Which iPad models support Apple Pencil?
Best answer: Every iPad model that Apple currently sells new works with an Apple Pencil. The entry-level iPad is the only current iPad that works with the first-generation Apple Pencil. The iPad Air 5, iPad mini 6, and 2021 versions of the iPad Pro all work with the second-generation Apple Pencil.Original Pencil: Apple Pencil (First generation) (opens in new tab) ($89 at Amazon)Follow-up Pencil: Apple Pencil (Second generation) (opens in new tab) ($119 at Amazon)
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 5, iPad mini 6, and the latest versions of the iPad Pro, that's still true.
Note that if an iPad supports the first-generation Apple Pencil, 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)
- iPad (2021)
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 Apple 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 significantly in the last few years:
- 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)
- iPad Pro, 11-inch (2021)
- iPad Pro, 12.9-inch (2021)
- iPad Air 5 (2022)
The second-generation Apple Pencil is all one solid piece except for the removable tip. There's no cap to remove and no Lightning connector. Instead, the Apple Apple 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 Apple Pencil to a compatible new iPad. It just snaps on, asks to pair, and starts charging.
For most iPads
A great stylus that works with almost all current iPads.
This highly-responsive stylus is excellent for drawing, handwriting, and even as a pointing device. Works with the entry-level iPad and iPad mini 5 of Apple's current iPad crop.
For iPad Pro / iPad Air
Sticks to the side of your iPad
Supporting the 2018/2020/2021 iPad Pros and the iPad Air 4/5, 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.
Bryan M. Wolfe has written about technology for over a decade on various websites, including TechRadar, AppAdvice, and many more. Before this, he worked in the technology field across different industries, including healthcare and education. He’s currently iMore’s lead on all things Mac and macOS, although he also loves covering iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch. Bryan enjoys watching his favorite sports teams, traveling, and driving around his teenage daughter to her latest stage show, audition, or school event in his spare time. He also keeps busy walking his black and white cocker spaniel, Izzy, and trying new coffees and liquid grapes.
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