When used with the right apps, you can use the Apple Pencil like a real pencil — you can even angle it to add shading to sketches and drawings. You don't have to put the stylus down to operate the iPad, either — you can tap it on the screen to start apps, and drag things around with the tip of the stylus.
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Which iPads are compatible with the original Apple Pencil
The first-generation Apple Pencil is a glossy white, round stylus with a silver ring at the back, with a cap that covers the Lightning charging port.
The original Apple Pencil works with these iPads:
- iPad Pro 12.9-inch (1st generation, released in 2015)
- iPad Pro 9.7-inch (released in 2016)
- iPad Pro 10.5-inch (released in 2017)
- iPad Pro 12.9-inch (2nd generation, released in 2017)
- iPad (6th generation, released in 2018)
- iPad Air (3rd generation, released in 2019)
- iPad mini (5th generation, released in 2019)
Which iPads are compatible with Apple Pencil (second generation)
Apple calls the new Apple Pencil by the exact same name as the original stylus — just "Apple Pencil." But the second Generation Pencil is a very different device, and isn't compatible with the same iPads.
It looks quite different: It's finished in a matte white, and has a flat side so it won't roll around as much as the original Pencil. It's also magnetic, so it snaps onto the side of the iPad when it's not in use. Instead of a Lightning port, it charges wirelessly when it magnetically connects to the iPad.
The new Apple Pencil works with these iPads: