Best Apple Pencil Apps and Why You Should Use Them (2022)


Best Apple Pencil Apps and Why You Should Use Them (1)

By Michael Bryant

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Best Apple Pencil Apps and Why You Should Use Them (2)

There is a lot of Apple Pencil-supported apps on the App Store, with many more added each year. Here are some of the best.

(Video) 10 Essential iPad Apps [with Apple Pencil support]

To take your iPad to an all-new level, consider using one of the many apps that now support Apple Pencil. Though primarily geared towards creatives who like to draw and take photos, the input device is also great for note-taking and marking up documents. Here are our favorite Apple Pencil apps for 2020.

What is Apple Pencil?

First introduced in late 2015, Apple Pencil is a lineup of two wireless stylus pens created for select iPad and iPad Pro models. The first-generation model charges via a Lightning connector found inside its removable cap. At the same time, the second-generation device offers a magnetic connector that charges when attached to the side of a supported tablet.

Both accessories provide pixel-perfect precision and tilt and pressure sensitivity, while the newer model offers a double-tap to change tools provided in supported apps.

To date, the first Apple Pencil works with theiPad Air (3rd generation),iPad mini (5th generation),iPad (6th and 7th generation),iPad Pro 12.9-inch (1st and 2nd generation),iPad Pro 10.5-inch, andiPad Pro 9.7-inch.

You can use the second-generation model with the iPad Pro 12.9-inch (3rd and 4th generation) and iPad Pro 11-inch (1st and 2nd generation).


(Video) Make the Apple Pencil EXTRA Worth It! (Apps, Accessories, Tips)

Best Apple Pencil Apps and Why You Should Use Them (4)

Apple Pencil (2nd Generation)

It makes painting, sketching, doodling, and even note-taking better than ever.

$129.00−$40.00$89.00 Price updated on 2022-10-31 - We may earn a commission for purchases using our links: more info

The Apps: The Best

The apps mentioned below work with both Apple Pencils on the market. Each is highly rated on the App Store.

Affinity Designer for iPad ($19.99)

Best Apple Pencil Apps and Why You Should Use Them (5)

Created by Serif Labs, Affinity Designer is mostly built on the Mac app by the same name. You can use it to create illustrations, icons, typography, websites and print projects, concept art, and more.

Offering a full slate of vector tools, the app includes powerful pen and node tools, curve editing, non-destructive Boolean operations, live effects, and blend modes.

Affinity Designer takes full advantage of Apple Pencil’s accurate pressure, tilt, and angle sensitivity.

Notability ($8.99)

Notability is a great note-taking app that nearly duplicates the pencil-on-paper experience. With built-in PDF annotation tools, your thoughts about a subject or idea will never be lost, thanks to the app’s ease of use. For added flexibility, Notability includes support for voice notes and can convert handwriting to text.

With iCloud sync, you can begin writing on your mobile device and continue doing it on the separate Mac app. With auto-backup, your notes are always there for archiving and recovery through services like Dropbox, Google Drive, Box, and many more.

Pixelmator ($4.99)

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Another creative app that made the jump from Mac to iOS/iPadOS, Pixelmator, is a full-featured image editor that lets you create, edit, and enhance any photo on the fly. Unlike industry-leading Adobe Photoshop, this app doesn’t require a monthly subscription.

Tools include the ability to enhance image colors using pre-designed adjustment presets, levels, curves, and more. You can also use the app to remove unwanted objects, reshape areas, clone, blur, and more.

The universal Pixelmator app works seamlessly with its big brother over on Mac and can also work open, edit, and save Photoshop images with layers. It supports PSD, JPEG, PNG, HEIF, and other formats and can save files directly to your Photos app or in iCloud. Images can also get posted to social networks, including Flickr, Twitter, and Facebook in-app.

Procreate ($9.99)

Developed by Savage Interactive, Procreate has long been popular with professionals and amateurs who want to draw masterpieces on their favorite tablets. With hundreds of built-in brushes and innovative artistic tools, the app offers an intuitive interface and a full-featured layering system.

For iPad Pro users only, Procreate takes advantage of Apple’s ProMotion technology and fast 120fps performance. It also works very nicely with Apple’s Metal architecture using a Valkyrie engine.

Like Pixelmator and many other apps, Procreate is updated often to bring more features online. There’s also a separate Procreate Pocket app for iPhone.

