Apple Pencil

It was 2015 when Apple launched the original iPad Pro, and along with it, the Apple Pencil, which took the world by storm. It allowed artists and designers to work in ways they could not with a mouse or trackpad. They could draw and sketch naturally without using awkward gestures or movements needed to control a cursor. Although this innovative device had been around for more than seven years, no one had ever made anything similar that felt so natural.

In this article, we will go over what you can do with an Apple Pencil on your iPad and how to make the most of its features. You will quickly realize that it’s not just for drawing; it’s also handy for note-taking, marking up PDFs, and so much more with an incredible set of exciting features Apple Pencil offers! So, without further ado, let’s get started.

What is an Apple Pencil?

Apple Pencil is a $99 stylus, and Apple designed it to work seamlessly with an iPad, which makes it a great accessory for artists, designers, casual users, and more. It is designed to look and feel like an actual pencil, with a tip that connects with an iPad’s display like a finger but with much more precision.

You can use an Apple Pencil to take handwritten notes in apps like Notes or Notability. If you have ever wished you could jot down notes with a pen during a meeting instead of typing away at your laptop, an iPad and an Apple Pencil might be just what you need.

Thanks to its palm-rejection technology, you hold an Apple Pencil like your favorite pen or pencil and rest your hand on the iPad’s screen while drawing or writing without interfering with the digital ink or accidentally registering inputs from your palm. It feels like you are taking notes on paper, and yet, what you write or draw is entirely digital.

As for charging – there are two types of Apple Pencil. The initial model uses the Lightning connector, and the subsequent Apple Pencil 2 gets charged by iPad Pro’s magnetic connector inductively.

How to use Apple Pencil?

It is an incredibly powerful drawing tool that works like a regular pen or pencil. It allows users to sketch, draw, write or and paint in any app on their iPad or iPad Pro (as long as it supports the Apple Pen) with the astonishing precision of a real pen and paper.

It’s easy to get started with your Apple Pencil – just pair it with your iPad or iPad Pro, and start using any app you choose. Pairing your Apple Pencil is pretty simple as well. Plug it into your iPad’s Lightning port at the bottom, and when prompted onscreen, tap Pair. You can also pair by going into Settings > Bluetooth and tapping on the (i) next to “Apple Pencil” under “My Devices“.

The Pencil’s nib will be your primary source of input on the iPad’s screen. On the first-generation Apple Pencil, all of your interactions happen when you put its tip to the screen and use it like a pencil, like drawing a line, sketching an image, writing calligraphy, and so on.

How to use Apple Pencil 2?

There are lots of awesome ways to use the Second Generation Apple Pencil with your iPad, from drawing and painting to note-taking and marking up documents. Let’s go over a few common use cases for the Apple Pencil 2:-

Drawing on an iPad with Apple Pencil 2 is much like the old-fashioned way, but with digital twists. Most apps have a pretty similar tool palette, but because the interface has to be touch-based rather than a mouse or stylus, you will find some of the tools behave differently.

For some, a simple app like Notes will do, while others may want to use more advanced apps like Artstudio Pro. Once you have deciphered your app’s tool palette and mastered selecting and drawing with brushes, there are plenty of other choices. You can work with layers and add graphics from online sources such as images from Google or photographs you have taken yourself.

Or, If you want to write something in text using it, just open a note-taking app, tap the screen and start writing. One of the great things about using the Apple Pencil 2 on an iPad is how practical it can be. With Scribble on iOS 14, you can write in any text field, and it will convert it to digital text for you, complete with links to phone numbers, dates, and addresses. Tapping these links will open up relevant apps, such as Calendar or Messages.

Additionally, you get a little more functionality on the second-generation Apple Pencil than the first version.

You can use the double-tap feature of the pencil to switch between pencil tip modes. By default, double-tapping near the tip of your pencil switches back to whatever tool you were using when you last put down your pencil. But if you go into Settings > Apple Pencil, then tap on “Double-Tap,” you will be able to choose from several other options: switch between current tool and eraser; show color palette, or simply turn off double-tap completely. You can even triple-tap to activate whatever shortcut is assigned to that gesture in each individual app.

To open the iPad’s Notes app, tap anywhere on your lock screen with the second-gen Apple Pencil – It’s one of our favorite tricks.

Or draw a shape by hand, then pause with your 2nd gen Apple Pencil‘s tip on the screen to see it be replaced by a perfect version.

However, both generations of Apple Pencil are pressure and tilt-sensitive. You can press harder on the screen of your iPad or iPad Pro while using your Apple Pencil to get thicker lines in apps that support pressure sensitivity; this will let you simulate pressure just like with a real pencil. If you would like to shade in an area more gradually, try tilting the flat side of your second-generation Apple Pencil against the screen, which will also let you draw calligraphic letters if you turn on a setting in the Notes app.

How to charge Apple Pencil?

So, you have got your new Apple Pencil, and you are ready to get drawing. But how do you charge it?

Whether you have an Apple Pencil (1st Generation) or an Apple Pencil 2, it’s super easy to keep your stylus charged and ready to go. Just follow these simple steps:-

Your 1st Gen Pencil is compatible with all iPads that come with a Lightning port and a physical Home button, which means you can charge it in the same way as you pair it: by plugging it into your iPad.

Just take off the cap from the top of your Apple Pencil and look for the Lightning connector at the end of it. Insert the connector into your iPad’s Lightning port (you will find it at the bottom of your iPad) and listen for a ding! That means your first-gen Apple Pencil started charging right away. To get a full charge, let the Apple Pencil stay plugged in for 15 to 30 minutes.

