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Apple releases new Pencil after rumours of major iPad update

Apple now offers three different drawing tools for its iPads

Andrew Griffin
Tuesday 17 October 2023 15:12 BST
Related video: Apple iPad Tips You Probably Don't Know About

Apple has released a new version of its Pencil drawing tool, after days of speculation about updates for iPads.

In recent days, some rumours have suggested that Apple was planning new versions of at least its base iPad and iPad mini, with a range of updates. But it appears those reports may be the result of confusion about the new launch, which actually just brought the new Pencil, which looks to be the only iPad-related updated so far.

Apple refers to the new release as the “Apple Pencil (USB-C)”, and it now sits alongside the first and second generation of the drawing tool. Those will both remain on sale.

The new version largely takes the features of the first generation and puts them into the more square design of the second-generation Pencil. But the new port is perhaps the most notable part, and may be the reason for the new release: until now, users of the base model iPad could only use the first-generation Pencil, but that uses a Lightning cable to charge, which is not supported by that iPad.

The new Pencil also adds some features from the second-generation, however, including the option to place it wirelessly on the side of the iPad.

The second-generation Pencil retains a host of extra features and a higher price. It can charge when attached magnetically to an iPad, includes the option to tap it to change tools, and to have it engraved.

The updates mean that Apple now offers three versions of the Apple Pencil with different features and compatibilities, which can be compared on Apple’s website. The first generation remains available for $99, the new one will be $79 when it goes on sale next month and the second-generation is $129, or the same in pounds.

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