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Apple Pencil Pro takes the iPad’s stylus game to the next level

Published May 7th, 2024 10:35AM EDT
Apple Pencil Pro
Image: Apple Inc.

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We knew Apple would make a big deal about the Apple Pencil during its big iPad event on Tuesday. The teasers were all there, hinting at a new stylus for the OLED iPad Pro and iPad Air 6 that might deliver brand-new powers. Leaks also surfaced a new Apple Pencil Pro name, which seemed fitting for a stylus upgrade.

It turns out we were not wrong. During the event, Apple unveiled the Apple Pencil Pro, tying it to the OLED iPad Pro tablets.

Priced at $129, the Apple Pencil Pro will target professionals who choose the OLED iPad Pro. But the new stylus also works with the iPad Air 6 models that Apple unveiled on Tuesday. 

The new stylus comes with new powers and gestures, including support for squeezing and rotating the Apple Pencil. These features will open additional editing abilities that weren’t possible on the previous-generation Apple Pencil models. 

By squeezing the Apple Pencil Pro, you’ll tell the new sensor to bring up a tool palette that lets you choose what you need without stopping your work. You might change colors or switch tools, all without having to go to a new menu.

Apple Pencil Pro features.
Apple Pencil Pro features. Image source: Apple Inc.

The gyroscope lets the Apple Pencil Pro adapt to your moves. It also changes the orientation of the pen or brush you might use while using the stylus. 

Furthermore, the hover feature lets you see the orientation of the tool before you start drawing or writing. 

The Apple Pencil Pro has a custom haptic engine that confirms the action you’re about to take, whether you squeeze, double-tap, or perform other gestures.

Developers can customize the Apple Pencil Pro experience for their apps that involve editing or drawing, so some of your favorite apps might build upon these experiences further. 

At $129, the Apple Pencil Pro isn’t exactly affordable. Losing it or having it stolen would certainly be annoying for the user. But the new stylus comes with Find My support, a first for the iPad stylus.

Finally, the Apple Pencil Pro pairs and charges via a new magnetic interface on the side of the OLED iPad Pro or iPad Air 6.

What Apple didn’t do during the OLED iPad Pro event was to tease any AI features coming via iPadOS 18 that will be tied to the new Apple Pencil Pro. We’ll have to wait a few more weeks for WWDC 2024, where Apple will discuss in great detail all the new genAI features it built for the iPhone, iPad, and Mac.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.