A couple of weeks back NVIDA released their Android 7.0 “Nougat” update for their original SHIELD TV. Now this week their other SHIELD devices are getting in on the action, with the release of the Android 7.0 update for the SHIELD Tablet and its Tablet K1 sibling.

Android 7.0 brings a few major changes to tablets, particularly the implementation of split-screen application mode for improved multitasking. But arguably what makes this update so noteworthy is that Android 7.0 updates for tablets have been few and far between, making this one of the few tablets to get the update so far. Other than Google’s most recent tablets such as the Pixel C and Nexus 9, and Sony’s Xperia X4 tablet, very few vendors have released updates for their tablets. Which, unfortunately, isn’t too surprising given that Android tablet sales outside of the “portable TV” segment have taken a beating.

In the SHIELD Tablet’s case things are especially interesting since this is quite likely the only Cortex-A15 powered tablet that will ever receive Google’s latest OS. This itself is something of an artifact of NVIDIA’s product strategy – the company still sells the refreshed SHIELD Tablet K1 to this day – but I have to give NVIDIA credit where it’s due since it means they’ve kept their promise to offer long-term update support for the Tablet and other SHIELD devices. Coming upon its 3rd birthday I suspect the tablet never got quite as much traction or consumer recognition as NVIDIA was hoping for, but NVIDIA’s carved out an interesting niche in a rough market by offering a mid-sized (8-inch) tablet with extended support.

In any case, the Android 7.0 update brings with it the typical slew of feature updates expected with Nougat, including the earlier mentioned multitasking features, notification changes, and the operating system’s new and better-performing JIT compiler. Along with Google’s feature changes, on the NVIDIA side of matters the update also adds support for the 2017 SHIELD peripherals, should any Tablet owners still need a(nother) SHEILD Controller.

The full patch notes are available below. The update is available now for the SHIELD Tablet and SHIELD Tablet K1, while the LTE version of the original tablet is reportedly still waiting on carrier approval.

  • New Multitasking Features
    • Split-screen: Run two apps side by side* in Portrait or Landscape modes
    • Quick switch: Double tap the Overview button to quickly switch back to the last opened app
  • SHIELD Controller (2017) Support
    • Updates to SHIELD controller support
  • SHIELD Rewards Program
    • Introducing SHIELD Rewards, the exclusive loyalty program for SHIELD owners
  • Improved Notifications
    • Multiple notifications from the same app are now bundled for a streamlined experience
    • Reply to messages directly from within the notification*
    • Tap and hold on a notification to quickly silence or block notifications from the app
  • Improved Power Consumption
    • Doze on the Go: Doze is now smarter & kicks in even when the device is being carried around
  • Emoji
    • Includes all-new Unicode 9 emojis
  • Usability Improvements
    • Display & Font size can now separately adjustable to improve redability or screenspace
    • Quick Settings can now be customized directly from the menu by tapping “Edit”
    • The top Quick Setting tiles can now be accessed with a downward swipe from the lock screen
    • Settings now includes a Navigation Menu & Suggestions to improve usability
    • The “Clear all” option in Overview have been relocated to the top right
  • System wide improvements including
    • Updates to SHIELD controller support
    • New Data Saver: when enabled, limits access to Cellular data for background apps
    • New JIT complier: improves the speed of App & System updates
    • Update to Android Security Patch Level December 1, 2016

Source: NVIDIA



View All Comments

  • iamlilysdad - Sunday, February 12, 2017 - link

    Aren't you describing the Pixel C? Reply
  • lmcd - Sunday, February 12, 2017 - link

    It's been a great experience for me overall, but somehow I either forgot about a major event or managed to crack/deeply scratch the screen way more easily than expected.

    Performance has been great, this update was smooth, battery life is solid, audio is excellent (speakers are excellent and headphone out is excellent), the dedicated mini-HDMI is nice, mSD card reader performance has been excellent, and wireless range and speed are solid.

    Unsure of other characteristics you're curious about, but it's delivered with the normal tablet use case. Can't vouch for the Nvidia GameStream feature, as I dislike using console controllers and haven't tried it.
  • jsntech - Sunday, February 12, 2017 - link

    If you're anything like me (a moderate to heavy Netflix/Amazon/YouTube streamer + a big local NAS/SMB-based media library), I hope you will be as pleased with the Shield TV as I've been. Tip: for local library, I highly recommend SPMC (an Android-specific Kodi build).

    All of that, and as an added bonus I finally got to do this to my old physically and emotionally abusive WDTVs:


    Damn it feels good to be a gangsta.
  • jsntech - Sunday, February 12, 2017 - link

    "...Android tablet sales outside of the “portable TV” segment have taken a beating."

    It utterly bewilders me that this is the state of affairs at this late date in the evolution of tablets.

    If Android implemented a native file manager, SMB client, real 3rd-party app support, and real external display support, in a 10-12" form factor, I hypothesize that could potentially be as disruptive as Apple's original iPad. Such a device would replace the majority of what I require an x64-based computer for, and 98-100% of what I require a laptop for.
  • nitram_tpr - Monday, February 13, 2017 - link

    There was one that almost did the job, the Asus Transformer Prime, I used mine to death almost. It still functions as an e-reader but not much else as it is soooo slow. I used it on my daily commute by train to work, watched tons of movies and tv episodes on it, at home the hdmi (mini) out worked a treat on my TV, having two memory card slots was also a boon. Just a pity it has never been updated properly, a modern version of the Prime would be bloomin' marvellous. Reply
  • trulyuncouth - Tuesday, February 14, 2017 - link

    The Windows transformers are a good stand-in. They also open up steam streaming which works better than you'd expect. Reply
  • watzupken - Friday, February 17, 2017 - link

    It is great to see Nvidia still committed to updating their line of tablet and Shield TV. However, I think the 2GB on the tablet will start to take its tool with newer OS version. This is because if you look at the Android mobile phone market, manufacturers are stuffing their phones with crazy amount of memory. The OS and apps are spoilt for the plentiful memory and likely to be less optimized for device with low amount of ram. Reply
  • run4all - Sunday, February 19, 2017 - link

    Just to be clear, this is a solid piece of kit which has been supported throughout its life, a battery problem meaning a complete no quibble exchange of tablet and thoroughly supported with O/S upgrades, up till now. I bought the LTE version, with wi-fi and Bluetooth. Mine has an internal capacity of 32GB, external SD card support of 128GB, USB 2.0, stereo headphone jack with microphone support and mini HDMI, it supports a stylus which I use constantly. The processor is a quad core A15 processor with 2GB ram and the display is driven by a Nvidia Tegra K1 GPU. It has front facing speakers!
    I was really waiting for the Nexus 9, but its lack of all round features (e.g. No SD slot) when it finally arrived, and the price, lead me to look elsewhere until I found the NVidia Shield.
    I've found it a tough little tablet that has served so well since I bought it that I fear the day that I'll need replacing. I doubt that I'll get the comprehensive features like this tablet ever again.
    Its the best tablet I've ever had, a good all-rounder, the Samsung's and the Nexus's of this world have all failed on me after a short time compared to the Shield. The Shield is tough I have it with me every day, oh yes, you can play games on it but I use it for personal and business. Although now perhaps a little long in the tooth, I'm happy that NVidia continue to support it. Its nice to see a manufacturer not pandering to built in obsolescence. :) Its just brilliant, feeling like a fanboy.

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