Best answer: Every iPad model that Apple currently sells new works with an Apple Pencil. The entry-level iPad and iPad mini 5 all work with the first-generation Pencil, while the 2018 and 2020 iPad Pro models and the iPad Air 4 work with the second-generation Pencil.
All of Apple's current-generation iPads support some version of the Apple Pencil
With the release of the iPad Air 3 and iPad mini 5 in 2019, all of Apple's then-current-generation iPads, from mini to Pro, supported some version of the Apple Pencil. Thankfully, now with the releases of the iPad Air 4, 2020 iPad, and new versions of the iPad Pro, that's still true.
Note that if an iPad supports the first-generation Pencil, as of right now, it won't support the second-generation, and vice versa.
Which iPads support the first-generation Apple Pencil?
The following iPad models (both current and past) support the first-generation Apple Pencil:
- iPad Pro, 12.9-inch (2015)
- iPad Pro, 9.7-inch (2016)
- iPad Pro, 10.5-inch (2017)
- iPad Pro, 12.9-inch (2017)
- iPad (2018)
- iPad Air 3 (2019)
- iPad mini 5 (2019)
- iPad (2019)
- iPad (2020)
The first-generation Apple Pencil has a cap on it concealing a Lightning connector, which plugs into the Lightning port on these iPads for both quick pairing and charging. The Apple Pencil can also be charged by way of the included Lightning adapter, which features two Lightning ports on it, one into which you plug the Pencil, and one into which you plug a Lightning cable.
Which iPads support the second-generation Apple Pencil?
The number of iPads that support the second-generation Apple Pencil has risen in 2020, expanding to include the iPad Air:
- iPad Pro, 11-inch (2018)
- iPad Pro, 12.9-inch (2018)
- iPad Pro, 11-inch (2020)
- iPad Pro, 12.9-inch (2020)
- iPad Air 4 (2020)
Except for the removable tip, the second-generation Apple Pencil is all one solid piece. There's no cap to remove and no Lightning connector. Instead, the Pencil magnetically attaches to one of the sides of the iPad Pro or iPad Air for inductive charging. This is also how you pair the Pencil to a compatible new iPad. It just snaps on, asks to pair, and starts charging.
For iPad Pro
Apple Pencil (Second generation)
Sticks to the side of your iPad Pro (2018)
Supporting the 2018/2020 iPad Pros and the iPad Air 4, the second-generation Apple Pencil works just like the first-generation model, adding a gesture area that accepts a double-tap to change the tool you're using in your current app. Pairs and charges through a magnetic inductive charging spot on compatible iPads.
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