Sketch Club ($2.99)

Best Apple Pencil Apps and Why You Should Use Them (7)

Well-received by pros and novices alike, Sketch Club has long been known for its versatility and low price. Use it for drawing, painting, typography, and photo correction/manipulation.

Sketch Club is also a community. You can follow other artists and gain followers when sharing creations. There are also daily challenges and competitions, all designed to make you a better artist.

The Rest

Adobe Fresco (Free w/in-app purchases)

First launched in 2019, Adobe Frescois a free drawing and painting app that takes advantage of the latest stylus and touch devices. With Adobe Fresco, you can paint with watercolors and oils and blend them at any time. A premium version adds more features and gives you access to the iPad version of Photoshop.

Apple Notes (Free)

Best Apple Pencil Apps and Why You Should Use Them (8)

Not surprisingly, the official Notes app on the iPad works very well with Apple Pencil. You can use the input device to quickly sketch right in your note using various free brush styles and colors. Scribbling and drawing have never been easier!

Autodesk SketchBook (Free)

Now free to everyone, SketchBook by Autodesk provides fast and powerful creative sketching tools for anyone with an idea. It supports the double-tap functionality of the second-generation Apple Pencil.

Clip Studio Paint (Free w/in-app purchases)

The freemium Clip Studio Paint for iPad is ideally suited for drawing, painting, comics, and animation. There are also other versions for Windows, macOS, and iPhone. All functions are usable for up to three months for free.

GoodNotes 5 ($7.99)

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(Video) Best note-taking apps for iPad and Apple Pencil 2022

Offering powerful OCR technology, GoodNotes offers terrific search capabilities, so you can always find your handwritten notes, PDF text, outlines, and more. With built-in document management, you can use GoodNotes to store all of your files, including PDF, Word, and PowerPoint files. The app is also available for iPhone and Mac.

Linea Sketch (Free w/in-app purchases)

From The Iconfactory,Linea Sketch is another all-in-one solution for drawing and taking notes. The app is simple to use and packed full of useful features.

Microsoft OneNote (Free)

Windows-based computer users who also own an iPad will want to consider Microsoft OneNote, which syncs easily between platforms using OneDrive. With the app, you can capture your thoughts, discoveries, and ideas, then save, share, and collaborate whenever you want.

Nebo (Free w/in-app purchases)

Another note-taking app, Nebo,is suited for both professionals and students. It features handwriting recognition in 66 languages and counting. You can also add interactive diagrams, editable equations, freeform sketches, and annotate pictures.

Noteshelf ($9.99)

For iPad, iPhone, and Apple Watch, this trusted app is excellent for fluid handwriting and marking up documents and images. There’s also the ability to record audio notes. There’s a lot to see here and you should, because it’s the price of admission!

Pigment (Free, w/in-app purchases)

Apple Pencil isn’t just for business and school use. It’s also an excellent tool for when you want to relax and color. The Pigment app is one of the most popular adult coloring books for iPad (and iPhone). It offers a great way to pass the time and relax, whether on a Saturday afternoon or right before bed. To date, it includes over 5,000 professionally illustrated pages.

Lots to See

There are many Apple Pencil-supported apps on the App Store, with many more added each year. Whether you’re looking to draw, write, or take notes, the apps above are the ones you should consider first. Happy creating!

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Best Apple Pencil Apps and Why You Should Use Them (10)


What app do Tiktokers use to draw on iPad? ›

Procreate on the App Store.

What kids apps use Apple Pencil? ›

5 Best Drawing Apps with the Apple Pencil for Beginners and...
  • Tayasui. iPad Pro and Apple Pencil App – Tayasui The clutter-free, minimalist interface and variety of options are what make Tayasui Sketches a favorite drawing app among beginners. ...
  • Pigment.
  • SketchBook Express.
  • Drawing Pad. ...
  • Inspire Pro.

What are 10 things you can do with a pencil? ›

10 Unusual Uses for Pencils
  • Step 1: Erase Crayon From Walls. ...
  • Step 2: Tame Those Cuticles. ...
  • Step 3: Offer Plant Support. ...
  • Step 4: Make Rubbings. ...
  • Step 5: Have Emergency Drum Practice. ...
  • Step 6: Roll Your Toothpaste Tube. ...
  • Step 7: Keep Sewing Supplies Handy. ...
  • Step 8: Remove Sticker Gunk.

