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Apple's New Pencil Pro Has Haptic Feedback and New Squeeze and Twist Gestures

The new iPad Pro and Air models revealed today get a new stylus that you can squeeze and do a barrel roll.

Matt Elliott Senior Editor
Matt Elliott is a senior editor at CNET with a focus on laptops and streaming services. Matt has more than 20 years of experience testing and reviewing laptops. He has worked for CNET in New York and San Francisco and now lives in New Hampshire. When he's not writing about laptops, Matt likes to play and watch sports. He loves to play tennis and hates the number of streaming services he has to subscribe to in order to watch the various sports he wants to watch.
Expertise Laptops | Desktops | All-in-one PCs | Streaming devices | Streaming platforms
Matt Elliott
2 min read
Apple/GIF by Arielle Burton/CNET

Apple introduced the Pencil Pro at its iPad event on Tuesday. It's the first new Pencil we've seen since the second-gen Pencil was released in 2018. The Apple Pencil Pro features a new squeeze sensor with haptic feedback and a gyroscope for new twisting "barrel roll" gestures.

The new squeeze gesture can be used to open context menus such as a tool palette, and the barrel roll gesture then lets you twist the Pencil Pro to select a new tool or change a brush type, size or color. Haptics provide useful feedback when you squeeze or double-tap, and the haptics can also be used with the hover gesture to help you align elements in your drawing.

Watch this: See Apple's New 'Squeezable' Pencil Pro

The haptics can help improve the feel of drawing and painting by offering tactile feedback to better connect you to your digital canvas in addition to providing quicker and easier access to tools, but it's not the first time we've seen a stylus with haptics. Microsoft's Surface Slim Pen 2 released in 2021, for example, features a haptic engine.

The Pencil Pro charges and stores magnetically on the side of the new iPads. Should you misplace the Pencil Pro, it now offers Find My support.

The Apple Pencil Pro costs $129 (£129, AU$219) and is available to order now. It will start shipping next week. It's compatible with the new M4 iPad Pro and M2 iPad Air models released today, but not previous iPad models. 

The Pencil Pro wasn't the only iPad accessory announced on Tuesday. Apple also released a new Magic Keyboard that has the same floating design as the previous model but adds a larger trackpad with haptic feedback along with a function row of keys.