streaming for customers who pay for GeForce Now’s RTX 3080 tier (the service’s priciest level of service at $99.99 for six months). And all GeForce Now customers are getting better Twitch integration, with simultaneous gaming and streaming now available in high quality and support for more Bluetooth mice and keyboards.
The update marks the latest for Nvidia’s set-top box hardware, which also received major software releases last year, adding things like a modern Google TV-style UI and improved 4K upscaling on newer Shield hardware.