No, you cannot use the apple pencil on just any iPad. There are two types of Apple Pencils: Apple Pencil First Generation, and Apple Pencil Second Generation. And each one is compatible with specific iPad models.
Apple Pencil 1st Generation
Apple made the 1st Gen Pencil in 2015 as an accessory for the 1st generation iPad Pro 12.9-inch and the smaller iPad Pro 9.7-inch. This Pencil pairs and charges through its lightning connector (located at the top end).
To charge it, you need to plug the pencil into the lightning connector on your iPad. But you can also charge it via USB using the Apple Pencil Charging Adapter that comes in the box. It has a round body with a smooth finish and uses tips (also called “nibs”) that cover its pressure sensors.
Which iPads are compatible with Apple Pencil 1st Generation?
Since 2015, Apple has extended support for this Pencil to several iPad models. As of this moment in 2021, you can write and draw on the following iPads using the Apple Pencil 1st Gen.
- The iPad Pro 12.9-inch 1st generation (released November 2015)
- The iPad Pro 12.9-inch 2nd generation (released June 2017)
- iPad Pro 9.7-inch (released in March 2016)
- iPad Pro 10.5-inch (released in June 2017)
- iPad Air 3rd generation 10.5-inch (released in March 2019)
- iPad 9th generation (released September 2021)
- iPad 8th generation (released September 2020)
- iPad 7th generation 10.2-inch (released September 2019)
- iPad 6th generation 9.7-inch (released March 2018)
- iPad Mini 5th generation 7.9-inch (released March 2019)
Apple Pencil 2nd Generation
The Apple Pencil 2 comes with slightly improved ergonomics. It has a matte finish and one flat side for improved handling. In addition, the flat surface has touch capacitors that can detect double taps when drawing, to change tools.
The Apple Pencil 2 is shorter and evenly weighted, to mimic the feel of a real pencil. You can attach it magnetically to the top side of the iPad Pro, for pairing or wireless charging. Apple pencil 2 uses the same replaceable nibs as the Apple pencil 1 (the tips/nibs cover the tilt and pressure sensors).
Which iPads are compatible with Apple Pencil 2nd Generation?
As of this date, Apple Pencil 2nd Generation works with the following iPads:
- iPad Pro 12.9-inch 5th generation (released in May 2021)
- iPad Pro 12.9-inch 4th generation (released in March 2020)
- iPad Pro 12.9-inch 3rd generation (released in November 2018)
- iPad Pro 11-inch 3rd generation (released May 2021)
- iPad Pro 11-inch 2nd generation (released in March 2020)
- iPad Pro 11-inch 1st generation (released in November 2018)
- iPad Air 4th generation (released October 2020)
- iPad Air 5th Generation (released March 2022)
- iPad mini 6th generation (Released September 2021)
Apple Pencil frequently asked questions
- Can you use an Apple Pencil on an iPhone (iPhone 11, 7, etc)?
- No, as of this moment, there is no iPhone that supports an Apple Pencil. Apple Pencils are made to work only with specific iPad models. But you may be able to use a third-party stylus on your iPhone display.
- How can I charge my Apple Pencil without a charger?
- You can charge the Apple Pencil 1st Generation by plugging its Lightning connector into the Lightning port of your iPad. For the Apple Pencil 2nd Generation, it starts charging once it attaches magnetically to the top of the compatible iPad Pro models
- Does Apple Pencil 2 work with iPad 7th Gen?
- No, the Apple Pencil 2 does not work with the iPad 7th Gen. But you can use the Apple Pencil 1 with the iPad 7th, Gen.
- Can Apple Pencil 2 Charge without iPad?
- No, the only way to charge an Apple Pencil 2 is by attaching it magnetically to the top of your compatible iPad Pro Models. The Apple Pencil 2 only charges wirelessly on the iPad and does not support Qi wireless charging pads.
- Can you overcharge an Apple Pencil 1 or 2?
- No, when charging on an iPad, the Apple Pencil will automatically stop charging once it reaches 100%.
- Is the Apple Pencil compatible with the iPad Air 2?
- No, the iPad Air 2 does not have Apple Pencil support. But the iPad Air 3 supports the Apple Pencil 1st Generation.
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