Earlier this week a report surfaced about a successor to NVIDIA's high-powered SHIELD Tablet coming "within a couple of months," to be announced at the GPU Technology Conference starting on March 17th. The report claimed that the new SHIELD Tablet would be using NVIDIA's next-gen mobile chipset, the Tegra X1, which was announced at CES 2015 without any accompanying smartphone or tablet.
A new generation of SHIELD hardware powered by the Tegra X1 is a no-brainer - despite tepid interest outside of the Android and gaming communities, NVIDIA has shown no sign of slowing down its first-party mobile brand.
Update: We had a bit of a misunderstanding on the update text. As commenter Gardner points out, the restart and other options on the power button menu were in the SHIELD Tablet 5.0 update. The "SHIELD Power Control" menu, a section of the primary Android Settings menu that was included in KitKat but dropped from the 5.0 update, is back in 5.0.1. Sorry for the confusion.
Inside the SHIELD Power Control menu are basic settings for the Tegra K1 processor and a few screen options, as well as more standard Android settings like a sleep timer for the screen and Wi-Fi.
SHIELD Portable and SHIELD Tablet owners, mosey on over to the Play Store for your latest app update. NVIDIA has pushed a 4.0 upgrade for its SHIELD Hub app (previously called Tegra Zone), which ties into most of the unique gaming-related software on the devices. The new version has a Material Design upgrade to make it play nice with the Lollipop build on the Tablet itself, though it uses NVIDIA's usual green-on-grey color scheme, so you'll have to look closely for the changes to the animation and layout.
At the pace that NVIDIA and Valve are publishing older PC games for SHIELD devices, we might see Half-Life 3 come as a SHIELD exclusive. (In 2035.) But today, you can play the third stand-alone Half-Life shooter on your SHIELD Tablet. Half-Life 2, Episode One (the oddly-named sequel to the original Half-Life 2) is now available on the Play Store for $7.99. You'll need a SHIELD Tablet to purchase it and an official SHIELD controller to play it.
SHIELD Tablet LTE owners in the US who are ready to kick off the holiday weekend have a little something extra to be thankful for this year - their version of NVIDIA's eight-inch tablet is getting Lollipop as of now.
The Wi-Fi version of the tablet started getting the update a little over a week ago, and it was announced at that time that NVIDIA was waiting on carrier approval (probably AT&T) before Android 5.0 could be pushed to the LTE model.
Google added screen casting support to a select few devices earlier this year, but the wide rollout has been very, very slow. Today there are two new devices listed on Google's screen cast support page—The NVIDIA SHIELD Tablet and the LG G Pad 8.3 GPE.
Whenever Google announces a new version of Android, everyone wants to know when they'll get it. If you're an NVIDIA SHIELD Tablet owner, today is your day for Lollipop. That's pretty incredible, as this update comes just days after Google started sending the 5.0 update to most of its own devices. In fact, ST is the first non-Nexus tablet to land the Lollipop update. It's worth noting that, while the update is ready for both the LTE and Wi-Fi versions of the device, NVIDIA is waiting on carrier approval for the LTE update, so it'll be pushed back just a bit later.
Today is a really good day for giant robot enthusiasts on Android. In addition to the XCOM expansion Enemy Within, which features a ton of mechanized combat, Android gamers now have access to Strike Suit Zero, an indie PC game that's all about shooting robots in space. Unfortunately, you're only getting access to this game if you have a SHIELD Tablet. Sorry, giant robot fans: you're beholden to NVIDIA for your fix at the moment.
Have you ever heard the phrase "when it rains, it pours?" Well, at NVIDIA HQ, they like to make it storm. Those guys don't know about a little thing called "subtlety," nor do I think they care. They're like "oh, we want to announce something? Let's just save it up and do it all at once." So that's what they did. I like their style.
Here we go.
First off - and maybe most importantly - the Lollipop update is coming for SHIELD Tablet.
Software updates tend to take time, at least if you look at the historical average. A few OEMs have been pushing the envelope recently, though. For example, NVIDIA is saying that Android 5.0 will be on the Shield tablet this very month.