I have been testing out a lot of applications on my trusty Nvidia Shield lately, which brought me to subconsciously curate a list of the best apps I found.
So here are some of the best Nvidia Shield apps that are worth staying installed on your system.
|Netflix and other OTT Applications|
|Dolphin and other Game Emulators|
|NordVPN, or other VPNs|
|Nvidia GeForce Now|
Netflix, and Other OTT Applications
This can seem like a no-brainer, but for the uninformed, an Android TV-based device like the Nvidia Shield works best when you pair it with Over The Top (OTT) apps.
These can include all popular services like Netflix, Prime Video, Hulu, Disney+, and any other service that you might be subscribed to.
Having your OTT services preinstalled on your Nvidia Shield means all your favorite content is a few clicks away.
Thanks to Google's Android TV being one of the most popular TV operating systems, you can almost always find the service you are looking for on the Play Store.
If you don't have a subscription to any of the services and would prefer to watch content for free, there are applications like Plex for that too.
Plex has a wide range of public domain movies available on its application, and you can also host your local server wirelessly for maximum free content.
Plex also doesn't use up data for streaming local content to your Nvidia Shield, so you can be assured to save up on a lot of data costs in the process.
Check with your Internet Service Provider (ISP) for any free subscriptions as many ISPs do nowadays.
After a long day's work, it is always a good idea to stream your favorite shows on TV, especially if you are chilling and cozy on the couch.
Dolphin, and Other Game Emulators
If you are a gamer at heart, you can relate to the fact that games are getting better by the day, and older games are slowly becoming outdated.
Be it the consoles that they are compatible with, or the operating systems it relies on, they slowly fade away to obscurity with time.
This is where emulators come into play as they help us play our favorite retro games on newer gen devices.
In fact, Nvidia Shield is often regarded as one of the best emulator devices to play retro games from the nostalgic golden era of the SNES and the Gameboy.
This is thanks to the combination of the wildly compatible Android TV OS and the capable processing power boasted by the device.
Some of the popular emulators and the games they run are as follows:
- Dolphin emulator - GameCube and Wii games
- PPSSPP - PSP games
- FPse - PS1 games
- MD.emu - Sega Genesis games
There are plenty of others you can download from the Play Store in order to play the retro game of your choice.
Do note that you will need to have your game file on the accessible storage of your Nvidia Shield.
You can extract these game files from your game disc, or download a copy of the file that a user has dumped and rezipped from the internet.
Do note that it is illegal to download zipped game files from the internet in most countries, but it isn't illegal to dump and rezip your own file for personal use.
NordVPN, ExpressVPN, or Other VPNs
Virtual Private Network (VPN) apps are a necessity nowadays when it comes to doing basically anything on the internet.
The fact that there are a lot of snooping eyes, ranging from your ISP to the Government to even hackers, on what you do on the internet is alarming.
We live in scary times where most of our lives are a part of the internet, and there are shady ways with which personal information can be accessed without your permission.
A VPN attempts to solve this issue by masking your internet traffic and channeling it to private networks that are encrypted.
This ensures that your activity on the internet is as private as you want it to be, and your mind can be at ease about the situation.
NordVPN is one of the most popular VPN services out there with strict privacy policies that make it an excellent choice for a VPN.
Other popular choices include Surfshark, ExpressVPN, PrivateVPN, and many more.
There is also the added benefit of a lot of location-restricted applications being unlocked if you connect to a VPN, giving you access to a load of new stuff.
For example, OTT apps like Netflix often restrict their content based on region. You won't be able to access them as Netflix detects your region based on your connection.
But if you connect to a VPN server of another country, Netflix detects you to be from that selected region and gives you access to all their regional content.
Do note that most VPNs in fact run on a subscription basis, and it is recommended to purchase a premium plan for experiencing the maximum benefits.
There are free versions of VPN services available, but they often connect to slow and limited servers.
Also, it is recommended to use VPNs from reputed services, as there have been cases where shady VPN services sell user data for profits.
Nvidia GeForce Now
GeForce Now is a brilliant service from Nvidia that lets you play AAA game titles on your Nvidia Shield, or any device thanks to cloud streaming.
It basically allows you to stream the whole gameplay using cloud servers onto your Nvidia Shield instead of running it natively on your device.
Your controller inputs are mapped, and the games are actually being processed on remote servers. Just the gameplay gets streamed on your Nvidia Shield.
This means that you don't need to have the latest and greatest hardware to play the latest and greatest games on your device.
All you need is a very solid internet connection, and you are good to go.
This technology, aptly named cloud gaming, ticks all the right boxes for being the future of gaming, and this being available right now on your Nvidia Shield is incredible.
Like Netflix, GeForce Now is a subscription service and you get access to hundreds of supported titles from the GeForce game catalog.
There are also extra quality-of-life features such as cloud saves and cross-platform gaming from your smart devices, making sure you never lose your gameplay.
You do require your extra gaming peripherals like a keyboard and mouse, or a gamepad like the Shield Controller to get gaming.
Nvidia recommends you have broadband with download speeds of at least 5Mbps to play games at 720p and 30fps.
To stream on the more acceptable 1080p and 60fps, you need a minimum broadband speed of at least 50Mbps.
Nvidia also recommends sticking to a wired ethernet connection rather than relying on WiFi for the most stable experience.
Thanks to the Play Store being vast, there ought to be plenty of applications that have gone untested.
But the ones on this list still live up to their name of being one of the most innovative and worthy applications to be installed on your Nvidia Shield.
I hope my article on the best apps you can install on your Nvidia Shield has been a great read and has piqued your interest in installing the same.
Have a good day!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Can I install any application on Nvidia Shield?
Nvidia Shield runs on Android TV, making it compatible with any application that is built using the Android Software Development Kit (SDK) and is packaged as an APK file.
What are the benefits of rooting Nvidia Shield?
Rooting your Nvidia Shield will allow you to install various mods on your Nvidia Shield, such as a button mapper for third-party controllers and ad block software.
But rooting will void your warranty, and it is not recommended if you are not tech-savvy enough to balance the consequences of rooting.
Is it necessary to use an Nvidia Shield Controller with Nvidia Shield for gaming?
Nvidia Shield supports a wide range of Bluetooth controllers, including the PlayStation and Xbox controllers, and is not restricted to just the Nvidia Shield Controller.
You can also connect third-party gamepads to the Nvidia Shield, and as long as it operates using Bluetooth, it will work fine, albeit with a bit of tinkering and button mapping.