NVIDIA started rolling the Android 6.0 update out to its original SHIELD Tablet yesterday after getting the K1 variant on Marshmallow a few weeks ago. Things haven't been going awesomely for early upgraders, though. NVIDIA has pulled the SHIELD update while it investigates an issue that can break WiFi connectivity on the tablet.
NVIDIA rolled out the Marshmallow update to the SHIELD K1 tablet late last year, but what of the shockingly similar original SHIELD Tablet? It was left to suffer on Lollipop. At the time, NVIDIA said we'd see an update in early 2016. Maybe this isn't as early as owners hoped, but the Marshmallow update is now rolling out.
After getting Android 6.0 in December, the NVIDIA SHIELD Tablet K1 is now getting a follow-up with plenty of tweaks under the hood. First, we have the latest round of security patches. You may not notice those, but this release also includes better Wi-Fi connectivity and improvements to legacy apps that should lengthen battery life.
While a video published last week teased it, NVIDIA's new (kind of) Shield Tablet K1 officially made its Marshmallow debut today - the update is available right now. NVIDIA just published an announcement on its forums, from which we've excerpted the changelog you see below.
This update for SHIELD Tablet K1 upgrades the Operating System to Android version 6.0
NVIDIA SHIELD Camera
New UI inspired by Material Design, improved burst photo functionality
Adds new real-time HD Image Effects
Now on Tap
Quickly find information related to what you are seeing on the screen, also from inside an app
MicroSD cards can be integrated with main internal storage, auto managed by system
User Interface Upgrades
Personalize Home & Lock screens with different wallpapers, new NVIDIA wallpapers
When NVIDIA reinvented its SHIELD Tablet into the SHIELD Tablet K1 about a month ago and released it on the market, it promised that although the tablet was shipping with Lollipop, an update to Android 6.0 Marshmallow was coming before the end of the year. A month has passed and it seems that NVIDIA will make good on its promise as the update looks to be in its final testing stages.
The company posted a video sneak peak of Marshmallow on the Tablet K1, showing off the new app permissions, Now on tap, the launcher's vertical drawer and search bar, its own cloud gaming service GeForce Now, and focusing on the fact that Marshmallow will let you adopt MicroSD cards as internal storage for your tablet.
In my personal opinion, NVIDIA's SHIELD Tablet has been one of the better Android tablets on the market for the last year and a half (give or take). Sure, it's had its ups and downs — a mandatory recall due to battery issues back in August probably hurt it more than anything, but NVIDIA did what was right and replaced all affected units.
Around that same time, SHIELD Tablet as we knew it was EOL'd. Initially we kind of assumed that this was because NVIDIA was prepping to release SHIELD Tablet 2, but we haven't seen nor heard anything about that. Now the company is bringing back the original SHIELD Tablet, albeit with a few changes and a nice new price tag.
The CyanogenMod team continues to expand its selection of builds for its aftermarket ROM, and today no less than four new devices are being added. Those would be HTC's 2015 flagship One M9, Lenovo's budget-oriented ZUK Z1, NVIDIA's SHIELD Portable (the original one with the attached controller), and the SHIELD Tablet.
As usual, CyanogenMod arranges builds by codename: the M9 is "himaul," the Z1 is "ham," the SHIELD Portable is "roth," and the SHIELD Tablet is... "shieldtablet." Huh. All four devices are currently on nightly builds of CyanogenMod 12.1 (Android 5.1), and may or may not be added to the more stable releases as they come.
Lately it seems that "retro" games have become synonymous with faux NES-era pixelated graphics. And while some pixel art is impressive, it's often just a means of seeming somewhat trendy without having to put in the extra effort and expense of making high-resolution 2D graphics work well. Not so with the latest SHIELD exclusive: Pix the Cat manages to blend truly nostalgic gameplay with absolutely gorgeous 2D visuals for an altogether unique experience. Unfortunately you'll need either a SHIELD Android TV or SHIELD Tablet (and a hefty $10) to play it.
The gameplay of Pix is somewhere between Snake and Pac-Man.