6 tips and tricks for the new Apple Pencil

The new Apple Pencil looks different and has learned some new tricks.

Jason Cipriani Contributing Writer, ZDNet
Jason Cipriani is based out of beautiful Colorado and has been covering mobile technology news and reviewing the latest gadgets for the last six years. His work can also be found on sister site CNET in the How To section, as well as across several more online publications.
Jason Cipriani
2 min read
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Alongside the new iPad Pro , a new Apple Pencil was also announced. The new Apple Pencil has a matte finish and a flat edge that breaks up the otherwise cylindrical device.

Outside of a new look, the new Pencil also features a touch-sensitive area that developers are sure to get creative with. Here are six tips to help you get the most out of the new Apple Pencil with the new iPad Pro.

Watch this: iPad Pro: Is it a computer now?


Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

The new Apple Pencil only works with the new iPad Pro models. That is the 11-inch and 12.9-inch models with Face ID. It makes when you consider the new Apple Pencil relies on wireless charging built into the iPad Pro for power.

Also worth noting, the first-generation Apple Pencil will not work on the new iPad Pro.


Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

Pairing the Apple Pencil with your iPad Pro is a breeze. Just place the Pencil on the charging pad, located on the same side as the volume buttons (it's a different color than the housing). Magnets inside the iPad Pro and the Pencil will hold the Pencil in place.

An animation will display on the iPad , letting you know it recognizes an Apple Pencil is attached and then ask if you want to pair the Pencil with the tablet.


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Charging the Apple Pencil is done through the magnetic wireless charging pad. Place the Pencil on the bad, let the magnets take hold, and let it charge up. A handy alert shows you the Pencil's current charge percentage, so you can keep tabs on progress.


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The lower portion of the new Apple Pencil is touch sensitive, meaning you can double-tap on it to trigger an action within an app.

Apple's Notes app work with the new double-tap feature out of the box by switching between the currently selected tool and the eraser. All you need to do is double-tap the Pencil, the mode will switch, and then double-tap to revert back.

This feature is available to third-party developers but will take some work by the developer to set up and decide which options to provide the user. Currently, Procreate has already released an update with support for "Apple Pencil double-tap." You'll need to enable it in Actions > Gesture Controls.

Keep an eye on your favorite app's update notes indicating support for the new feature.

Capture a note from lock screen

This isn't a new feature, but with the Apple Pencil and iPad Pro, you can take a quick note in the Notes app by tapping the Pencil on the iPad's display when it's locked. The note will be saved in the Notes app where you can then access or export it to another app.


Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

After pairing an Apple Pencil to the iPad Pro, the Settings app will gain an Apple Pencil option. This is where you need to go to change the Pencil's behavior in the Notes app.