NVIDIA’s set-top box is three years old, but it continues getting software updates. The latest is actually a major upgrade that overhauls the user interface on the SHIELD TV.
All of your favorite content is now shown at a glance without the need to open individual apps, but you’re still able to dive in and dig through if you want to explore. Google is pushing Android TV to rely on artificial intelligence and machine learning for recommendations. While the platform hasn’t been doing much recently, there’s renewed interest in advancing Android TV.
The SHIELD TV, courtesy of Android 8.0 Oreo, switches from a grid of apps to a grid of content for its layout.
Each row is dedicated to a specific category. These categories are generalized, like Play Next for suggestions from all services, or service-specific. If you’d like to see every app installed on your SHIELD TV, the top row is similar to a traditional app launcher.
Android TV describes apps as “channels,” drawing similarities to the guide from a traditional TV provider. You see the service’s icon and name on the left with pieces of content sprinkled along on the right. Channels can be rearranged, so you’re not stuck with YouTube at the top if you use Netflix and Hulu more than anything else.
Google Assistant is, of course, at the ready as well. The digital assistant can be commanded from the SHIELD TV’s remote to open apps and perform searches within them.
The software update is rolling out, but it’s not live for everyone just yet. NVIDIA appears to be doing a staged roll-out to prevent any potential bugs from impacting a large number of users. If you don’t have it already, your SHIELD TV should get Oreo in the coming days and weeks.