Apple Pencil

Read Cult of Mac’s latest posts on Apple Pencil:

Though cool, Apple Pencil Pro could be overkill for many iPad users [Review] ★★★★★

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A photo of the new Apple stylus on an iPad illustrates this Apple Pencil Pro review.★★★★★
Apple Pencil Pro is brilliant for artists, but what about people who simply want to take notes?
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Apple Pencil Pro is the latest and greatest iPad stylus coming out of Cupertino. It adds a new “squeeze” gesture, an internal gyroscope, haptic feedback and Find My support. I’m not a digital artist, so for this iPad Pencil review, I tested the stylus by writing notes, entering text with Scribble and doing moderate editing of photographs.

Plenty of artists have reviewed the new accessory, so my goal was to answer the question, “Does a typical iPad user need Apple Pencil Pro?” Or would a cheaper alternative suffice?

How to sell your old Apple Pencil or Magic Keyboard

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Sell Apple Pencil 2 or Magic Keyboard through Cult of Mac buyback program.
Apple won't buy back your old Apple Pencil, but we will.
Photo: Ian Fuchs/Cult of Mac

With Apple’s release of new iPads, an updated Magic Keyboard for iPad Pro and the brand-new Apple Pencil Pro, many people are looking to upgrade all three. (Because of course all your old iPad accessories won’t work with the new tablets.) However, apart from going the DIY route on eBay or Facebook Marketplace, it can be difficult to find a trade-in site where you can sell an old Apple Pencil or Magic Keyboard.

Even Apple’s own trade-in program won’t buy back these iPad accessories. However, there are several other options for selling a used Apple Pencil or Magic Keyboard — and we’re here to help!

Features we expected but didn’t get in M4 iPad Pro

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Expected features we didn't get in M4 iPad Pro
Apple pulled one of the cameras out of the M4 iPad Pro. And that's not all.
Photo: Apple/Cult of Mac

Apple touts the beautiful OLED screen and speedy M4 processor in the latest iPad Pro, but some other features quietly disappeared.

And more that had been rumored or just hoped for simply never appeared.

Bummer! New iPads won’t work with old Apple Pencil.

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iPad comparison with Apple Pencil Support
Comparing Apple Pencil support on new M4 iPad Pro and M2 iPad Air with an older iPad Pro (3rd Generation)
Screenshot: Apple.com

When Apple unveiled the Apple Pencil Pro during Tuesday’s “Let Loose” event, the company seemingly bid adieu to the second-generation Apple Pencil. An Apple tool reveals that unspecified Apple Pencil 2 compatibility issues mean the older stylus won’t work with 2024 iPad Pro and iPad Air models.

So, if you’re an artist buying a new iPad, or someone who takes lots of handwritten notes, you probably need to budget an extra $129 for a new Apple Pencil Pro.

Apple Pencil Pro adds ‘squeeze’ gesture, haptic feedback, Find My and more

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John Ternus shows off Apple Pencil Pro.
Apple gives the world its first look at the Apple Pencil Pro.
Photo: Apple

Apple Let Loose Event:Apple introduced a new third-generation “pro” Apple Pencil at its “Let Loose” iPad event Tuesday alongside new iPad Pro and iPad Air models. The first Apple Pencil Pro brings a new “squeeze” gesture, an internal gyroscope, haptic feedback and Find My support, making it the most capable iPad stylus yet.

Available to order today for $129 — the same price as the second-generation Apple Pencil — the Apple Pencil Pro gains features normally found on styluses for dedicated drawing tablets, like a new “squeeze” gesture and a “Barrel Roll” gyroscope for precise tool controls.

“The new features in Apple Pencil Pro are simply revolutionary,” said John Ternus, Apple’s senior vice president of hardware engineering, in the introductory “Let Loose” video. “And we’re also excited that Apple Pencil Pro works with the new iPad Air as well, giving air users yet another pro feature to push their creativity.”

Why every Apple fan should get excited about ‘Let Loose’ event [Updated]

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Why every Apple fan should get excited about ‘Let Loose’ event
Apple's product launch event might be about more than iPad.
Image: Apple/Cult of Mac

Gorgeous new iPad Pro and iPad Air models are expected to be the highlights of Apple’s “Let Loose” product event on May 7. Tablet accessories are on the agenda, too.

But there also could be big news for those who don’t use an iPad. Apple might surprise us with the M4 processor, a first glimpse at upcoming AI features, and maybe even a Mac Studio upgrade. Plus more.

