Earlier this month, NVIDIA promised that its SHIELD tablet would be updated to Android 5.0 in November and then offered up a video preview of the update. The NVIDIA-flavored Lollipop update is coming on November 18, but today The House That Tegra Built is shedding more light on the upgrade.
NVIDIA previously said that the update will include a vanilla user experience, meaning that you’ll get a Material Design UI like Google intended. This look and feel will be extended to NVIDIA’s own Dabbler and SHIELD Hub apps, the former of which allows you to sketch using NVIDIA’s DirectStylus and the latter giving you easy access to your Android and PC games.
Along with the SHIELD tablet update, NVIDIA says that it plans to expand its GRID gaming service that lets you stream high-end PC games onto your SHIELD portable or tablet from NVIDIA’s servers in California. Previously, GRID was only available in San Jose, but NVIDIA will expand it in North America this month. Western Europe will gain GRID support in December, with Asia expected to follow in Q2 2015.
NVIDIA also says that GRID will be free for SHIELD portable and tablet users through June 30, 2015. The company hasn’t revealed how much it plans to charge for the service after that date.
Finally, we come to the games. NVIDIA has announced its “Green Box” deal that will see Half-Life 2, Portal and Half-Life 2: Episode One made available on the 32GB LTE variant of the SHIELD tablet. NVIDIA also says that it’s currently got 20 games that are optimized for use with its Tegra K1 processor as well as more than 400 titles that play nicely with touch and controllers.
Not only is it great to see NVIDIA pushing Android 5.0 to the SHIELD tablet in a speedy manner, but the company is even updating its own apps to fit in nicely with Android 5.0’s design language. And now we know that the SHIELD tablet's Lollipop update is coming on November 18, so you SHIELD tablet users have less than a week to wait before you're enjoying Google's latest software.