With Android 11 for the original Shield TV, Nvidia is on the verge of setting an Android update record


Nvidia is one of the few Android TV manufacturers to support their devices for a substantial amount of time. The company said it will skip the Android 10 update for its Shield TV line, but has since started testing the Android 11-based Nvidia Shield Experience 9 beta on devices. A few days ago, the company released recovery images for the Shield Android TV 11 update, but it has since removed them.

We first learned about the potential Android TV 11 update when some users signed up for the closed beta leaked the information on Reddit. However, these reports were found to violate the privacy requirements of Nvidia’s beta program, leading to the removal of most of them.

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A few weeks later, a Google Play console listing emerged labeling all Shield TV models as supporting Android 11 and the associated SDK 30, thus confirming that an update was in the works. Perhaps most notable, the original 2015 Nvidia Shield TV was on the list of devices receiving the update. It launched with Android 5 and has been upgraded to Android 7, Android 8, and Android 9, becoming one of the best-supported Android devices of all time. You can’t even say the same about the original Google Pixel.

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Last week, Nvidia’s download center briefly released Android 11 recovery images for the Shield TV line (by XDA developers). The company has since removed the images from its website and direct links no longer work. However, one user reportedly installed the update, which brought Shield Experience 9 and the September 2021 security patch to their Shield TV (by 9to5Google).

It is safe to deduce from these recovery images that Android TV 11 for the Shield TV line will be launching soon. It is expected to bring a lot of improvements including native controller support, Google Assistant search apps, low latency media decoding, Google Play Instant, and more. The Android 11-based Shield Experience 9 will be available for the Shield TV 2019 and 2019 Pro, Shield TV 2017, and Shield TV 2015 and Pro 2015.

As good as the Android 11 update is for the Nvidia Shield TV series, Google has already released Android 12 for the platform, but it’s unclear when existing devices, including the Shields, will receive the upgrade.


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