Apple introduced in 2015 the first iPad Pro, which came with an optional stylus called Apple Pencil. Former Apple CEO Steve Jobs was famous against stylus, but Apple Pencil has proven to be a useful tool for taking notes, drawing and more.
The Apple Pencil has been maintained since 2015 and, as of today, it is compatible with the entire current line of iPad.
In the guide below, we cover everything you need to know about the Apple Pencil.
What is Apple Pencil?
The Apple Pencil is a pencil designed by Apple that works with iPads. It is called Apple Pencil due to its resemblance to a traditional pencil, although with a design definitely in the style.
There is a small plastic tip (which can be replaced) that connects to the iPad screen, a pen-like body to hold and a loading mechanism. In the original Apple Pencil, there is a Lightning connector, but the second generation model is magnetically charged.
It is used instead of a finger for precision tasks such as writing and drawing, and can also be used to navigate through the operating system.
It is excellent for drawings, art creation, note taking and similar tasks because it is precise, has palm rejection and offers sensitivity to pressure and inclination.
Simply put, the Apple Pencil is designed to work like a traditional pencil, but instead of writing on paper, it is written on the iPad screen.
You can put your hand directly on the iPad as you write, which, for a long time, was a functionality that other pencils could not accurately replicate.
What are the differences between Apple Pencil 1 and Apple Pencil 2?
There are two versions of the Apple Pencil, the first version released in 2015 and the second version released in 2018.
The two do the same, but have different designs and loading mechanisms.
The biggest difference between them is the compatibility of their devices:
Apple Pencil 2 works with the iPad Pro 2018 models and Apple Pencil 1 works with everything else.
Original Apple Pencil
The second generation is more elegant, smaller and more compact than the original one because it doesn’t have a Lightning port at the end.
It is designed to magnetically charge through the iPad Pro so that you paste it on the right side of the iPad Pro in the flat area to start charging.
Apple Pencil 2
With the original Apple Pencil, there is a Lightning connector that allows you to plug it into the Lightning port of an iPad to charge it, which is inconvenient due to the size of the Pencil.
Apple also includes an adapter with the Apple Pencil 1 so you can charge it with any Lightning cable.
Apple Pencil 2 has a more pencil-like design because it has a flat side and a sanding design that improves texture. The Apple Pencil 1 is smooth and round.
It also supports touch gestures to exchange between tools, something that is not possible with the original one.
Although there are different charging mechanisms and bells and whistles, Apple Pencil 1 and 2 work fundamentally in the same way and have the same set of general characteristics.
What devices are compatible with Apple Pencil?
The original Apple Pencil, manufactured from 2015 with the round body design and the Lightning connector is compatible with the following devices:
- iPad Air (3rd generation)
- IPad mini (5th generation)
- IPad (7th generation)
- IPad (6th generation)
- IPad Pro 12.9 inches (2nd generation)
- IPad Pro 12.9 inches (1st generation)
- IPad Pro 10.5 inches
- IPad Pro 9.7 inches
The second-generation Apple Pencil with a smaller footprint and magnetic charging capabilities is compatible with the following devices:
- IPad Pro 12.9 inches (3rd generation)
- IPad Pro 11 inches
The original Apple Pencil cannot be used with the 11 and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models released in 2018, and the newer Apple Pencil does not work with older iPads.
What are the characteristics of the Apple Pencil?
The Apple Pencil has a wide set of functions, which allows it to be used for any precision task, or as a finger replacement when navigating through iOS.
The need to know the characteristics are below:
- Palm rejection – When the Pencil is connected to the iPad, it only recognizes the tip of the Apple Pencil and not your hand or your finger, which allows you to write or draw comfortably.
- Pressure sensitivity – Depending on the pressure exerted on the PiPad when writing or drawing, a line can be thicker or thinner. Apple does not provide a specific pressure sensitivity level for the Apple Pencil.
- Tilt sensitivity – Apple Pencil is designed to work like a normal pencil, so if you hold it at an angle and press the side of the tip next to the iPad for something like shading, it works. The Apple Pencil knows its general orientation and how it tilts.
- Pencil Weighting – Apple designed the Pencil to have a pencil-like feel in your hand, and is weighted to feel like a real writing instrument.
- Low latency – Apple Pencil has a super low latency, which means that when you write on the iPad, there is no delay between the movement of the pen and what appears on the screen. The Apple Pencil latency is as low as 9 ms on iPads with 120Hz displays (the iPad Pro models of 2017 and later).
- Precision – Apple Pencil is accurate, so it is accurate to the pixel. That means there is no compensation between the location of the pen and what is displayed on the screen.
- Simple pairing – No need to worry about Bluetooth with Apple Pencil. It connects automatically. Simply connect the first version or connect the second version to the iPad Pro.
- Touch gestures (V2 only) – The second generation version of the Apple Pencil supports touch gestures. With a double tap, the Apple Pencil 2 can switch between tools in applications, useful because it allows a quick change between a pencil tool and an eraser tool, for example.
