Apple Pencil

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Apple Pencil
Apple Pencil.jpg
DeveloperApple Inc.
ManufacturerFoxconn[citation needed]
TypeDigital stylus
Release dateNovember 11, 2015 (2015-11-11) (1st Generation) November 7, 2018 (2018-11-07) (2nd Generation)
Introductory priceUS$99[1][2]
System-on-chip used32-bit RISC ARM-based Cortex-M3
CPUSTMicroelectronics STM32L151UCY6 Ultra-low-power MCU @ 32 MHz
Memory64-Kilobyte Flash
InputLightning connector, Bluetooth 4.1
Power3.82 V 0.329 W·h (86.1 mA·h)
DimensionsFirst Generation:
Length: 6.92 inches (176 mm) measured from tip to cap
Diameter: 0.35 inches (8.9 mm)[3]
Second Generation:
Length: 6.53 inches (166 mm) measured from tip to cap
Diameter: 0.35 inches (8.9 mm)[4]
Mass0.73 ounces (21 g)

Apple Pencil is a line of wireless stylus pen accessories developed by Apple Inc. for use with supported iPad tablet computers.

The Apple Pencil was first unveiled alongside the first-generation iPad Pro on September 9, 2015; it is supported by the first and second generation iPad Pro models, the sixth-generation iPad released in 2018,[5] and the 2019 iPad Mini and iPad Air.[6] It communicates wirelessly via Bluetooth, and has a removable cap that conceals a Lightning connector used for charging.

A second-generation model was unveiled in 2018, and is compatible exclusively with the third-generation iPad Pro. It features minor design changes over the original version, including touch-sensitive areas that can be tapped to perform actions within supported apps, and charging via the magnetic "Smart Connector" rather than a physical connection


The Apple Pencil has pressure sensitivity and angle detection, and was designed for low latency to enable smooth inking on the screen.[7][8] The Pencil and one's fingers can be used simultaneously, while rejecting input from the user's palm.[9][10] One end of the device has a magnetically-fastened removable cap. Underneath this cap is the Lightning connector, which allows the Pencil's battery to be recharged via an iPad's Lightning port itself. The initial charge lasts about 12 hours, but 15 seconds plugged into the Lightning connector of the iPad provides sufficient power for 30 minutes of use.[11][non-primary source needed] The user can also use the included female-to-female Lightning adapter to charge via a standard Lightning cable instead.[12]

The first-generation Pencil, with its Lightning connector exposed.

Apple has promoted the Pencil as being oriented towards creative work and productivity;[13] during its unveiling, the pen's capabilities were demonstrated using the mobile version of Adobe Photoshop,[14] and its document annotation capabilities on several Microsoft Office apps.[15][16]

The Apple Pencil utilizes an STMicroelectronics STM32L151UCY6 Ultra-low-power 32-bit RISC ARM-based Cortex-M3 MCU running at 32 MHz with 64 KB of flash memory, a Bosch Sensortech BMA280 3‐axis accelerometer and a Cambridge Silicon Radio (Qualcomm) CSR1012A05 Bluetooth Smart IC for its Bluetooth connection to the iPad. It is powered by a recyclable rechargeable 3.82 V, 0.329 Wh lithium-ion battery.[17][18]

Charging first generation pencil[edit]

Many users have reported that they had a battery failure and the pencil had to be replaced under warranty by Apple [19][20][21][22]. For safe and longevity in operation, it is recommended to keep the Apple pencil charged every week, even when you are not actively using it.[23]

Second-generation model[edit]

In October 2018, Apple unveiled a new iteration of the Pencil, designed exclusively for use with the newly unveiled third-generation iPad Pro. It is similar in design and specifications to the first iteration, but removing the detachable connector, and having part of the device be flattened to inhibit rolling. As the third-generation iPad Pro uses USB-C instead of Lightning, it is now paired and charged using the magnetic "Smart Connector" on the side of the tablet. It also contains tap-sensitive zones on its sides that can be mapped to functions within apps. Custom laser engraving is also available when purchased via[24]

Apple's iPad Air 3 and iPad mini 5 support the original version of the Pencil, rather than the newest one. One of the reasons why the Apple Pencil is not compatible with the latest devices is because it is powered through an inductive charger that is built into the side of the 2018 iPad Pro models. This charger is too expensive to include in the new iPad Air 3 and iPad mini 5, which is why the devices are compatible with the earlier version of the device. [25] There are also several design considerations that have influenced the decision for the new tablets not to support the latest iteration of the pen. The inductive charger of the second-generation model requires the edge of the tablet to be flat. However, the new iPad Air and mini have round edges. This means that building in support for the Pencil 2 would have required both of the tablets to be redesigned.

Third-party iPad styluses[edit]

A number of third-parties have produced styluses for the iPad. However, there has not been a consistent technological implementation of pressure sensitivity, palm rejection, or angle detection, leading to delayed reaction times and inaccurate strokes. Each third-party manufacturer has implemented its own hardware and software approaches, resulting in a fragmented market with styli and apps having differing functionalities. For instance, a particular stylus may be designed to offer pressure sensitivity, but any given app must implement such functionality for it to work.

