Chauvet (the linux-based operating system that runs on Supernote e-ink tablets) version 2.10.25 was released for the Supernote at the end of August 2023. In this post, you will find my thoughts and views on the latest enhancements.
Improvements for ‘Headings’ & Lasso Select
‘Titles’ have always been one of my favourite features of the Supernote ecosystem. By lasso-selecting some handwriting, you can set it as a title with the tap of a button and it automatically gets added to a table of contents, which makes navigation around notebook pages so much easier.
‘Titles’ are now called ‘Headings’ and you click on a ‘H’ button instead of a ‘T’ button to set them.
Previously, selecting an existing heading or link with the lasso select tool would only give you an option to remove it – with the latest update, you can now cut, copy, move, and resize links and headings as well as edit the style and target. Headings and links can also now be flagged with keywords and added as an event to the calendar. It is also possible to create a new notebook from the link insertion screen.
Another small enhancement (which made a massive difference to me) is that the lasso-select tool can only be cancelled with a pen tap. Previously, this could be carried out with a finger tap, which sometimes resulted in an unwanted deselection when my palm touched the screen. This mild annoyance has now been eradicated. Also, the clipboard is not cleared when making a new selection.
Global handwriting search
Perhaps the best new feature of this latest update (for me, anyway) is the addition of global handwriting search. This means that you can perform a handwriting search across all your real-time recognition notebooks at once. Previously, handwriting search was limited to a single notebook at a time.
As well as global handwriting search, you can also specify global searches filenames, keywords, and stars (stars are Supernote’s method for flagging something as important). A recent search history has also been added.
Supernote already implements the best (and fastest) handwriting search of any e-ink manufacturer and the ability to search multiple notebooks at once just takes it further ahead of the competition.
The region eraser is now available in real-time recognition notebooks and is the default eraser for the erase gesture (two fingers on the screen). I’m not sure why but it was previously only available in standard notebooks.
And, if you use the LAMY pen, you no longer have to keep the button pressed down whilst erasing or lasso-selecting – one press will suffice and then another press to go back to the pen tool.
The ‘Overview’ screen which shows a list of all the pages in a notebook is now called ‘Pages’ and you can move/copy multiple pages between notebooks.
Notebooks exported as vector PDFs are now of much higher quality than they were before.
Images & templates
Supernote now supports WEBP images for templates, screensavers etc.
You can also use JPG/JPEG files for templates and there is no longer the 1404x1872px size restriction for PNG templates.
The biggest enhancement for the document reader is the ability to highlight text within PDF files. This is a welcome addition (although something that I might have expected to be a standard feature on this type of device).
Highlights can only be made with the pen (you can’t use your finger) and there are options to colour your highlights either yellow, blue, pink, or green, or simply underline them. Obviously, the actual colour will not be displayed on the Supernote’s monochrome screen but will be visible on colour screens when exported.
You can also add text-based comments to the highlights and there is a button to add selected text to the Digest (Supernote’s method of collecting together all the annotations from a document for review or export). In addition, annotations for the digest can be saved by drawing square brackets around a block of text. Previously, you had to draw the left bracket first, followed by the right bracket. With the new update, the order you draw the brackets is no longer important.
There have been several improvements to the pinch-to-zoom feature; the amount zoomed is now proportional to the distance that your fingers move, the zoom buttons are now in 10% increments (rather than 50%), and the zoom window can be closed. Personally, I still find pinch-to-zoom a bit too slow and clunky and rarely use it.
Supernote has also re-jigged the smaller font size settings in EPUBS (essentially, the smaller fonts can now be configured to be even smaller).
Other changes in the latest update include:
- Long press to reorder/remove items from the quick access menu
- Hebrew and Arabic virtual keyboards
- Bluetooth page turning
- Improvements to the Word docs editor
- Long press on the Wifi button to bring up the wifi settings
- Email client: Offline email access, addition of Deleted and Spam folders, and ability to mark emails as unread
- Various bug fixes, including one that caused the battery to drain faster than it should
I really like this latest update to the Supernote firmware.
The addition of global handwriting search is a pretty big deal to me. I have quite a lot of notebooks categorised into different areas of my life, work, and projects but there is often crossover between notebooks. Now, I am able to carry out a handwriting search across all my notebooks at once rather than having to guess in which notebook I wrote a particular piece of information.
The ability to edit headings and links is also something that I welcome – this will be much easier than deleting and recreating them, which used to previously be the case. In addition, the annoyance I’ve had with selecting some handwriting, then inadvertently deselecting with my finger will no longer be an issue.
I only ever use real-time recognition notebooks, so I will find the addition of the region eraser useful. I will also use the text highlights in PDF files. Finally, the ability to reorder and remove the quick access menu with a long press will make the organisation of current projects much easier.
Although most of the other enhancements are not really applicable to my own workflows, I imagine that there will be plenty of people that will be thrilled with the new additions. For example, Bluetooth page turning might be useful to musicians whilst playing their instruments and I’m sure many Supernote users will be happy that they do not have to get the dimensions of their templates pixel-perfect before they can be used.
Overall, this latest software update embodies Ratta Supernote’s long-term approach to the sustainability of their products and the value that they place on each of their customers; making their products better over time, rather than moving toward obsoletion. And this is perhaps the reason that I keep using the Supernote more and more despite having several other e-ink tablets to choose from.
About the author
Dan Dutton is passionate about E-ink writing tablets, which bring together the pleasure of writing on paper with the power of digital technology. When he bought his first tablet, he realised that there wasn't a lot of unbiased information available for people that were considering buying an E-ink tablet, and so he built eWritable.