Did Apple just leak ‘Apple Pencil Pro’?

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Apple Pencil Pro leak
The next iPad stylus will apparently be named Apple Pencil Pro.
Image: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Add Apple Pencil Pro to the list of products expected at Apple’s May 7 “Let Loose” event. A reference to the stylus turned up on the Japanese version of Apple’s website.

It’s for iPad but might also work with Vision Pro.

Upcoming OLED iPad Pro might feature next-gen M4 chip

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Apple M4 (concept) for Mac and iPad
Could Apple's upcoming OLED iPad Pro sport an M4 chip?
Photo: Apple/Cult of Mac

Apple’s upcoming OLED iPad Pro reportedly will begin the company’s shift into AI hardware. The new tablets could sport the next-gen M4 chip to power all the AI features.

If this report proves accurate, Apple will skip bringing its existing M3 SoC to its flagship tablet lineup.

What new features to expect in Apple Pencil 3 [Updated]

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What new features to expect in Apple Pencil 3
It's not challenging to guess that Apple Pencil 3 is on the agenda for the May 7 Apple event.
Photo: Apple/Cult of Mac

Apple Pencil 3 is apparently right around the corner, and leaks indicate the next iPad stylus will offer several features not in the previous one. That includes a new “squeeze” gesture, haptic feedback and Find My support.

Plus, it might also work as a Vision Pro stylus.

Bag bargains on iMacs and Apple accessories while they last

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sale on iMacs and Apple accessories
A couple of 2021 iMacs are in the mix of sale items.
Photo: Apple

Two concurrent Apple sales at Amazon bargain site Woot! run for the next week or so — one on iMacs and Accessories and one for a selection of Apple Accessories. It’s a good chance to stock up on big and small stuff alike.

“An Apple a Day… is really expensive!” the site quips. Both sales run through May 1 at 10 p.m. PT.

Apple Pencil for Vision Pro might be in development

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Apple Pencil for Vision Pro might be in development
Vision Pro users could someday grab an Apple Pencil for fine drawing.
Photo: Apple/Cult of Mac

A version of Apple Pencil stylus that can be used with the Vision Pro AR headset is in testing, according to an unconfirmed report.

And there’s proof that Apple is at least considering the idea — it filed for a patent on methods of using a stylus to create virtual objects while wearing a headset.

Apple Pencil (2nd gen) gets a sweet 11% discount

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Apple Pencil 2 in Hand
Apple Pencil (2nd gen) is a handy iPad accessory to have.
Photo: Ian Fuchs/Cult of Mac

If you take notes or draw on your iPad, consider investing in an Apple Pencil. It will greatly enhance your experience your note-taking and doodling experience.

While the Apple Pencil (2nd gen) is expensive at $129, Amazon is discounting it by 11% to $115. This makes the useful iPad stylus a bit more affordable.

Apple Pencil 2 drops to lowest-ever price

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Sell Apple Pencil 2 or Magic Keyboard through Cult of Mac buyback program.
The Cult of Mac buyback program pays top dollar for used Apple gear.
Photo: Ian Fuchs/Cult of Mac

Apple Pencil is one piece of Cupertino kit for which there are plenty of cheaper third-party alternatives. But why shop around for those often not-as-good choices when you can get the lowest price on Apple Pencil 2?

Right now you can nab one on Amazon for $79. That’s down from the regular price of $129 — $50 off! And the still-capable Apple Pencil (1st generation) is on sale for even less. See below.

Get a solid iPad stylus at half the price of Apple Pencil

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With palm sensitivity, you can rest your palm while drawing or writing.
With palm sensitivity, you can rest your palm while drawing or writing.
Photo: SwitchEasy

If you’re the proud owner of an iPad, you should get yourself a stylus that will help you write and draw well on the tablet. But an Apple Pencil 2 will set you back $129 (if you don’t find a good sale). So how about something just about as good for less than half the price? Enter SwitchEasy’s EasyPencil Pro.

Check out the SwitchEasy Sale in the Cult of Mac Store to get 20% off two versions of the stylus, plus extra tips for writing and drawing.

How to get the latest USB-C Apple Pencil firmware update

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Apple Pencil (USB-C) firmware update
Yes, you might need to think about updating the software on your Apple Pencil.
Image: Apple/Cult of Mac

Just about everything electronic requires firmware — Apple’s iPad stylus is no exception. With software comes updates, and there’s new one for the recently released version of the Apple Pencil with a USB-C port.

