Apple Pencil 1st Gen vs 2nd Gen difference – which is compatible with iPad Pro & iPad Air?


Which is compatible with iPad Pro or iPad Air –  Apple Pencil 1st Gen vs 2nd Gen? The first generation Pencil pairs via Bluetooth, but uses the Lightning port to make the connection instantly. The Lightning port is also used for charging, which happens super fast. Fifteen seconds of charging allows for thirty minutes of use.

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The latest Apple Pencil 2 also improved charging, which is now done magnetically while stored on the edge of an iPad. That means the Pencil is always charged, ready to use and harder to misplace. The Apple Pencil 2 also has a double-tap feature that can be customized to change between drawing and erasing or switching between two recent paint colors. A little added touch from Apple, the newest model can be engraved for free. Should you invest in it – Apple Pencil 1st Gen vs 2nd Gen?

Apple Pencil best price in US

Specs – Apple Pencil 1st Gen vs 2nd Gen

Apple Pencil 1st generation features

  • Pairing and charging via Lightning
  • Pixel-perfect precision
  • Tilt and pressure sensitivity
  • Imperceptible lag

Apple Pencil 2nd generation features

  • Wireless pairing and charging
  • Attaches magnetically
  • Double-tap to change tools
  • Pixel-perfect precision
  • Tilt and pressure sensitivity
  • Imperceptible lag
  • Free engraving


The original Apple Pencil is supported by the iPad 10.2-inch (2019), iPad mini (2019) and iPad Air (2019) from the current line-up.  The Apple Pencil 1st gen costs £89/$99. The Apple Pencil 2 costs £119/$129.

This gives the original Apple Pencil the broadest range of options for different screen sizes and budgets. The cheapest you can buy a new iPad plus Apple Pencil is £438/$428 – that’s the 10.2-inch iPad plus Apple Pencil 1st gen.

To get an Apple Pencil 2, you’re looking at a minimum of £868/$928 – that’s for the 11-inch iPad Pro (2021) plus Apple Pencil 2nd gen.


The original Apple Pencil is supported by the iPad 10.2-inch (2019), iPad mini (2019) and iPad Air (2019) from the current line-up.

It was also supported by previous iPads, including the iPad 9.7-inch (2018), iPad Pro 12.9-inch (2017), iPad Pro 10.5-inch (2017), iPad Pro 9.7-inch (2016), and iPad Pro 12.9-inch (2015).

The Apple Pencil 2 is currently supported by the newest 4th generation iPad Air (2020), the first generation 11-inch iPad Pro (2018) and later and the iPad Pro 12.9-inch third generation (2018) and later – including the brand new iPad Pro M1 2021 models.

Apple Pencil 1st Gen vs 2nd Gen comparison

Apple Pencil (2nd generation)Apple Pencil (1st Generation)
Length6.53 inches (166 mm)6.92 inches (175.7 mm) measured from tip to cap
Diameter0.35 inch (8.9 mm)6.92 inches (175.7 mm) measured from tip to cap
Weight0.73 ounce (20.7 grams)0.73 ounce (20.7 grams)
Lightning ConnectorYes
Other FeaturesMagnetically attaches and pairsMagnetically attached cap
Compatible withiPad Pro 12.9-inch (3rd and 4th generation); iPad Pro 11-inch (1st and 2nd generation)iPad (6th and 7th Generation), iPad Mini (5th Generation),  iPad Air (3rd Generation), iPad Pro 12.9-inch (1st and 2nd Generation), iPad Pro 9.7 and 10.5-inch

What are the differnces – Apple Pencil 1st Gen vs 2nd Gen?


The Apple Pencil 2 has a matte finish that feels a lot like a wooden Pencil – it’s nicer in the hand, and is easier to keep a good hold of even without a tight grip. The first Apple Pencil has a glossy plastic finish, much like the case of AirPods. And like other glossy plastics, it tends to pick up grease and fingerprints pretty strongly, which can affect the quality of your grip.

Double tap

The Apple Pencil 2 does actually have one technical advantage, but it’s not directly to do with drawing: it has a button. It’s not a physical button, but rather you can double-tap the flat edge with your finger. You can choose what this does by default: switch between current tool and eraser; switch between current tool and the last-used tool; show the colour palette; or nothing, if you prefer.


The Apple Pencil 2 has a huge edge when it comes to storage. It attaches magnetically to the side of the iPad Pro, and connecting it this way also charges it wirelessly. For the Apple Pencil 1st gen, there’s no official storage solution directly on devices. It will attach magnetically to some covers, but not with a very strong grip. 


The 2nd-gen Apple Pencil hasn’t had any problems lasting for long drawing sessions for us, but its battery life is also less important, because it can be more easily topped up during the day simply by popping it back on the edge when you respond to emails or stop for a break.

The Pencil 1st gen does come with a charging adapter in the box, though: a converter, so that you can use a normal Lightning cable to charge the Pencil. As long you’re diligent about plugging it in regularly, this would be a much better way to go about it.

Replacement tips

The 1st-gen Apple Pencil comes with a replacement tip in the box, further guaranteeing longevity from a single purchase. The Apple Pencil 2 does not come with a replacement tip, which seems a bit cheap of Apple, but then you won’t be needing one for a long time, as we mentioned.

Drawing performance

They both support tilt and rotation detection while drawing, and when combined with the good pressure detection, they’re very versatile for different brush strokes and applications.

Apple Pencil 1st Gen vs 2nd Gen video comparison

Courtesy : macrumors

What are the similarities – Apple Pencil 1st Gen vs 2nd Gen?


They’re both 8.9mm in diameter, though the original Apple Pencil is totally circular, while the Apple Pencil 2 has a flat edge. The flat edge obviously helps to avoid it rolling away. The original Apple Pencil actually had some weighting in it stop it rolling off, but it wasn’t a foolproof system – naturally, a flat edge does it better.

Pair with your iPad

Pairing your Apple Pencil with the iPad is now even easier with the new version. Simply let the Apple Pencil slap to the magnets on the side, and the stylus will immediately pair. That’s not only nifty for setup, but it’ll make using multiple iPads and Apple Pencils easier for the very few of us who use multiple models on a regular basis.


That’s the default, as we said, though individual apps can give you different options within the app: art studio ProCreate and audio editor Ferrite both offer other handy functions you can apply there instead, that apply only within the app (see our round-up of the best iPad Pro apps for more). The original Apple Pencil has no equivalent option.

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