NVIDIA doesn’t get much attention in mobile news mostly because it doesn’t have a phone or even a tablet to sell. It does have a couple of Android TV devices, and, to its credit, it may be one of the best-supported Android products next to Google’s own Pixel phones. It has been more low-key on updates lately but that doesn’t mean it has stopped its practice. Unfortunately, the latest update, while much needed, is missing the one piece of good news owners have been dying to hear.
The changelog for the NVIDIA Shield Experience Upgrade 8.2.1 is surprisingly long, despite 8.2 being released just three months ago. It carries the usual assortment of feature enhancements and bug fixes, not to mention updating Shield TV devices to the August 2020 Android Security bulletin.
A key focus for this release seems to center around AI upscaling. There are some fixes here and there but there is now also a notification to enable the feature when users are streaming via GeForce Now rather than just playing locally. There are also quite a number of new features and fixes for the infrared remote functionality.
One detail that’s conspicuously missing is an update to the latest Android version, not that you’d expect one in a “point” maintenance release. The NVIDIA Shield TV devices, even the latest 2019 models, are still stuck on Android 9 Pie, the last version to be named after a dessert. Android TV itself was updated to Android 11 last September.
This will undoubtedly cause another wave of outcry from owners who have been asking for the latest Android version for months now. NVIDIA has so far been consistent in its updates and one can only hope that Android 11, or even at least Android 10, is just around the corner in NVIDIA SHIELD Experience 9.0.