There Are 4 Apple Pencils: Which Is Best For Your iPad?

by 24britishtvMay 8, 2024, 1:01 p.m. 27
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With most Apple products you choose the one you like. Want a bigger iPhone with the best cameras? You need the iPhone 15 Pro Max. Fancy AirPods but you’re on a budget? Choose the AirPods 2ndgeneration. But with one product, Apple Pencil, there’s a wide range and you need to choose carefully.

To be honest, it’s a bit of a minefield. Let’s pick our way through it.

The original Pencil is the only one with a fully rounded barrel, and it has a Lightning connector under the cap. You charge it from the Lightning socket on compatible iPads (making it look like a giant, hi-tech lollipop). It comes with an adapter that means you can connect it to a USB-socket, specifically for connecting with the 10th-generation iPad, not for any others.

It was ground-breaking in its time but the only reason to choose it now is if you have an older iPad. The other options are either cheaper or more powerful. Note that the first iPad to have Pencil compatibility was the iPad 6th generation: earlier models don’t work with any Pencil.

This is where the Pencil got really interesting. No more lollipops: it charges by snapping to the edge of compatible iPads, which also pairs it. It looks and feels better than the original with a matte finish and flat edge. It adds support for a feature called Apple Pencil hover to fine-tune where you’re going to touch before you make contact and you can double-tap the flat side to change tools. You can even have it engraved for free.

Until this week, this was the new Pencil on the block. It’s still the one that’s compatible with the most iPads and it’s the cheapest. It has a slide-back top with USB-C socket. You charge and pair it using a USB-C cable but it can snap magnetically to the side of flat-edged iPads for storage, which is handy.

It lacks the pressure sensitivity of the first-gen Pencil but in every other way is better, including support for Apple Pencil hover.

At last, an Apple Pencil without parentheses in its official title. The brand-new Pencil Pro is only compatible with the brand-new iPad Pro and iPad Air. As well as everything the 2nd-generation Pencil does, it adds a new squeeze control mechanic to launch menus with haptic feedback to let you know it’s happened, a cute barrel roll feature where rolling the Pencil in your hand can orientate your brush stroke differently and it even adds Find My, to help you locate it whether you dropped it under a cushion or left it on a train.

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