Apple Pencil Pro: Everything you need to know

iPad Pro M4 with Apple Pencil Pro
(Image credit: Future)
Apple Let Loose Event

Let Loose Live

(Image credit: Apple)

- Let Loose event — Everything announced at the Let Loose event
OLED iPad Pro — M4 and a major display upgrade!
iPad Air 6 — Apple's thinnest and lightest tablet gets a new processor and a bigger size!

Apple has just announced the new Pencil Pro, the first major upgrade to the company's drawing pen since 2018. It's been given new gestures, haptics, and plenty of other new features to help justify the 'Pro' name.

The new input device was revealed at Apple's 'Let Loose' event in May alongside the iPad Pro M4 and iPad Air 6, each in two sizes, offering up plenty to like if you're an Apple artist.

There are now four Apple Pencils in the lineup — some compatible only with specific iPads. In other words, eager artists exploring the Apple Store can choose the original Apple Pencil, the still excellent Apple Pencil 2, or the USB-C budget model that debuted near the end of 2023. Yet this model misses some features like double tap functionality and pressure sensitivity.

It's a lot to take in. And remember, Apple Pencil Pro works only with the iPad Pro M4 and iPad Air — so make sure you're buying the right Pencil for the right iPad.

Apple Pencil Pro: Design and features

Apple Pencil Pro and iPad Pro

(Image credit: Future)

Apple Pencil Pro: what we know

As suspected, the "Let Loose" invitations did indeed hint towards a new Pencil, confirmed to be the Apple Pencil Pro.

Compatible with the iPad Pro M4 and iPad Air, it features a squeeze gesture to switch between tools, Find My functionality to see where the Pencil is, and lots more.

Before it launches on May 15, here is everything you can expect from the Apple Pencil Pro.

Apple Pencil Pro and iPad Pro

(Image credit: Future)

Find My ... functionality
Ever lost your Apple Pencil down the back of the sofa? Now that Find My is built into Apple Pencil Pro, you can find exactly where it is thanks to the Find My app.

There's a downside, of course: You still need the drawing pen to be close to your other devices so it can be detected. Any far-away Pencil is going to be lost forever or found the traditional way of poking around a lot. But the feature paints a bright future for absent-minded owners, and anyone who has had one of those moments where you can't remember what bag or drawer you left your Pencil in.

A new name

On May 7, the Japanese Apple site mentioned an "Apple Pencil Pro" in its code, rather than the "Apple Pencil" other Apple sites reference. iMore checked over 10 different websites and could find this wording only in the Japanese store in the alt text section, a paragraph describing an image that's intended for screen readers.

Apple's 'Let Loose' event confirmed the name later that day, attributing 'Apple Pencil Pro' to its newest drawing stylus.

Haptic feedback

At the end of April 2024, Mark Gurman said haptic feedback was in the works. This functionality was confirmed at Apple's 'Let Loose' event in the Apple Pencil Pro. Haptic feedback lets a Pencil owner experience feedback when tapping, squeezing, and more directly through vibrations within the Pencil itself.

Apple Pencil Pro and iPad Pro

(Image credit: Future)

AirPod style 'Squeeze' button

If you've used the AirPods Pro 2, you'll know what we mean. For anyone else: The stem on those earbuds can be squeezed to activate noise-cancelling features. The same applies to the Apple Pencil Pro just above its pointer — squeeze this part and it opens up a palette on your iPad, letting you switch tools and more.

Barrel Roll

A feature that didn't leak ahead of launch: You can simply rotate Apple Pencil Pro, and shaped pen and brush tools will change orientation.

This will help artists by cutting down the steps to reach a menu in order to change these tools, making it faster to complete part of a project in apps like Procreate.

Apple Pencil Pro: Release date

Apple Pencil Pro launches on May 15 worldwide, as do the OLED iPad Pro M4 and iPad Air 6.

These were expected to launch in March, but the lineup was held back as the tablets started to enter mass production. In April, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman reported that the slew of iPad upgrades, including Apple Pencil 3, would come that month. Oops.

A launch date of May 15 tells us that Apple has finally produced enough iPad and Apple Pencil Pro products to open the floodgates for shoppers.

Apple Pencil Pro and iPad Pro

(Image credit: Future)

Apple Pencil Pro price

Apple Pencil Pro will launch on May 15 for $129 or $10.75 a month. Keep in mind though — this new stylus works only with the latest iPad Pro and iPad Air models. If you have an older iPad, there are three other Apple Pencils to choose from, all with different prices.

The first-generation Apple Pencil costs $99, while the second-generation Apple Pencil 2 is $129. The Apple Pencil USB-C costs $79, making it the cheapest out of the line, but it works only with certain iPads.

Apple Pencil with USB-C

In October 2023, Apple announced an all-new Apple Pencil with USB-C. Think of it as a step up from the first generation Pencil, but not quite as feature-rich as the Apple Pencil 2 and the Apple Pencil Pro.

Apple Pencil

(Image credit: Apple)

Designed with affordability in mind (it costs just $79), Apple Pencil with USB-C looks a lot like the 2nd-gen Pencil, but with some key changes and omissions. First of all, it now sports a USB-C charging port in its rear end, hidden by a slide-off cap. And while it should feel as nice to sketch and write with as the Apple Pencil 2, it's lacking the pressure sensitivity that both the 2nd and 1st generation Apple Pencils include. 

The Apple Pencil with USB-C attaches magnetically to the side of an iPad, but it can't charge or pair this way — you'll need a USB-C cable for that. It will include support for Apple Pencil's Hover functionality though.

Here's a look at how it stacks up against the other generations of Pencil.

Apple Pencil comparison, including Pro

(Image credit: Future)

Given that certain Apple Pencils work only with specific iPads, there have been rumors about an Apple Pencil designed specifically for iPhones, at a cheaper price point. While the USB-C model is indeed cheaper, it's not quite that rumor made true — there's still no iPhone support here.

Gerald Lynch
Editor in Chief

Gerald Lynch is the Editor-in-Chief of iMore, keeping careful watch over the site's editorial output and commercial campaigns, ensuring iMore delivers the in-depth, accurate and timely Apple content its readership deservedly expects. You'll never see him without his iPad Pro, and he loves gaming sessions with his buddies via Apple Arcade on his iPhone 15 Pro, but don't expect him to play with you at home unless your Apple TV is hooked up to a 4K HDR screen and a 7.1 surround system. 

Living in London in the UK, Gerald was previously Editor of Gizmodo UK, and Executive Editor of TechRadar, and has covered international trade shows including Apple's WWDC, MWC, CES and IFA. If it has an acronym and an app, he's probably been there, on the front lines reporting on the latest tech innovations. Gerald is also a contributing tech pundit for BBC Radio and has written for various other publications, including T3 magazine, GamesRadar,, Real Homes, MacFormat, music bible DIY, Tech Digest, TopTenReviews,, Brandish, Kotaku, Shiny Shiny and Lifehacker. Gerald is also the author of 'Get Technology: Upgrade Your Future', published by Aurum Press, and also holds a Guinness world record on Tetris. For real.

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