Apple Pencil 1 vs 2 – Unveiling The 5 Key Differences

Last Updated on August 29, 2023 by Ernests Embutnieks

In this comparison, we’ll delve into the dynamic duel: Apple Pencil 1 vs 2. There are a few differences between these Pencils. The key differences: Design, length, gestures, charging and most importantly – compatibility.

You can’t choose whichever Apple Pencil you like the most. You have to choose the one that’s compatible with your iPad. There’s a compatibility table at the bottom of this article.

Let’s take a deeper dive into the differences, let’s check the additional gestures and other important things you should know about both Apple Pencils.

Difference Between Apple Pencil 1 and 2

1st gen
Apple Pencil 1
2nd gen
Apple Pencil 2
8.9 mm
8.9 mm
Magnetic Caps
Magnetic Caps
Hard and durable
Hard and durable
Pressure Sensitivity
Pressure Sensitivity
Double Tap(Touch Sensitive)
Double Tap(Touch Sensitive)
Switching tools

Related: Apple Pencil Alternatives

Let’s break down the main contrasts between these two pencils: the original Apple Pencil and the newer 2nd generation. First off, the 2nd gen pencil offers extra handy features like double-tapping and touch-sensitive gestures, which can make your creative process smoother. With a double-tap, you can easily switch between erasing and drawing, adding a touch of productivity.

Another big plus is how you charge them. The 1st gen pencil needs to be plugged into your iPad, but the 2nd gen version snaps right onto your iPad to charge – a small change that can save the day when your iPad’s also charging.

Speaking of small but significant, the design is improved in the 2nd gen. It’s more comfortable to hold and work with.

Apple Pencil Gen 2 is a bit shorten then Gen 1. Which in my opinion makes it a bit more comfortable, but it depends on your preference of course.

And the most important difference – compatibility, you can compare these two all day long, but if it’s not compatible with your iPad what’s the point?

Apple Pencil 1 vs 2: Design

Let’s start by checking to what extent these two Apple Pencils differ when we put their respective designs under the trial. Being 8.9 mm thick, both the Pencil look pretty similar; however, the second-gen stylus features a flag edge while the same is circular in the former.

The first-generation Apple Pencil shelters a lustrous plastic finish. On the contrary, Apple Pencil 2 feels more like a usual wooden pencil thanks to the matte finish that runs all over.


apple pencil 1 vs 2 ergonomics

Offering a flat-edge build, the Apple Pencil 2 straight away resolves the rolling-down-the-slope issue that some first-generation Apple Pencil users had to complain about. Apart from that, both have great ergonomics in their own right.

Weighing 20.7g and scaling to 8.9 mm in diameter, you’ll have a good experience using any of the styluses, even for long periods. The overall built is so well executed from grip to thickness that using Apple Pencil and Apple Pencil 2 feels like any other pencil we write on paper.

Apple Pencil Tip‘s

The tip of both the Apple Pencils is indistinguishable in many ways. Whether you consider the Apple Pencil 1 or the Apple Pencil 2, the tip in each case is fairly hard. In other words, either of the styluses taps firmly on the iPad’s screen. The hard-built of the tip also corresponds to its durable nature.

However, an interesting factor distinguishes the first-generation Apple Pencil from the second-gen ones, even when the “tip” is considered. The Apple Pencil 1 comes with a replacement tip inside the box, while sadly, the same doesn’t happen for Apple Pencil 2. Although you need to spend just around $19 to grab a pack of 4, the approach feels a bit cheap from Apple’s end.

And don’t worry, neither the 1st gen Apple pencil nor 2nd gen won’t scratch your screen.


Storage is one section where the second-generation Apple Pencil seems to own an edge over its predecessor. Considering the fact that Apple Pencil 2 magnetically gets attached to the iPad Pro, it is obvious to find it more promising. At the same time, Apple Pencil 1 is deprived of any storage solution, at least from the official end.

I insisted on the term official because there are covers capable of attaching the first-gen Apple Pencil. Also, there exist iPad sleeves that let users store their styluses.

Pressure Sensitivity and Tilt Sensitivity

In simple words, it is the ability of any stylus to decide how thick or thin the lines are to be drawn on the basis of the force applied to it.

Tilt Sensitivity, on the other hand, refers to a stylus’s capability to perceive the angle over the surface being operated on. Simply, it is the mastery of determining tilt angles. Now that you have a good idea about pressure and tilt sensitivity, let’s uncover if these factors differ in Apple Pencil 1 and Apple Pencil 2.

