As of March 2019, all current iPad models back up Apple Pencil with either the offset or second-generation, and your best iPad truly can’t exist the best iPad if you don’t use an Apple Pencil. Whether y’all’re starting with an entry-level iPad, taking your iPad Air everywhere yous go, running professional person programs on an iPad Pro, or scrolling through Apple tree News+ on an iPad mini, you can apply one of the 2 generations of Apple tree Pencil. Information technology has full pressure level sensitivity for dynamic line thickness, tilt control for shading, palm rejection for total sketching, and works as a simple stylus if yous don’t desire to bear on your screen.
To accept full advantage of everything you lot can do with the Apple Pencil, yous’ll need to know how to utilize some of the fun little extras on your all-time iPad
(opens in new tab). Here’s our consummate guide to Apple Pencil, whether you’re an creative person, note-taker, or professional graphics editor. Here’s how to use Apple Pencil to its fullest abilities!
Meet the Apple Pencil
If yous’ve previously used a stylus on the iPad or other graphics tablets, y’all’ll detect some aspects of the Apple Pencil familiar — and others very different. Hither’s a crash course in all things Apple Pencil for you!
At that place are two unlike versions of the Apple Pencil: Apple Pencil (1st Generation) and Apple Pencil (2nd Generation). If you think their names are likewise similar, consider that they are both white and have nearly the same dimensions. Simply it’southward important to know the difference between both generations considering neither are supported on all iPad devices. The second-generation Apple Pencil works on well-nigh of the newer iPad models in the iPad Pro, iPad Air, and iPad mini line. Also, barring the announcement of an Apple tree Pencil iii, the Apple Pencil 2 will likely be the stylus that works with the rumored M2 iPad Pro
(opens in new tab).
Apple Pencil (1st Generation) works with:
iPad (6th generation)
– iPad (seventh generation)
– iPad (8th generation)
– iPad (9th generation)
– iPad Air (3rd generation)
– iPad mini (5th generation)
– iPad Pro 9.seven-inch
– iPad Pro x.v-inch
– iPad Pro 12.9-inch (second generation)
– iPad Pro 12.nine-inch (1st generation)
Apple Pencil (2nd Generation) works with:
iPad Air (4th generation)
– iPad Air (5th generation)
– iPad mini (6th generation)
– iPad Pro 12.9-inch (third generation)
– iPad Pro 12.9-inch (4th generation)
– iPad Pro 12.9-inch (fifth generation)
– iPad Pro 11-inch (1st generation)
– iPad Pro eleven-inch (2nd generation)
– iPad Pro 11-inch (tertiary generation)
How to tell the difference
Every bit mentioned in our Apple tree Pencil (2nd Generation) review, y’all can typically notice the difference between the two generations of Apple Pencil pretty rapidly. If you lot’re concerned about whether you’re selecting the correct generation Apple tree Pencil, the most distinguishing difference is that the 1st-generation Apple tree Pencil has a silver band around the top. Apple Pencil (2nd-Generation) does non.
There are some additional features that aren’t every bit hands identified in pictures, but in real life, they are more obvious. Apple Pencil (2nd-Generation) has a matte finish and one apartment side. Apple Pencil (1st-Generation) has a smooth, shiny finish and is completely round. The second-generation Apple Pencil has the discussion “Apple Pencil” written on its flat side. The first-generation Apple Pencil has a silver ring. The first-generation Apple Pencil has a removable cap that exposes a Lightning connector, which is used to pair and charge the Pencil. The second-generation Apple Pencil pairs and charges magnetically and and so doesn’t employ a Lightning connector (it’s also about a one-half-inch shorter because of this).
Earlier you go started, make sure you know which generation Apple Pencil you have. Where in that location are differences in the two (like pairing and charging), we’ve included sections for each generation separately.
How to pair your Apple Pencil with your iPad
Earlier you can first using your Apple tree Pencil, you’ll need to pair it to your iPad or iPad Pro. The kickoff and second-generation iPad Pro pair differently, so be sure you know your generation before starting.
How to pair the first-generation Apple tree Pencil
- Make sure the iPad y’all want to use is
on and unlocked, then
your Pencil to the new iPad.
- When the Bluetooth Pairing Asking appears, tap
How to pair the second-generation Apple Pencil
- Make certain the iPad yous desire to use is
on and unlocked.
- Place the Apple tree Pencil on the
of the iPad Pro with the magnetic strip.
when the Bluetooth Pairing Request appears.
You lot can now apply your Apple Pencil with your iPad or iPad Pro! If yous want to motion your Pencil to a different iPad, follow the same steps to a higher place with the new one.
How to check the Apple tree Pencil battery level
The Apple Pencil doesn’t take a concrete charge indicator or LED light on its cylindrical body; instead, you can check its current bombardment life on your currently-paired iPad or iPad Pro.
How to check your Apple tree Pencil (first generation) bombardment level
- Swipe downward from the iPad’s height bezel to invoke
(or plow the iPad on to view the Lock screen).
- Swipe correct to see the Widgets screen.
- View the
- If you lot don’t see the
section, you may first need to tap
at the bottom of the Widgets surface area and tap the light-green
push next to Batteries to add it as an agile widget.
How to check the Apple tree Pencil (second generation) battery level
The second-generation Apple Pencil is even easier to check. You
follow the steps higher up for the first-generation Apple tree Pencil, or y’all can simply place it on the magnetic charging strip on the iPad Pro (or remove and then place it back downwards once again if it’s currently connected to the magnetic charging strip). A notification will pop upward, telling yous your current bombardment pct.
How to accuse Apple Pencil
When your Apple tree Pencil hits xx%, 10%, and 5%, respectively, it will give you a charge warning (you tin also check your current battery status at any fourth dimension by bringing up Notification Heart).
