Is first-generation Apple Pencil compatible with the 2018 iPad Pro?

Is first-generation Apple Pencil compatible with the 2018 iPad Pro?

You'll be out of luck if you wanted to use the original Apple Pencil with the new iPad Pro

We've entered a new iPad Pro era. Apple's latest professionally-oriented tablets are the first iOS product not to utilize a proprietary Apple connector. Instead of Lightning, which has been Apple's standard since 2012, the company has opted to use USB-C on the new iPad Pro models.

The biggest hurdle this presents for the first-generation Apple Pencil is simple: the Pencil pairs to the iPad Pro by connecting to the Lightning port. As these new iPads have USB-C instead of Lightning, the original Apple Pencil can't pair with a new iPad Pro.

The second-generation Apple Pencil is made for the new iPad Pro

In contrast to the original Pencil, the second-generation stylus connects to your iPad Pro wirelessly. The first time you attach the new Pencil to the new iPad Pro using the magnetic sides of each, the Pencil will automatically pair with the iPad.

This magnetic connection is also how the Pencil charges, and the Pencil will use those magnets to stick to the iPad Pro as you carry both around.

The first-generation Apple Pencil is still a great choice if you've got an older iPad

If you've decided to hang on to an older iPad Pro, get the 10.5-inch model from 2017 that's still around, or pick up this year's 9.7-inch iPad, know that the first-generation Apple Pencil is still the best stylus you can get for drawing or handwriting on your tablet.

Joseph Keller

Joseph Keller is the former Editor in Chief of iMore. An Apple user for almost 20 years, he spends his time learning the ins and outs of iOS and macOS, always finding ways of getting the most out of his iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and Mac.