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A closer look at Apple Pencil Pro

Apple announced some crazy-powerful new iPads at its Let Loose event this week, but it also added another Pro-level accessory to the lineup. For creatives, the new Apple Pencil Pro could be a game-changing piece of kit. Let’s take a closer look at what it can do.


Apple has added a new gesture to the mix: squeezing the Pencil will bring up a contextual menu for quick access to common tools and settings. When drawing with the built-in iOS tools, a tool palette appears with buttons for undo/redo, color selection, and more. In Procreate, the squeeze gesture instead launches a radial quick menu, as seen in this demo video. Other apps will no doubt have their own interpretations.

Barrel Roll

Thanks to a new gyroscope in Apple Pencil Pro, it can now sense rotation in addition to tilt and pressure. That gives way more precise control over flat-edged pens and brushes when drawing. Imagine rotating a chunky highlighter pen to change its width; that kind of thing is now possible with a quick spin of the Pencil.

Haptic Feedback

This is the latest Apple product to be given a bespoke “haptic engine,” which responds with a light pulse to confirm actions initiated from a squeeze or double tap. That kind of tactile feedback can make it feel like there are physical buttons where there are none – it’s the same technology that responds to a long-press of the camera shortcut on your iPhone lock screen, or sells the idea of a ‘click’ on your MacBook’s trackpad.

Other features

Apple Pencil Pro also uses the hover and double tap functions introduced with previous models. Hover gives an on-screen preview of exactly where your Pencil will touch down, allowing users precise control before they commit to making a mark. Double tap is for quickly switching between tools, and even with the squeeze gesture around it will likely remain the best way to use the erase tool.

Like the second-gen Apple Pencil, the pro model pairs and charges via a magnet on the side of the iPad. Unlike any previous model, it will show up in the Find My app, so you don’t have to worry so much about losing it.

Which is right for me?

There are now four distinct Apple Pencil variants, which is a bit of a mess for consumers to figure out. We’re working on a more detailed buyer’s guide, but in the meantime it’s worth remembering this new Pro model only works with the 2024 iPad Air and iPad Pro. Be sure to check out Apple’s comparison chart for a full list of features and compatibility.

Apple Pencil Pro is $129/£129 and available to order now. By comparison, the USB-C Apple Pencil is just $79/£79 but lacks most of the features mentioned above.