After fixing a heap of issues in an April update, Nvidia is pushing out a new care package to the Shield Tablet K1. Mobile musicians may want to hear this.
Heading the update for the Kepler-powered gaming tablet are improvements that bring it up to spec to meet the Android 6.0 Professional Audio standard, which Google laid out last year to set a bar for Android audio quality. .
In addition to supporting MIDI over USB with the update introduced in April, the Shield Tablet K1 now supports MIDI over Bluetooth LE. It also supports USB host and peripheral modes.
And rounding out its Android 6.0 Professional Audio validation, the latency in the gaming tablet's audio has been cut down to under 20 ms — and that's round trip latency, by the way. That accompanies the tablet's 24-bit, 192kHz Stereo audio and 7.1 HDMI output.
Round trip latency, a measure of the time it takes to transmit and confirm a signal, has been a huge problem for Android devices. And audio responsiveness in general has seen a lot of audio editing apps skip the mobile OS or devices not up to code.
After some prodding by Superpowered and others, Google laid out the Android 6.0 Professional Audio for Android Marshmallow. It adopted the standard to push hardware manufacturers to raise the bar because, as Superpowered put it, even just one second of signal delay "sounds like an eternity."
And "250 ms is still terrible. 100 ms is 10 percent of one second, and still sounds unacceptable," writes Supwerpowered in a blog post. "At 25ms, things begin to approach acceptable ranges. Unless you are Terence Fletcher, the nightmare-ish jazz instructor from the movie Whiplash, 10 ms should be perceived as instantaneous."
So this June update is major for the Shield Tablet K1. It's a gaming tablet for sure, but Nvidia keeps iterating on the original Shield family to make the products tools capable of tackling more than just videogames and videogame stream.
Here's what else is new with the Shield Tablet K1's June update, verion 1.4:
Option to toggle Navigation Button location (Settings > Personalize Settings)
Enhancements & fixes to Vulkan API
Improvements to touch responsiveness
Fixes to WiFi & Bluetooth connectivity
Update to Android 6.0 Security Patch Level June 1, 2016
Overall stability and additional security improvements
NVIDIA SHIELD Tablet K1 Software Upgrade 1.3 now available for download: https://t.co/UZP132ewbl
— NVIDIA Customer Care (@nvidiacc) June 15, 2016