4 Cool Features of the New Apple Pencil Pro

In Short
  • Barrel roll is the most impressive new Apple Pencil Pro feature and lets you change the orientation of the tool you're using.
  • Apple Pencil Pro includes a new sensor in the stem that enables a squeeze feature and opens a tool palette to switch brush, color, or font on the fly.
  • The pencil also comes with a custom haptic engine, Find My support, and a new magnetic interface for charging.

Apple’s much-awaited ‘Let Loose’ event not only brought us new iPads but a new Apple Pencil Pro to go along with them. The Apple Pencil Pro (or Pencil 3, whatever you want to call it) is a significant upgrade over its predecessors. It may look similar on the outside, but the “Pro” tag means it brings features that cater more to the needs of creatives and Pro users. So, without wasting any time, let’s check out the coolest features of the new Apple Pencil:

Apple Pencil Pro: New Features Explained

1. Barrel Roll

Apple Pencil Pro barrel role feature
Image Courtesy: Apple

The biggest highlight of the new Apple Pencil Pro is the barrel roll feature, which is enabled by a gyroscope baked into the accessory. It allows users to simply roll the pencil between their fingers to change the orientation of the brush or pen tool, “just like pen and paper,” says Apple. You have precise control of the tool you’re using.

The GIF above showcases a creator using the barrel roll feature in Procreate and should give you a good example of how it functions.

2. Haptic Feedback

The tail end of the new Apple Pencil now includes a custom haptic engine. It pulses and delivers soft haptic feedback when you squeeze, double-tap, or “snap to a Smart Shape” when drawing and editing on the compatible iPad Air and Pro models. The haptic feedback helps confirm your action.

3. Squeeze to Access Tools

apple pencil pro squeeze feature in action
Image Courtesy: Apple

The Apple Pencil Pro includes a new sensor in its barrel, close to where you hold it. This sensor can sense when you squeeze the pencil and open a tool palette that lets you “quickly switch tools, line weights, and colors,” among other features based on the app you’re using. It enables you to switch tools on the fly without disrupting your workflow.

This feature is like an upgraded version of the double-tap shortcut available on the previous-gen Apple Pencil. The double-tap shortcut only lets you switch between two tools in an app, while the new Pro model opens up a software palette.

4. Find My Support

Finally, the feature that I’ve wanted in the Apple Pencil for the longest time was Find My support, and it’s here. It brings me peace of mind, making it difficult to lose the stylus on my cluttered desk or my sofa. Other new features of the Apple Pencil Pro are a new magnetic interface to seamlessly pair and charge with the new M4 iPad Pro, hover, and more.

This is the first serious upgrade that the Apple Pencil has received since the unveiling of the Apple Pencil 2nd-generation almost six years ago. The company did unveil a USB-C version of the Pencil recently, but it was a slimmed-down version instead.

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