Does Apple Pencil 1st gen & 2nd gen Have Different Pressure Sensitivity?

Annoyingly, Apple hasn’t really explicitly talked about the difference in pressure or tilt sensitivity for either of the models. From my testing, there seems to be no difference whatsoever. This conjunction lines up with a hypothesis that most others have also mentioned on various forums.

However, there’s a stark difference between Pencil 1 and Pencil 2 that most people tend to forget. You can use the Apple iPad Pro, which comes in 120 Hz for the Apple Pencil 2, which is not the case for the Apple Pencil 1. So, while they might have the same internals, you will come in with different performance metrics simply because of the difference in screen refresh rate.

However, obviously, this isn’t really isn’t an issue from the Apple Pencil’s end but is rather a sign that the Pencil 2 provides users with the ability to get a more responsive outlook off their stylus.

Gestures – The Double Tap

Among the things that mark the generation switch between Apple Pencils, the support for the movement and quick switches is worth mentioning. The Apple Pencil 2 features a double-tap functionality, one you’ll not find with the original Apple Pencil. What this feature does is help users swap between different tools, simply tapping the stylus twice.

The same feature can be employed in many situations including taking notes, operating programs such as Adobe Photoshop, and more. You can also use the double-tap feature in audio editing software, like linking a series of actions together. The possibilities are endless, however, exclusive for the users of the second-generation Apple Pencil.


To some extent, the storage factor reflects how the Apple Pencil 2 outruns the first-generation Apple Pencil in the charging department. The magnetic nature that I’ve discussed in the previous section not only helps store the stylus but also allows wireless charging.

The story gets a bit annoying for the original Apple Pencil. With the first-gen stylus, you only get to employ the traditional form of charging. It is fine, to be honest, until you are diligent about plugging it on a regular basis, but the same can get really pesky otherwise. Luckily, it charges quickly enough at 15 minutes for a full charge to counter your woes.

Find Out: How long it takes to charge Apple Pencil (1 & 2 gen)


Both the Apple Pencil 1 and Apple Pencil claim to run for about 12 hours. From the tests that I’ve done, the measurements were spot-on with the claims, which is quite uncommon usually companies claim their products are better then they are. However, I would still prefer the Apple Pencil 2’s battery over the Apple Pencil 1.

Why? Well, the Apple Pencil 1 requires it to be charged with a lightning connector which can be fairly inconvenient. On the other hand, the Apple Pencil 2 is charged magnetically, which means that you can still keep your iPad plugged in while also charging your pencil.

In terms of charging speed, both are identical. In essence, about a minute of charging yields an hour of use on both Apple Pencils. This takes the metric down to about 15-30 minutes for a full charge on both pencils, which is quite a reasonable estimate.

One point to note is that using an adapter on the Apple Pencil 1 instead of charging directly leads to a significantly reduced charging speed of about 60 minutes for a full charge.


Apple Pencil 1 Compatibility: 

ModelRelease DateApple Pencil 1 Compatibility:
iPad Pro 9.7-inch (1st gen)November 11, 2015Yes
iPad Pro 12.9-inch (1st gen)November 11, 2015Yes
iPad Pro 10.5-inch (2nd gen)June 13, 2017Yes
iPad Pro 12.9-inch (2nd gen)June 13, 2017Yes
iPad (6th gen)March 27, 2018Yes
iPad Air (3rd gen)March 18, 2019Yes
iPad Mini (5th gen)March 18, 2019Yes
iPad (7th gen)September 25, 2019Yes
iPad (8th gen)September 15, 2020Yes
iPad (9th gen)September 14, 2021Yes
iPad (10th gen)October 26, 2022Yes

Still, the latest iPad model(10th gen) is compatible with Apple Pencil 1.

Apple Pencil 2 Compatibility:

ModelRelease DateApple Pencil 2 Compatibility:
iPad Pro 11-inch (1st gen)November 7, 2018Yes
iPad Pro 12.9-inch (3rd gen)November 7, 2018Yes
iPad Pro 11-inch (2nd gen)March 25, 2020Yes
iPad Pro 12.9-inch (4th gen)March 25, 2020Yes
iPad Pro 11-inch (3rd gen)May 24, 2021Yes
iPad Pro 12.9-inch (5th gen)May 24, 2021Yes
iPad Air (4th gen)October 23, 2020Yes
iPad Air (5th gen)March 18, 2022Yes
iPad Mini (6th gen)September 24, 2021Yes
iPad Pro 11-inch (4th gen)October 26, 2022Yes
iPad Pro 12.9-inch (6th gen)October 26, 2022Yes


Having already discussed a number of factors that make the first-generation Apple Pencil and the second-generation Apple Pencil sit on two distinct boxes, let’s see how things work when it’s about spending money out of your pocket.