The outset and second-generation Apple Pencil charge differently, so make sure yous know your generation before reading on.
How to charge the first-generation Apple tree Pencil
- Remove the
Apple tree Pencil
(if y’all’re worried most losing the cap during the charging procedure, you tin can magnetically attach information technology to the iPad next to the Habitation button).
- Insert your Apple Pencil’s
into your iPad or iPad Pro’due south
How to charge the first-generation Apple Pencil using the Lightning adapter
- Remove the
from the back of your
- Insert your Apple tree Pencil’s
- Plug the
How to accuse the second-generation Apple Pencil
For the 2nd-generation Apple Pencil, Apple fabricated it
easier to charge. There’s merely ane way.
Simply identify the Apple Pencil on the
side of the iPad that has the magnetic strip, and you lot’ll be charging right away.
The Apple tree Pencil’due south quick-charge technology provides users up to 30 minutes of utilise afterwards a 15-2nd charge, but we generally recommend charging your Pencil for at least 5-ten minutes — particularly if it’southward nether 20% — to avert having to constantly recharge.
How to unpair your Apple Pencil from your iPad
Your Apple Pencil will automatically unpair from your iPad or iPad Pro if yous pair it with a different iPad or you pair a different Apple Pencil with your iPad. You can also manually unpair if the need arises.
- Launch the
app from your iPad’s Dwelling house screen.
- Tap the
button to the right of
- Tap on
To re-pair the outset-generation Apple Pencil, simply plug it dorsum into the Lightning port on your iPad. To re-pair the 2nd-generation Apple Pencil, merely place it on the magnetic charging strip of your iPad again.
Y’all don’t have to engage a special menu or complicated per-app pairing process to apply Apple tree Pencil: Once you lot’ve paired information technology to your iPad or iPad Pro, y’all’re ready to describe, write, sketch, or navigate in any app you cull — just put the Pencil’s pen nib to the iPad’due south drinking glass screen and get to information technology!
The Apple Pencil doesn’t have an eraser
Unlike Wacom’south patented styluses, the Apple Pencil doesn’t offering an eraser bill: All your primary interactions with the iPad’due south screen happen through the Pencil’s white nib on the first-generation Apple Pencil, and with the white pecker or a double-tap on the flat side of the second-generation Apple Pencil.
That’s not to say the Pencil doesn’t accept a few tricks up its sleeve, still: It’due south completely pressure- and tilt-sensitive, which means you can press harder against the screen to go a thicker line or tilt your Pencil against the screen to virtually “shade” in a cartoon or draw calligraphic letters.
Some apps, like Astropad Studio
(opens in new tab), even offer special combination Pencil-and-touch gestures that have the same uses as function buttons.
How to change functions on the second-generation Apple Pencil
The second-generation Apple tree Pencil has the added benefit of 1 additional function, which is accessed by
of the Apple Pencil nearly the nib. In most circumstances, this volition trigger the eraser feature of an app.
App developers can assign a different action to the double-tap, like selecting a different creative person tool, only so far, we’ve only seen information technology used to trigger the eraser in most apps other than the Notes app.
In the Notes app, you can change the double-tap function to trigger switching between the electric current and last used tool, showing the color palette, switching betwixt the current tool and the eraser, and turning off the Apple Pencil 2.
Learning how to switch the double-tap function on the Apple tree Pencil 2 tin meliorate using the best iPad apps
(opens in new tab).
Utilize the Apple tree Pencil to navigate your iPad
Whether you lot have RSI issues or but like existence able to use a stylus on your tablet in between drawing or writing sessions, the Apple tree Pencil supports basic navigational tapping and swiping inside iOS. Because multitouch gestures and the Pencil are recognized separately past the iPad’s operating system, it may not be supported for advanced gesture-based navigation (like multi-finger operations) in separate apps.
However, at that place’south an upside to that: In sure apps (as in the aforementioned Astropad Studio), yous tin fifty-fifty use your fingers and Apple Pencil simultaneously. Notes is too a smashing example of this: Touch two fingers downwards when drawing in Notes, and yous’ll get a ruler you can employ to draw direct lines with the Apple Pencil.
Best Apple tree Pencil Accessories
The Apple Pencil is quickly becoming a necessary companion for iPad users, but an often-lost one. Between its slim cylindrical white trunk and the removable magnetic cap, it’s non hard to lose ane or the other to burrow cushions or forgetful minds. On the vivid side, there are dozens of great Apple Pencil accessories to help continue your Pencil (and cap) safe, secure, and set to sketch. Additionally, you can add together mode and protection simultaneously with the best cases for Apple Pencil 2.
Apple Pencil (1st Generation)
Still a proficient buy
While information technology may non be quite as fancy equally the newer version, it’s yet the only version of Apple Pencil y’all can utilise with most iPads. If y’all desire to experiment with drawing apps or just take an astonishing stylus to use with your iPad, at that place’southward no reason non to pick one up.
Apple Pencil (2nd Generation)
The absolute best
With a much more elegant magnetic charging solution, amend pressure sensitivity, and overall better performance, the Apple tree Pencil (2nd Generation) is the ultimate stylus for the iPad Pro and iPad Air 4.
Need to know how to fix a faulty Apple tree Pencil?
More oftentimes than not, the Apple Pencil just works. But if yous’re having an issue with Apple’s stylus not responding in apps, disappearing from Notification Center’s battery menu, or refusing to turn on, we’ve got some unproblematic tips to help you lot troubleshoot information technology back to health.
And then be not afraid, and use your Apple tree Pencil to do just well-nigh everything on your iPad. Yous may just find that it fits into your workflow in ways yous’ve never imagined.
Updated August 2022:
Updated to include the latest information for the newest iPad models.