However, if you don’t want to charge your Apple Pencil using the iPad itself (and we can see why; it’s not very comfy), you can use the Lightning adapter. Now, connect your Apple Pencil to one end of this adapter and a Lightning cable to the other, and voila! Your Apple Pencil is currently charging.

The latest second-generation Apple Pencil is pretty straightforward to charge as well. Just attach it to the side of your iPad, which is a flat edge on the 2018 and later iPad Pro models, or the 2020 iPad Air, and you will immediately see a notification telling you that your Apple Pencil is charging and how much power is left.

Keep in mind that it will take a few minutes to charge up when you first attach it.

How to connect Apple Pencil to iPad?

Connecting Pencil with your iPad is a piece of cake.

First, you will need to unbox your iPad and Apple Pencil. Once you have done that, it’s time to connect the pencil to your iPad. Here’s how:

  1. Turn on your iPad by pressing the power button, which you will find at the device’s top edge.
  2. After a few seconds, you will see an image of a charging cable with an arrow going into it. This is the pairing screen; this means your iPad is now ready to pair with an Apple Pencil.
  3. Take your Apple Pencil, remove the cap and set it aside, and then plug the Lightning connector into the bottom edge of the iPad (the side with the Touch ID fingerprint sensor).
  4. When pairing is complete, you will hear a beep and see a message saying ‘Pairing Completed‘.

How to Set up Apple Pencil?

Now that you have paired your Apple Pencil, it’s time to customize its settings so that it works how you want it to work for whatever apps or tools you want to use, and then you can start using your Pencil right away.

However, if you are using the pencil for the first time, chances are there will be a firmware update prompt once paired, and your pencil will start charging as well. In case the pencil lacks enough juice, you want to make sure to let it get charged for a few minutes before using.

You can use your Apple Pencil for a myriad of things on your iPad, but you will have to set up its functionality before you begin:-

To do this,  go to Settings > Apple Pencil and select what you want your double-tap to do. You will have the following options:

  • Choose either Current Tool or Eraser
  • Choose either Current Tool or Last Used
  • Or show Color Palette

Or, if you want to use your Apple Pencil for navigating your iPad, go through the steps below.

  • First, tap Settings
  • Then tap Apple Pencil

Under the section titled “Use Apple Pencil For,” You will see an option that says, “Only Draw With Apple Pencil“.

You can turn this On (which will make the switch green) or Off (which will make the switch gray). The setting is off by default, so if you want to use your Apple Pencil for only writing and drawing and use your fingers for the rest of the tasks like navigating, tapping, scrolling, and swiping on your iPad, you will need to toggle this on.

Also, here’s how you can use it for handwriting text in any text box:

  • Tap in the text field you want to add text to
  • The keyboard will appear
  • Tap the Scribble icon on the toolbar at the bottom of the screen

The keyboard will disappear, and you will now be able to write in that text field with your Apple Pencil.

Difference between Apple Pencil 1 and Apple Pencil 2?

Comparing the Apple Pencil 1 vs. 2 can be a bit confusing because the two products have very different designs. Their functionality, however, is nearly identical except for the additional double-tap feature in the latter.

The first stylus in the series was released in 2015 with the iPad Pro 9.7-inch and 12.9-inch models. The second generation of the product was released in 2018, and there are several differences between them, most notably their design and user comfort.

The Apple Pencil 2 is well known for its improved design and convenience when compared to the first generation of the product, but that’s not all it has to offer!

  • The first difference between the first and second-generation Apple Pencil is the newer model has a magnetic cap. This magnetic cap allows the pencil to attach to an iPad, which also charges it. The cap on the Apple Pencil 1 does not have this magnetic feature.
  • Secondly, the slightly textured rubber shell found on both ends of the Apple Pencil 2 provides extra grip, allowing it to avoid rolling off of surfaces, which is missing in the first version.
  • Also, when using the charging position on an iPad with an Apple Pencil 2, you will notice a significant decrease in inconvenience compared to first-gen Apple Pencil because of how easily the pencil slides into and out of its slot.
  • In addition, there is an action button on the flat side (there is no specific physical button; instead, the entire bottom third portion of the pencil works as a button) of the Apple Pencil 2. This button allows users to change modes or return to a previous tool in an app or can also be turned into an eraser by double-tapping on it without having to leave their current page or use multiple hands.
  • Finally, if you are looking to buy an Apple Pencil, there’s basically one main thing you need to know: it’s all about compatibility.

The first-generation Apple Pencil will work with a broader range of iPads, but even though the second-generation Apple Pencil has some cool benefits, it will not work on the older iPad models.

  • Apple Pencil 2 is compatible with only the following devices:
  • iPad Pro 11-inch (1st generation and later)
  • iPad Pro 12.9-inch (3rd generation and later)
  • iPad Air (4th generation)

That’s being said, the exciting features of the Apple Pencil 2 might make it worth the upgrade.


Hands down, the Apple Pencil is worth it for people who want to do more with their iPad. The precision and versatility it unlocks make the iPad a much more powerful tool, which we think is worth the investment.

With Pencil, you can draw, write, sketch and create art in ways that would be way harder to do on your own. It’s like having a pencil and paper right there on your tablet, and as long as you keep it charged, you won’t run out of ideas about how to reap its excellent set of benefits up to the fullest extent!

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