What's New in TinyPilot's June 2023 Update

TinyPilot's June release features a revamped on-screen keyboard and faster, more robust updates.

Revamped keyboard

One of the first things you see when you use TinyPilot is the on-screen keyboard. Until today, TinyPilot has been using the same first-draft keyboard design that we introduced almost three years ago.

Screenshot of TinyPilot's on-screen keyboard in TinyPilot Pro 2.5.4

TinyPilot's on-screen keyboard prior to June 2023 release

The on-screen keyboard worked, but it was difficult to use. It appeared below your remote display, so you had to scroll away from what you were doing to use the on-screen keyboard. To dismiss it, you had to scroll back up to the main menu and hide it in view settings.

TinyPilot's June release features a slicker keyboard with several improvements.

Screenshot of new on-screen keyboard

TinyPilot's new on-screen keyboard

Now, the on-screen keyboard docks to the bottom of the screen, so you'll never need to scroll away from your remote display. You can minimize the on-screen keyboard from the tool itself rather than jumping to the menu to hide it.

We also redesigned the keyboard to optimize for limited vertical space, giving more screen real estate to the remote display.

A demo of TinyPilot's new on-screen keyboard

An update process that's 45% faster

We work hard to make TinyPilot as fast and easy to use as possible, but TinyPilot's updates have gotten a bit sluggish.

By the end of 2022, TinyPilot updates could take up to eight minutes to complete, even with a high-speed Internet connection.

In 2023, we're investing in faster updates. In our tests, updates to the latest version of TinyPilot Pro completed in under three minutes, a 45% speedup compared with the April release.

Graph showing update speed dropped from 320 seconds (2.5.3 to 2.5.4 update) to 176 seconds (2.5.4 to 2.6.0 update)

We're not done yet. We're continuing to chip away at our update process, and we aim for another 50% performance improvement by the end of 2023.

Making updates more robust

TinyPilot uses microSD cards for persistent storage. microSDs have their advantages, but one unavoidable downside is that they're more vulnerable to filesystem corruption than alternatives like solid-state drives or hard disks.

Only a small percentage of TinyPilot users experience filesystem corruption, but as TinyPilot has grown in popularity, that small percentage has come to represent more users in absolute terms. It's a terrible experience to have your work interrupted because your filesystem has gone bad, so we're working to minimize these failures.

The risk of filesystem corruption increases the more data that we write to microSD cards. TinyPilot's June release minimizes wear on the microSD by moving temporary data from the microSD to RAM. The latest TinyPilot update saves over 200 MB of disk writes to the microSD, a 48% decrease from our April release.

Graph showing disk writes dropped from 442.7 MB (2.5.3 to 2.5.4 update) to 231.0 MB (2.5.4 to 2.6.0 update)

Full changelog

For the full list of changes in TinyPilot Pro 2.6.0, see the changelog.

Updating to the latest version

You can update to the latest version of TinyPilot by clicking System > Update in the navigation bar:

The update button is located in the navbar under System

Written by Michael Lynch, TinyPilot Founder and CEO