- Magnetic charge (V2 only) – Apple Pencil 2 is charged through a magnetic connection to the iPad Pro. Apple Pencil 1 does not have this feature and is charged through a Lightning connector.
Where can Apple Pencil be used?
Apple Pencil can be used as a finger replacement to do things like open applications, scroll and more, but support for Apple Pencil is also integrated into iPadOS.
There are several unique Apple Pencil features that are worth considering for those who think of an Apple Pencil purchase.
- Screenshots – If you take a screenshot on your PiPad and then touch it when a preview appears in the corner, you can draw and write on it using the Apple Pencil through a function called Dialing.
- Margin – Markup is Apple’s function that allows you to write in screenshots, but it also works throughout the operating system in various applications. In Mail, you can edit photos or PDF files (it is excellent for signing documents), in Messages, you can draw in photos, in the Photos application, you can add subtitles and drawings to images, and in Books, you can edit PDF files.
Apple Pencil also works with tons of third-party applications for taking notes, drawing, drawing and more.
You can find these applications by looking for Apple Pencil in the App Store in the iPad, but here are some highlights.
- Procreate ($ 9.99): Ideal for drawing, drawing and creating art. Simple enough for beginners, but powerful enough for professionals.
- Notability ($ 8.99) – Notability is a long-time note taking application. It has all kinds of features for writing, drawing, annotating PDF files and more, in addition there are many paper styles and you can scan documents, record audio clips and more.
- Pixelmator ($ 4.99) – If you want to edit photos on your PiPad, it’s worth checking out Pixelmator. It is compatible with Apple Pencil, and Apple Pencil is a great tool for precision editing.
- Pigment (Free with in-app purchases): If you like to color and find it relaxing, there are tons of coloring applications for Apple Pencil like Pigment.
- Adobe Photoshop Sketch (Free): Adobe Photoshop Sketch is a reduced version of Photoshop that is optimized for artists who like to draw and draw. It has a lot of brushes and supports Photoshop brushes, in addition to useful color mixing and layer support features. Adobe also has a full Photoshop application for iPad.
- Sketch line ($ 4.99) – If you want to write down ideas and make quick drawings, Sketch Line is easy to learn, easy to use and has a useful range of tools for you to take advantage of.
How is the Apple Pencil different from other stylus?
Before the Apple Pencil came out, the stylus had a thin, hard tip and battery operated to activate the iPad capacitive screen, or they had a wide finger-shaped rubber tip that was not accurate.
A stylus before Apple
The rejection of the palm of the hand was made through the software by creators of individual applications and did not work reliably, in addition the connections were made through Bluetooth instead of the automatic process used by the Apple Pencil.
Many stylus on the market that are not Apple Pencil still have these types of tips that are not as accurate as Apple Pencil and may not offer the same simple load and palm rejection functions, but now there are some more affordable Apple Pencil Alternatives They have the functionality of Apple Pencil.
What Apple Pencil alternatives are available?
There are a few non-Apple pencils on the market that have some of the same capabilities as the Apple Pencil, but at a more affordable price.
These options are not as rich in features as the Apple Pencil and do not have the same simple design, but the basic functionality is there.
The Logitech crayon
- Crayon Logitech ($ 55) – Designed by Logitech, the Crayon was originally meant to be a cheaper version of the Apple Pencil for students to use with the low-cost iPad. It is now available to anyone. It works just like the Apple Pencil and offers the same support for palm rejection, latency and inclination, but does not include pressure sensitivity.
- Adonit Note ($ 43) – The Adonit Note is similar to the Apple Pencil, which offers the same small tip, excellent latency and palm rejection, but there is no pressure sensitivity.
- Adonit Note + ($ 62): Adonit Note + is similar to Adonit Note, but includes 2048 levels of pressure sensitivity and two configurable shortcut buttons.
What applications are compatible with Apple Pencil?
Any own or third-party application is compatible with Apple Pencil, but is designed to write, draw and draw applications where handwritten content is appropriate.
The Apple Pencil can also be used instead of the fingertip to navigate through iPadOS.
Is it worth the Apple Pencil?
For anyone who wants to take advantage of the iPad to draw, draw, take notes or other similar activities, the Apple Pencil is worth it, but for those who do not need all the advanced features,
there are some similar pencils on the market such as the Logitech Crayon much more affordable.
Does Apple Pencil work with iPhone?
Apple Pencil and Apple Pencil 2 are only compatible with iPads and will not work with the iPhone. The Apple Pencil requires a screen created for him, which iPhones don’t have.
Will Apple make an Apple Pencil for iPhone?
There have been rumors here and there that suggest that Apple could develop a version of the Apple Pencil for the iPhone,
specifically before the launch of the iPhone 2019 line, but we have not heard much since then and there has been no concrete information indicating such a product is in process.
Apple might be planning a pencil for the iPhone in the future, but it doesn’t seem like it will come in the near future and it is not something we expect to see for the 2020 iPhones.