John Ternus shows off Apple Pencil Pro.
Apple gives the world its first look at the Apple Pencil Pro.
Photo: Apple

Apple Let Loose Event: Along with the new iPad Pro and iPad Air, Apple announced a new third-generation “Pro” Apple Pencil at the “Let Loose” iPad event. The Apple Pencil Pro gains a new squeeze gesture, an internal gyroscope, haptic feedback and Find My support.

Available to order today for $129 — the same price as the second-generation Apple Pencil — the Apple Pencil Pro gains features normally found on styluses for dedicated drawing tablets, like a new “squeeze” gesture and a “Barrel Roll” gyroscope for precise tool controls.

“The new features in Apple Pencil Pro are simply revolutionary,” said John Ternus, Apple’s Senior Vice President of Hardware Engineering, in the introductory “Let Loose” video. “And we’re also excited that Apple Pencil Pro works with the new iPad Air as well, giving air users yet another pro feature to push their creativity.”

Features of the Apple Pencil Pro
Features of the Apple Pencil Pro.
Photo: Apple

The Apple Pencil has proven to be a crucial accessory for many iPad users. It’s a vital tool for painting, sketching, doodling, note-taking and marking up documents right on the screen.

The new Apple Pencil Pro is the biggest update to the accessory since the Apple Pencil (2nd generation) in 2018. It’s technically the fourth Apple Pencil overall, following the budget USB-C model that came out in October 2023 but lacked features like pressure sensitivity. The latest edition’s new features were much-anticipated.

Squeeze gesture and “Barrel Roll”

Apple Pencil Pro brings new technology to the iPad stylus.
Apple Pencil Pro supports tool palettes launched with a new squeeze gesture.
Photo: Apple

The Apple Pencil Pro features a new sensor in the barrel can detect squeezes. Squeezing the pencil brings up a tool palette to quickly switch things like colors, brush shapes and line weights.

Apple said app developers would be able to code their own custom tool palettes.

Haptic feedback and rotation controls

Apple Pencil Pro's Taptic Engine
Apple Pencil Pro’s Taptic Engine.
Photo: Apple

The new pencil also features a custom haptic engine that lightly taps to confirm squeezes, double taps, or objects snapping into place.

There’s also a gyroscope so that the Apple Pencil Pro can be rolled for precise control of whatever tool is being used.

Rotating the barrel changes the orientation of things like pen and brush tools, so that brushes become wider when rotated, for example. Using Apple Pencil hover, any changes to a tool are visualized before making a mark.

“Apple Pencil Pro completely transforms the painting experience in procreate,” said James Cuda, the CEO of Procreate, in the introductory video.

In the video, the Pro’s squeeze gesture and barrel roll were shown to activate shortcuts, change layers, and move and transform objects.

Find My support for first time

Like previous models, the Apple Pencil Pro is magnetic. It attaches magnetically along the flat landscape edge to the new iPad Pro for storage, wireless pairing and charging.

For the first time, Apple Pencil Pro supports Find My, making it easy for users to find a misplaced stencil.

Choose the right features and compatibility

The biggest drawback is compatibility. The Apple Pencil Pro is compatible only with the just-announced M2 iPad Airs and M4 iPad Pros.

Users with older iPads will not be able to upgrade to the Apple Pencil Pro.

If you have an older iPad, and aren’t planning to upgrade, the Apple Pencil 2 features pressure and tilt sensitivity and a flat magnetic edge to connect with an iPad for charging. It works with iPad Pro 12.9-inch (3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th generation); iPad Pro 11-inch (1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th generation); iPad Air (4th and 5th generation); and iPad mini (6th generation).

Released way back in 2015, Apple Pencil (1st gen) is still a useful tool. And it’s often on sale. It’s a great choice for iPad owners (10th gen or older). The older Apple Pencil lacks the flat edge and magnetic connection to your iPad, and charges via Lighting connector.

Another option is the affordable Apple Pencil USB-C, released last year with a limited feature list but with charging via USB-C, of course.

To help choose your Pencil, check out Apple’s compatibility information and more at

[ For more curated Apple news, check out the main news page here]

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