The Apple Pencil is a useful way to get more out of your iPad, giving you the ability to sketch, scribble notes, and multitask. But at $99 for the first-gen Pencil and $129 for Apple Pencil 2, the stylus doesn’t come cheap. Here’s what you need to know about getting the most out of your new accessory.
First thing’s first: You need to know which Pencil works with your iPad. The second-gen Pencil is compatible with newer iPads, like the 12.9-inch iPad Pro (third- through fifth-gen), 11-inch iPad Pro (first- through third-gen), the fourth-gen iPad Air and the brand new iPad Mini. The older, first-gen Pencil works with older iPads, like early version of the iPad Pro and the past four generations of Apple’s cheapest iPad. Check the details on your specific iPad to confirm you’re getting the right Pencil.
Apple Pencil 2 looks a little different from the first-gen Pencil, which is rounded like a traditional pencil and charges via Lightning port. The second-gen Pencil is flat-edged on one side and attaches to an iPad magnetically to pair and charge.
There are plenty of similarities in functionality between the two, though, wuth features you can customize in your iPad settings. An Only draw with Apple Pencil tool makes it so an errant finger tap won’t destroy your sketch, and a Scribble feature converts your handwriting into text. You can also use Scribble to delete words, select words, and add spaces where necessary.
The new Pencil gets the addition of customized gestures, which you can adjust in Settings so that that double tapping on the Pencil brings up the eraser tool, for example.
Of course, you’re not really deciding between Apple Pencils—you’re only getting the one that works with your particular iPad. But it’s nice to know that you can do more than just draw.