Your new Apple Pencil Pro is hard to lose and it’s even better to draw with

Apple announced the third-generation Apple Pencil today during its iPad “Let Loose” event, adding Find My support and new capabilities to adapt the stylus to different creative tasks. Available to order Today for $129 – At the same price as the second-generation Apple Pencil – The new Apple Pencil Pro offers features closer to what you find on dedicated drawing tablet styluses, like a “Barrel Roll” gyroscope feature and a tap gesture to switch between software functions.

This is the first real update to the Apple Pencil series since the second-generation model was announced in 2018. While the more affordable Apple Pencil USB-C stylus released last year supports a wider range of iPad models than the Apple Pencil 2, The second generation got rid of advanced features like pressure sensitivity and double-click tool switching, making it less useful for tasks like graphic design and 3D sculpting.

Here’s an overview of Apple Pencil Pro features, including a pinch gesture that provides quick access to switching between brushes and colors.
Image: Apple

The Apple Pencil Pro carries over these advanced features from its predecessor, along with new features like the stalk-like tap gesture found on the Apple AirPods Pro 2, which introduces a new palette for quickly switching between different tools, colors, and line weights. and haptic feedback, which pulses when users press or double-click the pen.

Adding support for Apple’s Find My Device location system is a welcome update for distracted users who frequently lose their stylus. It’s easy to misplace a thin, pencil-shaped device, and I know firsthand how frustrating and expensive it is to replace the Apple Pencil that inevitably shows up months later after you’ve already torn your house apart looking for it.

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App developers can also create their own custom interactions for Apple Pencil Pro. Some examples given by Procreate CEO James Koda include brushes that “respond in entirely new ways” thanks to the Barrel Roll feature or using the tap feature to activate program shortcuts. The Barrel Roll feature also allows animators to simultaneously move and rotate objects while recording actions in Procreate Dreams.

The notable drawback here is compatibility – the Apple Pencil Pro is only supported on the newly announced M2 iPad Air and M4 OLED iPad Pro models, so users with older devices won’t be able to upgrade their stylus. And while the Apple Pencil Pro offers better access to software shortcuts than its predecessors, creative professionals will likely find that the styluses on dedicated drawing tablets like Wacom’s new Movink 13 are better in terms of comfort and customization.

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