Apple Pencil 1 vs Apple Pencil 2: the Differences

Apple Pencil 1 vs Apple Pencil 2: the Differences

Let's talk about Apple Pencil 1 vs Apple Pencil 2. Apple sells two Apple Pencils. Apple Pencil 1, and Apple Pencil 2. What are the differences between Apple Pencil 1 and 2. Are Apple Pencil 1 and 2 tips the same? In this blog we will give you the answers to these questions.

Also, if you wonder what Pencil your current iPad is compatible with, please check out this blog. Let’s compare Apple Pencil 1 and 2.

DISCLAIMER: Please make sure, before you buy an Apple Pencil, that it is compatible with your iPad. You can check that here

Of course it is an unfair comparison in terms of picking a winner. Obviously that is the second generation. This blog is for people who have different questions. For example, is it worth it to update to the 2nd generation? Since that also involves you buying a new iPad, it is worth it to dig a little deeper into the subject before you start spending your money.

apple pencil 1 and apple pencil 2

The Differences

The first Apple Pencil came out in late 2015, and the second in late 2018. There are three years of development between them. In terms of dimensions, the newest version is shorter, thinner and has a different shape with one flat side. The first generation is completely round. This makes the second generation easier and more natural to hold. The finish on the first generation is glossy, whereas the second generation has a matte finish. This also makes it nicer to hold.

A very necessary change was the type of charging. Where the first generation Apple Pencil has this weird cap and lightning port solution, which seems perfect for potentially breaking both pencil and iPad, the second generation charges wirelessly. 

Another difference is that the second generation Apple Pencil allows for a double-tap on the pencil to activate certain functions, like moving instantly between drawing and erasing. Also, the way you store the second generation Apple Pencil makes sure you do not have to worry about charging. It charges automatically when attached to the iPad. With the first generation Apple Pencil the charging is somewhat unnatural.


Similarities between Apple Pencil 1 and Apple Pencil 2

You want your Apple Pencil to be compatible with your iPad. You can check what pencil works with that iPad here. It is good to know that they work practically the same, and the all Apple Pencil tips are the same. This means that wether you're buying new Apple Pencil tips or protective custom Apple Pencil tips to slide over your pencil tip, they fit no matter what Apple Pencil you have.

The Verdict

When it comes to Apple Pencil 1 vs Apple Pencil 2, there is one thing that is important to remember: as James Jullier, who has more than 300,000 subscribers on YouTube, points out in this video, the difference in Apple Pencil won’t make you a better or worse artist. He says, 

“If you’ve not had an iPad and Apple Pencil very long, and the finances are not available to upgrade at this point, you’re not missing out on a huge amount. It [the 2nd gen] is definitely a better Apple Pencil … but your artwork won’t suffer.”


It is not strange that a better product comes out after three years of feedback and development. However, this does not mean that the first generation Apple Pencil is bad. It is still a great tool for artists to create. The second generation Apple Pencil is better, but the first is still good enough. Even the Apple Pencil tips are the same. You can actually take the tip of a first generation Apple Pencil and screw it on the second generation. 

Perhaps if you really like the second generation better as a tool than the first, it is a good reason to upgrade. For example, if you don’t like how you have to hold the first generation Apple Pencil, or if you forget to charge it all the time. In such cases, an upgrade will actually improve your output. 

However, if you are happy with the way your first generation Apple Pencil works for you, there is no pressing reason to upgrade. Save yourself some money instead of spending big on an upgrade that might only give you marginal gains.

Please let us know what Apple Pencil you use, or will be using after reading this blog. If you have used both Apple Pencils, please tell us what differences you noticed between them. 

But, whatever pencil you have, have fun creating!

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