Best Apple Pencil Pro tips and tricks everyone should know

In this guide, we’ll go through all the best Apple Pencil Pro tips and tricks to get the most out of your Apple stylus

By Dave Johnson - Executive Editor
4 Min Read

Finally got your hands on an Apple Pencil Pro? It’s a great tool, and with a series of new features such as Barrel roll, Haptic feedback, Double tap, etc, the stylus is more useful than ever.

Apple Pencil Pro

Interested in getting the most out of your Apple Pencil Pro? That’s why we’ve put together this guide. Here are all the best Apple Pencil Pro tips and tricks you need to get started with Apple’s stylus.

The best Apple Pencil Pro tips and tricks

How to pair Apple Pencil Pro

The ‌Apple Pencil‌ Pro is compatible with the M2 ‌iPad Air‌ models and the M4 ‌iPad Pro‌ models, so it only works with the May 2024 iPads.

  1. Ensure your M4 iPad Pro or M2 iPad Air is on and unlocked.
  2. Attach Apple Pencil Pro to the magnetic connector on the side of your iPad.
  3. Tap Pair when the onscreen prompt appears.

Just like the Apple Pencil 2, pairing is completely seamless so if you’ve ever used an Apple Pencil before you’ll feel right at home with the Pencil Pro.

How to charge Apple Pencil Pro

Are you worried about the Apple Pencil Pro’s battery life? Fret not, Apple makes charging the Pencil Pro an absolute breeze. Any time the Pencil Pro is connected to the magnetic strip on the side of your iPad it will charge.

  • Make sure that Bluetooth® is turned on in Settings > Bluetooth.
  • Attach Apple Pencil Pro to the magnetic connector on the side of your iPad.

The Apple Pencil Pro uses fast charging technology just like the Apple Pencil 2 and a 15-second charge can get users up to 30 minutes of use. If you constantly use your Pencil Pro with your iPad, however, you’ll never have to worry about the battery as the iPad should always keep the charge topped up.

How to use barrel roll on Apple Pencil Pro

There is a gyroscope in the ‌Apple Pencil‌ Pro that allows the rotation of the barrel to change the orientation of certain tools. It basically offers much more precise control of shaped pen and brush tools, similar to how a real pen or brush would function when you tilt it while drawing or sketching.

To activate barrel roll, simply rotate the Pencil Pro while using a compatible app like Notes or Freeform. This feature works particularly well with non-circular brushes and the "Hover" feature: Hover the Pencil tip near the screen without touching it, and you will see the precise angle of contact as you rotate the brush or pen. Barrel roll unlocks calligraphy on iPad like never before, allowing you to perfect your handwriting by adding a new dimension to your strokes. It works best with brushes that aren’t a perfect circle point, and really well alongside the ‘Hover’ feature — put your Pencil tip near the screen without touching it, and you’ll see the exact angle that the brush will touch down on as you rotate it.

How to use Squeeze on Apple Pencil Pro

The squeeze gesture allows the ‌Apple Pencil‌ Pro to sense when pressure is applied to the sides of the device. Using squeeze brings up a palette so that you can do things like switch tools, line weights, and colors.

It’s up to the developers of each individual app to decide how they want to use the Squeeze gesture but at the moment Apple’s own Notes and Freeform allow you to use the gesture to access a tool palette. Squeeze can also be customized in Settings, allowing you to choose between different functionality like the ability to Squeeze to erase or to switch to the last tool you used.

To use Squeeze, simply Squeeze the sides of your Apple Pencil Pro, it couldn’t be more easy to activate.

By default, Squeeze invokes the tool palette in the app you are using (Apple Notes and Freeform, for example), but you can change what the Squeeze gesture does, and you can even trigger a shortcut with it.

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Select Apple Pencil.
  3. Tap Squeeze.
  4. Choose between the following functions: Show Tool Palette, Switch Between Current Tool and Eraser, Switch Between Current Tool and Last Used, Show Color Palette, Show Ink Attributes, Shortcut, and Off.

Note that you can also adjust Squeeze sensitivity from this screen, so you can lower it if you tend to trigger it unintentionally.

How to use Double-Tap on Apple Pencil Pro

Double-Tap, a feature that is incredibly useful for Apple Pencil 2 owners, returns on Apple Pencil Pro with all the same settings you know and love. The flat side of the Pencil Pro acts as a Double-Tap input that you can use to do different things like switch between a tool and an eraser in certain apps or show ink attributes. Another fantastic use of Double-Tap is the ability to select using the Pencil Pro without touching the screen, this allows you to hover above selection choices and choose them by tapping twice on the side of your Pencil. Here’s how to turn it on:

  1. Open the Settings app
  2. Select Apple Pencil
  3. Choose Double-Tap
  4. Toggle on Allow Double Tap Only with Hover

Get used to haptic feedback

A built-in haptic engine offers haptic feedback when using the ‌Apple Pencil‌ Pro’s gestures. A light haptic pulse will respond when using a squeeze or double-tap gesture, plus there is feedback when using the snap to a Smart Shape feature. While there’s nothing you need to learn in terms of using haptic feedback, it’s worth noting that every time you Squeeze or interact with your iPad’s display in a certain way you’ll feel a light haptic tap.

So just be prepared for haptic feedback and know that when you feel a little rumble, your Pencil Pro isn’t broken. It’s part of Apple’s magic way of making a stylus feel more like an actual drawing instrument.

Track your Apple Pencil Pro with Find My

Find My is available for the ‌Apple Pencil‌ Pro so it can be tracked right alongside the iPad and other devices in the ‌Find My‌ app. here’s how:

  1. Open Find My
  2. Tap Devices
  3. Select Apple Pencil Pro
  4. Your iPhone or iPad will now direct you to the location of your Apple Pencil Pro, giving you an indication of distance as you get closer to the device. It’s a nifty feature that comes in really handy for those of us who leave things around the house on a regular basis.
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By Dave Johnson Executive Editor
Dave Johnson is the editor-in-chief at GeeksChalk where he oversees all of site’s evergreen content to ensure it’s up to date with the latest information. Hailing from New Jersey in the US, he has over seven years of experience in the tech journalism space and holds a degree in English Literature. In his spare time, Dave can found checking out the latest video games, immersing himself in his favorite sporting pastime of football, and petting every dog he comes across in the outside world.
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