FiftyThree produces an unrelated stylus, also known as Pencil, for use with its Paper drawing app for iPad.[26] Other popular styli include products made by Wacom and Adonit.[27]

On March 27, 2018, Logitech previewed the new Crayon, a stylus designed for the 2018 9.7-inch iPad.[28] Using a proprietary undisclosed connection method that does not require pairing as the Apple Pencil does, this non-touch-sensitive stylus has angle detection and is designed for the education market,[29] with a thicker design and oval cross-section shape to prevent it from rolling off of desks. Previous third-party styli have been limited by previous-generation iPad hardware without dedicated stylus connectivity, resulting in higher latency. It is expected to sell for half the price of the Apple pencil, but initially will be only sold through education channels. The Crayon is compatible with the current models of the iPad Pro, the iPad Air 3, the iPad Mini 5, and the 2018 iPad.[30]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "iPad Pro, Apple Pencil, Apple Keyboard Specifications". Archived from the original on September 10, 2015. Retrieved September 15, 2015.
  2. ^ "#AppleEvent : iPad Pro, Apple Pencil, Apple Keyboard Specifications And Pricing". Archived from the original on September 10, 2015. Retrieved September 15, 2015.
  3. ^ "Apple Pencil - Technical Specification".
  4. ^ "Apple Pencil (2nd generation) - Technical Specifications".
  5. ^ "Apple's new iPad with Pencil support is just $299 for schools". The Verge. Retrieved March 29, 2018.
  6. ^ Savov, Vlad (March 18, 2019). "Apple's new iPads cling to old Apple Pencil". The Verge. Retrieved March 18, 2019.
  7. ^ Statt, Nick (September 9, 2015). "Here's why Apple made the stylus that Steve Jobs hated: Styluses and screens have come a long way". The Verge. Vox Media. Archived from the original on September 10, 2015. Retrieved September 10, 2015.
  8. ^ Harley; et al. "United States Patent: 8638320". Patent Full Text. Retrieved September 10, 2015.
  9. ^ Ulanoff, Lance (September 10, 2015). "Hands on with iPad Pro and Apple Pencil: A huge tablet and an impressive tool". Archived from the original on September 11, 2015. Retrieved September 11, 2015.
  10. ^ Cunningham, Andrew (September 9, 2015). "Hands-on with the iPad Pro, its keyboard, and its pencil". Ars Technica. Condé Nast. Archived from the original on September 10, 2015. Retrieved September 11, 2015.
  11. ^ "Apple Pencil". Retrieved December 9, 2015.
  12. ^ bpepermans (September 9, 2015). "Zoom sur l'iPad Pro... la tablet grantee". MacPlus. Archived from the original on September 10, 2015. Retrieved September 10, 2015.
  13. ^ Pagliery, Jose (September 10, 2015). "Artists cheer the new Apple Pencil stylus". CNN Money. Archived from the original on September 10, 2015. Retrieved September 10, 2015.
  14. ^ King, Hope. "Apple criticized for Photoshopping smile on woman's face". CNN Money. Archived from the original on September 10, 2015. Retrieved September 10, 2015.
  15. ^ Price, Rob (September 9, 2015). "Apple just announced a product that Steve Jobs famously hated". Business Insider. Archived from the original on September 15, 2015. Retrieved September 15, 2015.
  16. ^ Davies, Chris (September 9, 2015). "Apple Pencil for iPad Pro revealed: The stylus' time has come". Slashgear. Archived from the original on September 10, 2015. Retrieved September 15, 2015.
  17. ^ "Apple Pencil Teardown". iFixit. November 19, 2015. Retrieved July 31, 2017.
  18. ^ Ulanoff, Lance (September 12, 2015). "Apple is not following Jobs' script and that's OK". Mashable. Archived from the original on September 15, 2015. Retrieved September 15, 2015.
  19. ^ "Charging Problems With Apple Pencil". MacRumors Forums. Retrieved July 22, 2019.
  20. ^ "Apple Pencil 3% - Apple Community". Retrieved July 22, 2019.
  21. ^ "Apple pencil cannot charge and recognize … - Apple Community". Retrieved July 22, 2019.
  22. ^ "Dead Apple Pencil". MacRumors Forums. Retrieved July 22, 2019.
  23. ^ "Care and feeding of the 1st gen Apple Pencil and its battery". Ask Different. Retrieved July 22, 2019.
  24. ^ "The new Apple Pencil 2 has gesture controls and charges wirelessly from the iPad Pro". The Verge. Retrieved November 2, 2018.
  25. ^ "Why the latest iPads don't support Apple Pencil 2". Cult of Mac. March 20, 2019. Retrieved June 28, 2019.
  26. ^ "Pencil Stylus for iPad & iPhone". Archived from the original on September 5, 2015. Retrieved September 10, 2015.
  27. ^ Villas-Boas, Antonio (October 22, 2014). "Wacom Intuos Creative Stylus 2". PC Magazine. Retrieved November 6, 2015.
  28. ^ "Forget Apple Pencil for your iPad. Now kids can use 'crayon'". CNET. March 27, 2018. Retrieved April 24, 2018.
  29. ^ Inc., iLounge,. "Logitech releasing Logitech Crayon and Logitech Rugged Combo 2 case for new iPad". Retrieved April 24, 2018.
  30. ^ Product Site. "New Logitech Crayon is Compatible With Sixth-Generation iPad and current iPad Pro devices". Retrieved June 21, 2019.

External links[edit]