How to tell which Apple Pencil your iPad supports

How to tell which Apple Pencil your iPad supports
Apple surprised us today with a new 10.5-inch iPad Air (which is essentially a refresh of the iPad Pro 10.5, but Apple can't use that name anymore on this device) and (finally!) an updated iPad mini. The big news for the iPad mini is that it now supports Apple Pencil, has the newest A12 Bionic chip and a better screen, but that does beg the question: how do you make sure you have the right Apple Pencil for your device?

Apple's product page for the Apple Pencil does include a "Find the right Apple Pencil for your iPad" section, but it can be a bit awkward to follow if you're not sure what generation iPad you have, but we're pretty sure we can make it a bit easier to sort out.

The step to figure out if your iPad supports the 2nd generation Apple Pencil is super simple: Does your iPad use Face ID instead of Touch ID? If yes, then you need the 2nd gen Apple Pencil. That's the easy part.

In a perfect world, if you answered "no" to that question and your iPad uses Touch ID rather than Face ID, then you should need the 1st gen Apple Pencil. While that is true in some cases, the problem is that not all iPads with Touch ID support the Apple Pencil in the first place. So, if we wanted to be glib about it, we'd just say: if you have an iPad with Touch ID that supports the Apple Pencil, you need the 1st gen Pencil.

But, if you need a bit more help we'll have to guide you through finding your model number. To do this, tap: Settings > About > Model and that will get you a model number starting with A. The device models that support the 1st gen Apple Pencil are:

  • iPad Pro 9.7 -- models A1673, A1674, A1675
  • iPad Pro 10.5 -- models A1701, A1709
  • iPad Pro 12.9 -- models A1584, A1652, A1670, A1671
  • iPad -- models A1893, A1954
  • 2019 iPad Air (only Air with a 10.5-inch display) - мodels A2153, A2123
  • 2019 iPad mini - models A2123,A2124, A2126

In the meantime, just know that any of the iPads you buy now will support the Apple Pencil 1st gem., while the Pro models will let you doodle cats with the second Pencil generation.

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6 Comments

1. darkkjedii

Posts: 30786; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

This is ridiculous Apple. There’s only 2 Apple pencils, and one is already obsolete...pitiful. Two, and not one works with any iPhone...pitiful. Just plain pitiful.

2. clarity

Posts: 49; Member since: Jun 19, 2017

The phone requires hardware for the pencil to work properly.

6. darkkjedii

Posts: 30786; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Thank you Captain Obvious.

3. Mike88

Posts: 88; Member since: Mar 05, 2019

It's simple,, only ipad pro 2018 (11in and 12.9 in) supports apple pencil 2...due to the magnetic wireless charging connector....rest of the iPads support apple pencil 1

5. MichaelHeller

Posts: 2734; Member since: May 26, 2011

That's honestly what I expected to say initially, but then I realized there is the mess made by all the iPads that came out before the Pencil and don't support it at all. Not quite so simple once you take that into account.

4. f_u_006

Posts: 112; Member since: Mar 19, 2014

"iNnovaTiOn" But I suppose it will make more capital for them, and consumers seem happy with that.

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