For years, if you wanted to get Android running on the biggest screen in your home, the Nvidia Shield TV was your best option. Cheaper devices like last year's Chromecast and Walmart's recent Onn streaming box are finally available on the market, but the Shield has kept some of the exclusive benefits that helped make it a fan favorite. If you've been waiting for an update to Android 10, you'll want to stop holding your breath — though that doesn't mean the Shield's future is uncertain.
According to a forum post published by Nvidia last month, the company has chosen to skip Android 10 for its streaming boxes altogether, leaving the lineup stuck on Android 9 for the time being (via 9to5Google). That's not to say development for the Shield has ceased, however. Here's Nvidia's full statement from its forums:
SHIELD development is still full steam ahead, we just had a release not too long ago. Android 10 was a no-op for android TV so we decided to skip it as the effort was large and there was essential no impact to end users other than the version string changing. Behond that, we don't talk about our Roadmap ahead of time anymore, but i can tell you there is still a lot of development going into SHIELD.
In other words, because Android 10 didn't offer any user-facing changes, it's been skipped altogether. Nvidia no longer offers a roadmap for its update plans, but we wouldn't be surprised to see an update to Android 12 sometime in the coming months — especially if development is as active as the company implies. Android TV 12 includes long-awaited features like 4K interface support and variable refresh rates, both of which would benefit the gaming-focused Shield TV greatly. For now, owners will have to make do with that controversial Google TV update from earlier this summer.