Complete Guide to Apple Pencil Pro: New Features and Enhancements

This review will delve into the Apple Pencil 3, exploring its fresh features, notable enhancements over previous versions, and overall performance. From its refined design to advanced technical improvements, we aim to provide a comprehensive understanding of what the Apple Pencil 3 offers and how it stands out in Apple’s evolving lineup of accessories.

Design and Build

The Apple Pencil 3, also known as the Apple Pencil Pro, showcases a refined design aimed at enhancing user comfort and functionality. It features a sleek, matte finish which not only gives it a modern appearance but also provides a more tactile feel, improving grip during extended use. This finish is a departure from the glossier feel of previous models and helps in reducing slippage, thereby increasing control and precision for detailed work. 

Significantly, the Apple Pencil 3 retains the flat side design introduced with the second generation, which serves dual purposes: it allows for magnetic attachment to the side of compatible iPads for storage and charging, and it also prevents the pencil from rolling on flat surfaces. This thoughtful design element ensures the Apple Pencil is always at hand and ready for use, enhancing workflow efficiency for artists, designers, and note-takers alike.

New Features Overview

The Apple Pencil 3 introduces several exciting features that enhance its functionality, making it a powerful tool for creativity and productivity on compatible iPad models. These enhancements are designed to provide a more intuitive and natural user experience.

  • Hover Functionality: This allows users to see a preview of their mark before making contact with the screen, greatly enhancing precision for drawing and note-taking.
  • Squeeze Sensing: Users can quickly switch tools, line weights, or colors by squeezing the pencil, offering a more intuitive and interactive experience.
  • Barrel Roll Control: Integrated with a gyroscope, this feature allows precise control over shaped pen and brush tools, mimicking the natural feel of rotational movements in traditional drawing tools.
  • Haptic Feedback: Provides tactile responses to actions, enhancing the sensory experience by giving physical feedback during use.
  • Find My Integration: Makes it easier to locate a misplaced Apple Pencil Pro, ensuring that this valuable tool is less likely to be permanently lost.

Compatibility and Setup

Compatible iPad Models

  • iPad Pro 13-inch (M4)
  • iPad Pro 11-inch (M4)
  • iPad Air 13-inch (M2)
  • iPad Air 11-inch (M2)

Step-by-Step Guide on How to Pair and Set Up the Apple Pencil Pro

  1. Attach for Pairing: Connect the Apple Pencil Pro to the magnetic connector on the side of your compatible iPad. This will start the pairing process.
  2. Pairing Confirmation: Once attached, a pairing notification should appear on your iPad. Confirm the pairing by tapping 'Pair' on the dialog box.
  3. Software Update: Ensure your iPad is running the latest version of iPadOS to guarantee full functionality and access to all features. Update if necessary via Settings > General > Software Update.
  4. Customize Settings: Once paired, you can customize your Apple Pencil settings by navigating to Settings > Apple Pencil. Here, you can adjust options such as the double-tap action to switch between tools in supported apps.
  5. Test the Features: Open an app that supports Apple Pencil and test the new features like hover, squeeze sensing, and haptic feedback to familiarize yourself with the capabilities of your Apple Pencil Pro.

    Drawing and Sketching

    The Apple Pencil Pro excels in artistic applications, offering exceptional precision and responsiveness. The improved pressure sensitivity and tilt recognition allow artists to execute fine details and varied stroke widths effortlessly. The new hover functionality lets artists preview their strokes before making contact with the screen, adding an unprecedented level of control and finesse to digital drawing and sketching.


    For note-taking, the Apple Pencil Pro offers a natural and fluid writing experience, akin to a traditional pen on paper. The squeeze sensing feature enhances functionality, allowing users to switch between tools quickly without interrupting their flow of thoughts. This makes it an excellent tool for students and professionals who rely on their iPads for meetings, lectures, or brainstorming sessions.

    Navigating the iPad Interface

    The Apple Pencil Pro also enhances general navigation of the iPad interface. Its precision makes it ideal for selecting small icons and text, dragging and dropping items, and precise editing tasks. The addition of haptic feedback provides tactile responses that enrich the interaction, making the user experience more intuitive and engaging.

    Battery Life and Charging

    The Apple Pencil Pro is designed to maintain a long battery life to support extensive use between charges. While specific battery life details vary based on usage patterns, Apple designs its pencil products to last through long creative sessions or note-taking periods. The typical Apple Pencil can last for hours of continuous use and several days of intermittent usage on a single charge.

    The Apple Pencil Pro magnetically attaches to the side of the iPad, facilitating not only storage but also wireless charging. A full charge can be achieved in a relatively short period, and a quick charge of a few minutes can provide several hours of use, ensuring that users can quickly get back to work with minimal downtime.

    Comparison with Previous Models

    The Apple Pencil Pro (3rd Generation) introduces significant enhancements over both the Apple Pencil 2 and the original Apple Pencil. Unlike the original, which required a physical connection to the iPad's Lightning port for charging, both the Apple Pencil 2 and 3 offer magnetic charging alongside compatible iPads, which also facilitates easy pairing and storage.

    Key Improvements

    • Hover Functionality: Unique to the Apple Pencil Pro, this feature allows for a preview of strokes before making contact with the screen, which is absent in previous versions.
    • Squeeze Sensing and Barrel Roll Control: These features are new with the Apple Pencil Pro, offering more intuitive control and interaction.

    Is Upgrading Worthwhile?

    Upgrading to the Apple Pencil Pro is highly beneficial for users who need more precise control and additional features like hover functionality and haptic feedback, which are particularly useful for professionals in creative fields. The ergonomic improvements and new interaction methods significantly enhance functionality, making it a worthwhile investment for those looking to maximize their productivity and creativity on their iPads.

    Pros and Cons


    • Advanced Features: The Apple Pencil 3 introduces hover functionality, squeeze sensing, and barrel roll control, enhancing precision and interaction.
    • Improved Ergonomics: A matte finish and flat side design improve grip and usability, making it comfortable for extended use.


    • Price: As with most Apple products, the Apple Pencil Pro comes at a premium price point, which might be a significant investment for some users.
    • Learning Curve: The new features, while beneficial, may require a learning period, especially for users accustomed to older versions.
    • Broad Compatibility: Works only with a iPad M2 and iPad M4 models
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