Here’s how to check what firmware version your Apple Pencil is currently running, and a suggestion on how to get the new update.

Apple Pencil 2 drops to its best price in this pre-Black Friday deal

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It's not the first time Apple Pencil 2 has been this cheap, but you may never see a lower price.
This is the Apple Pencil 2 deal ahead of Black Friday that you should not miss.
Photo: Ian Fuchs/Cult of Mac

You can get the incredibly useful Apple Pencil 2 for its lowest price ahead of Black Friday. Amazon is taking $40 off the iPad accessory, dropping its price to $89.

The Apple Pencil 2 works with iPad Air, iPad mini 6, and iPad Pro to make note-taking and drawing a breeze.

Today in Apple history: iPad Pro makes its big debut

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iPad Pro
The iPad Pro was a big step forward for the iPad.
Photo: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

November 11: Today in Apple history: iPad Pro debutsNovember 11, 2015: Apple’s first iPad Pro goes on sale after months of speculation about the giant-size tablet. With its much larger screen, professional-oriented targeting and dreaded (optional) stylus, the 12.9-inch iPad Pro represents Apple CEO Tim Cook’s cleanest break yet from Steve Jobs’ vision for iOS devices.

And it turned out all the better for it!

New USB-C Apple Pencil is lower in price but not usability [Review] ★★★★

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Apple Pencil (USB-C)★★★★
The first budget Apple Pencil is the iPad stylus students and businesspeople have been looking for.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

The just-launched Apple Pencil includes USB-C charging, making it easy to use with the budget iPad. While top quality, the new model doesn’t have all the features of Apple Pencil 2 but costs $50 less.

I tested the stylus with my iPad and found reasons to like it even more than the premium version.

Affordable new Apple Pencil with USB-C goes on sale

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You'll have to charge the inexpensive new Apple Pencil via USB-C cable.
You'll have to charge the inexpensive new Apple Pencil via USB-C cable.
Photo: Apple

Apple put its new budget Apple Pencil with USB-C connectivity on sale Wednesday for all your sketching and note-taking needs. Just $79, it’s now available in 33 countries, including the United States.

That price saves you $50 compared to Apple Pencil 2, but it also buys you fewer features.

Get ready to grab the first budget Apple Pencil

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Apple Pencil (USB-C) with iPad
Apple Pencil (USB-C) with iPad is the lowest-cost stylus made by Apple.
Photo: Apple

Apple just took the wraps off a lower-price version of its iPad stylus. The new Apple Pencil uses a USB-C port for charging so it’s a better fit for use with the budget iPad.

“Apple Pencil has revolutionized note taking, sketching, and illustrating, unleashing endless possibilities for productivity and creativity,” said Bob Borchers, Apple VP of Worldwide Product Marketing. “Combined with the versatility of iPad, the new Apple Pencil unlocks another great option to experience the magic of digital handwriting, annotation, marking up documents, and more.”

The new version is $50 less than Apple Pencil 2, the premium model. But it lacks some of the features of the top-of-the-line version.

Apple shows how it empowers small-business success

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With National Small Business Week upon us, Apple celebrates how it helps entrepreneurs.
With National Small Business Week upon us, Apple celebrates how it helps entrepreneurs.
Image: Apple

With National Small Business Week starting Sunday, Apple profiled three small businesses Wednesday, describing how they harness Apple products to grow.

In addition, the company will feature “Grow Your Business with Apple” Today at Apple sessions next week in select U.S. cities.

You won’t find a better time to buy Apple Pencil 2

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Apple-Pencil-close-up
Get Apple Pencil 2 at well below the usual price. If you hurry.
Photo: Daniel Korpai/Unsplash

Digital artists, or those who would like to be, can pick up an Apple Pencil 2 for a whopping $40 off the usual price. That’s a 31% discount.

I use this stylus with my iPad all the time, and there’s no better tool for painting on your tablet. It’s also great for taking notes and sketching out ideas.

Future Apple Pencil may include built-in color sensors

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Future Apple Pencil may include built-in color sensors
Apple patented a stylus that can be used to easily match any color.
Photo: Apple/Cult of Mac

Someday, you might be able to pull a color out of the real world just by touching your Apple Pencil to it. Apple patented a version of its iPad stylus with color sensors in the tip.

The device would be a real boon to artists who paint on an iPad.