Apple announces Apple Pencil Pro with barrel roll and squeeze capabilities

Pencil Pro drawing on iPad Pro
(Image credit: Apple)

Apple held its "Let Loose" event today, which focused on the iPad Air and iPad Pro. To support the new M4-toting iPad Pro and the new iPad Air, the company also announced a new Apple Pencil Pro, which adds key functionality like barrel roll and the long-rumored squeeze feature.

Three primary changes are coming to the Apple Pencil Pro. First, Apple introduced the squeeze gesture, which brings up a contextual menu when you squeeze the barrel of the pencil. Apple cited options like opening various tools, changing line weights, and tweaking colors as potential options for the squeeze menu.

Another significant change is the barrel roll feature. The Apple Pencil Pro can detect rotation and change the orientation of shaped pen and brush tools based on the direction of the stylus. That should create a more authentic experience for artists creating on iPad. 

The next substantial upgrade is haptic feedback, which causes the Apple Pencil Pro to vibrate at certain times, letting the user know they've performed the gesture they wanted to do. 

"Apple Pencil Pro adds even more magical capabilities to help bring your ideas to life. Advanced features like squeeze, barrel roll, and haptic feedback make marking up, taking notes, and creating a masterpiece more intuitive than ever," said Apple on the product page

Another change doesn't impact the creation process, but it's still nice to have. Apple is bringing Find My to Apple Pencil for the first time with the Pro, which is great for people prone to losing stuff. Just like the iPhone, AirPods, and other Apple devices, Apple Pencil Pro will be able to tap into Apple's massive Find My network to help you recover it if it's lost.

Apple is offering the Apple Pencil Pro for pre-order right now, and it's scheduled to ship on May 15. It's not a cheap piece of tech at $129 (it's substantially more expensive than the Apple Pencil (USB-C), which is $79).

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Dave LeClair
Senior News Editor

Dave LeClair is the Senior News Editor for Tom's Guide, keeping his finger on the pulse of all things technology. He loves taking the complicated happenings in the tech world and explaining why they matter. Whether Apple is announcing the next big thing in the mobile space or a small startup advancing generative AI, Dave will apply his experience to help you figure out what's happening and why it's relevant to your life.