It’s been a while since we saw an update to the original NVIDIA SHIELD Tablet, the last one was in July. But it’s good to hear that NVIDIA is taking good care of its products through regular updates. A new update just rolled out yesterday both for the original SHIELD Tablet and the SHIELD Tablet K1, and both updates contain identical enhancements, patching, and bug fixes.
First up, Software Upgrade 4.4 (SHIELD Tablet)/ Upgrade 1.5 (SHIELD Tablet K1) will bring both devices compatibility with Vulkan graphics APIs under the version 18.104.22.168 CTS revision. APIs, simply speaking, are the elements that game engines use to tell the hardware what to do. Vulkan – unlike OpenGL and Direct X – is a low-level API which reduces the amount of resources used to run it to begin with.
Secondly, the update fixes some instances of boot looping when certain types of SD cards are nearing their capacity limit. The update also brings a fix to an Android escalation vulnerability specifically using the “dirty cow” exploit. So no, you can’t use that exploit to root these tablets anymore.
The update should be rolling out to devices now, so you should have a notification for an update. If not, go ahead and tap the “software update” section in settings to your heart’s delight. Be sure you’re on a robust wifi connection when running this update.