A generation jump was made clear right when the Apple Pencil 2 was named. As a matter of fact, anticipating a price hike is pretty evident. The original Apple Pencil costs $79 now. The 2nd gen Apple Pencil costs $89 now. There was a bigger price gap between these two, but the prices have shrinked, which is something you don’t hear a lot in these crazy times.

Apple Pencil 1

Apple Pencil 1st Generation: The original precision stylus designed for seamless creativity and note-taking on compatible iPads.

Apple Pencil 2

Apple Pencil 2nd Generation: Elevate your creative journey with enhanced features like double-tapping for convenient tool-switching and a sleek design that magnetically attaches to compatible iPads for seamless charging and improved ergonomics.

How To Know If Apple Pencil is Charging or Not?

Apple Pencil 1:

To charge your Apple Pencil 1, all that you’ll need to do is plug it in directly to the Lightning connector onto the Pad. Alternatively, you can use the Apple Pencil charging adapter that comes inside the box. Once you plug in the connections, charging should initiate right away; however, you can confirm it by following the steps below. It will also help you check if the Apple Pencil is completely charged. 

  • Step 1: Connect the lightning cable to the Apple Pencil onto your iPad
  • Step 2: Launch Settings
  • Step 3: Scroll your way down and select the option that says Apple Pencil.
  • Step 4: Look for a battery icon. When it is green with a lightning bolt symbol, it indicates that it is the charging mode, while if it sticks to gray, it implies that it isn’t charging.

Apple Pencil 2:

As soon as you attach the second-generation Apple Pencil to your iPad, the charging status gets displayed on the screen for a moment. Now to check how much charge your Apple Pencil is left with or is it entirely charged, simply check the Today View feature on your iPad. Doing it is pretty straightforward. Just swipe from the left end to the right on the Home screen or your Lock screen.

Apple Pencil 1 or Apple Pencil 2: Which Should You Pick?

A lot of my friends and people know that I run a website about iPads and they often ask me different kinds of questions and people have asked me which one should I get Apple Pencil 1 or 2? It depends on the iPad model you have, people never start with Pencil, they buy iPad and then they buy Apple Pencil, so there’s really no reason to even compare these two if you have an iPad Pro M1 for example. It will only work with Apple Pencil 2.

It’s good to know these differences and good to know what you are buying, but it all comes down to compatibility.


Are Apple Pencil 1 and Apple Pencil 2 Tips The Same?

Yes, the tips for both Apple Pencil 1 and Apple Pencil 2 are identical. You can effortlessly switch tips between the two without encountering any complications or difficulties.

What Apple Pencil works with Procreate?

Procreate app supports both generation Apple Pencils (1st gen & 2nd gen). If your pencil is paired with your iPad you shouldn’t have any issues using it with the app. There are no extra steps to take.

Are Android Tablets Compatible with Apple Pencil?

The Apple Pencil strictly functions with iPads only. The build is such that it requires a special set of hardware that won’t connect otherwise. If you’re looking for a stylus that works with all the iPads and other tablets we suggest looking at some alternative stylus. 

Can I use Apple Pencil with iPhone?

No, you can’t use Apple Pencil with iPhone, it won’t work, Apple Pencil is exclusively designed to work only with iPads.

Does Apple Pencil reduce iPads Battery Life?

No, an Apple Pencil does not have a tangible effect on your battery life. In most cases, if your battery life is being drained, it is due to some other issue. This is because the Apple Pencil does not take up much charge in the first placed.

Related Articles:

How To Fix Apple Pencil If It Keeps Disconnecting
Best Tablets with Stylus For Note-Taking
How To Pair Apple Pencil with iPad
Best Tablets for Adobe Illustrator
7 Reasons To Buy Apple Pencil
Best Tablets For Students
Best iPads For Procreate


  • Ernests Embutnieks

    I love tech and all about it. I'm interested in finding ways how they can make my life more productive, and I share my knowledge with my blog readers. I'm an iPad Pro, iPhone, MacBook, and Apple Watch user, so I know a thing or two about these devices and try to write helpful content around these topics.