Change is an inevitability in life, and unfortunately for those of us who invest in various product ecosystems, change ultimately means having to upgrade. Right now, Samsung is transitioning to a next-gen platform for its SmartThings smart home system. And while newer devices are coming along for the ride, some older components are going to need to be replaced before they stop working. Samsung's been sharing news of this transition with owners of these devices, including the SmartThings Link USB dongle that lets it integrate with the Nvidia Shield, as well as the original SmartThings Hub.
If you haven't received it already, expect a new update on your Nvidia Shield device in the form of SHIELD Experience 8.2.3. Although it may not be what you're waiting for, it does bring in a few notable developments apart from the regular bug fixes.
One of the NVIDIA SHIELD's most impressive capabilities is running a Plex media server, something that isn't usually possible on a streaming set-top box. But some users have had issues with it for the last couple of months, complaining that a lack of updates has broken their home-built video streaming server. There's a straightforward solution: update the Plex server app on the Play Store, since the server won't update itself automatically.
The Xbox Series X/S and PlayStation 5 started arriving on store shelves a few months ago, but both consoles have been incredibly difficult to find. If you've been lucky enough to score one, or you just have the controllers, here's some extra good news — you can now use your shiny new controller with Nvidia's Android TV boxes.
Your TV is only as good as the streaming dongle attached or built into it. NVIDIA's Shield TV Pro is a great way to upgrade your current setup. It comes with plenty of essential features like Chromecast support and Assistant integration, as well as premium extras such as 4K AI Upscaling and Dolby Vision. Normally retailing for $199.99, Amazon currently has the streaming device on sale for $179.99 — a cool $20 discount.
Google TV may be the hot new thing, but Nvidia's Shield TV is still one of the most popular Android TV devices out there. We called it the best Android TV box at the time of release, and it's getting even better thanks to a new update rolling out now.
Nearly every device that ships with the Android TV operating system has access to millions of applications through the Google Play Store. However, there are some situations where you might want to sideload your own applications (APKs). Maybe you want the latest app updates quicker than the Play Store rolls them out, or you want to try an application that isn't officially available for your specific device.
Google's Nest Hubs and third-party Assistant Smart Displays have been receiving an update that vastly improves their smart home controls. Among the changes we spotted are live light status and scenes for Philips Hue and Lifx, new Shield controls, the ability to unlock your smart lock, plus controls for blinds, air fresheners, and vacuums. Other product categories may be updated too, but we don't have everything on hand to test with.
Google Assistant already supports more than 60 device types, from smart lights and thermostats to more eccentric ones like dehydrators, pergolas, or fireplaces. Now it's officially adding three new ones: TVs, media remotes, and set-top boxes.
The brand new 2019 Shield TV and Shield TV Pro are now available and awaiting all of those people that have been patiently waiting for a true refresh. Thankfully, the remote has gone through some substantial improvements, including the addition of several new buttons. While most of them contribute to navigation and playback, there is that one Netflix button that's not for everyone. If you count yourself as a non-Netflixer, or even just want to use the button for something even more useful, it's actually very easy to remap.