Do I need to change Apple Pencil tip? ›

The life of an Apple Pencil tip depends on your usage and how well you maintain it. If you are a heavy user, you should replace the tip within 6 months. On the other hand, if you don't use the Pencil often, it will last you more than a year without any replacement.

Does Apple Pencil learn your handwriting? ›

Tool this will change your handwriting to text as you write but you can select another tool to keep

What app do people use to write on iPad? ›

Use the Notes app to draw a sketch or jot a handwritten note with Apple Pencil (on supported models) or your finger. You can choose from a variety of Markup tools and colors and draw straight lines with the ruler.

Can Apple notes read handwriting? ›

With the release of iOS 15.4 and iPadOS 15.4, Apple added a new feature to the stock Notes app that allows you to quickly scan printed or handwritten text and save it in digital text format.

What is the #1 drawing app? ›

1. Krita. Krita is free, open-source software that works for Windows, Mac, and Linux users. Like other sketching apps, it's pen-based but is especially useful for creating comic art with premade panels.

What drawing app does everyone use on iPad? ›

Loved by creative pros and aspiring artists alike, Procreate is the leading creative application made for iPad.

Is Procreate worth the money? ›

Is Procreate Worth it? Procreate is great value for money and costs $9.99 as a one-time purchase. It offers a wide range of creative features and tools that allow artists of all levels to enter the world of digital drawing and painting. It's user friendly, has a short learning curve, and is great fun.

Are Apple pencils worth it for kids? ›

If your child is using an iPad Pro and Procreate to draw or paint, then the Apple Pencil ($124) is the top of the line choice. Plenty of parents chimed in to say they haven't found anything else comparable, but we get it—$124 is a lot of money for something your teen might lose.

Do Apple pencils have trackers? ›

Question: Q: Can you track the pencil

Answer: A: There are no technical methods by which to track or locate a lost or mislaid Apple Pencil.

What apps do 11 year olds use? ›

Best Apps for Kids Ages 9-12
  • Adventures of Poco Eco - Lost Sounds. age 9+ ...
  • Alto's Adventure. age 9+ ...
  • Box Island - Award Winning Coding Adventure. age 9+ ...
  • Kahoot! Geometry by DragonBox. ...
  • The Infinite Arcade by Tinybop. age 9+ ...
  • Inventioneers Full Version. age 9+ ...
  • Marble Math. age 9+ ...
  • Monster Heart Medic. age 9+

Why is it called a pencil? ›

Pencil is an older word, derived from the Latin 'pencillus', meaning 'little tail', to describe the small ink brushes used for writing in the Middle Ages.

What does wax do to a pencil? ›

So what are “true” colored pencils and why does it matter? Colored pencils feature a wax-based or oil-based binder. The binder, as its name implies, holds the pigment together and allows it to be spread on the drawing surface. Most commonly, the binder found within a colored pencil is wax-based.

What is the lifespan of an Apple Pencil? ›

The pencil should last several years if you're careful with it. The two ways it will fail are physical damage and eventual consumption of the batteries. One way you won't get long life out of a pencil is if you don't use it and keep it charged monthly.

How long can Apple Pencil last? ›

On a full charge, users can employ Apple Pencils for 12 hours. But if the battery level is zero, 15 seconds more is more than enough to continue using it for the next 30 minutes.

How long do Apple pencils tips last? ›

Once every two years is a good rule of thumb. Replacing the Apple Pencil tip at this interval will be smart for most users. Perhaps if you use your pencil very much, you should consider doing it more often. Also, if you only use the Pencil to take the occasional screenshot, perhaps after two years the tip is still top.

Is it worth getting a real Apple Pencil? ›

For anyone who wants to take advantage of the ‌iPad‌ for drawing, sketching, note taking, or other similar activities, the Apple Pencil is absolutely worth the money, but for those who don't need all of the advanced features, there are some similar styluses on the market like the much more affordable Logitech Crayon.

Can Apple Pencil write in word? ›

Using Scribble, you can now insert and edit text in your Word documents, PowerPoint presentations, and Excel worksheets on your iPad using your Apple Pencil.

Can you write too hard with Apple Pencil? ›

The Apple Pencil was designed to recognize several different amounts of pressure so that you can mimic the effect of pressing harder with a pen to achieve thicker strokes. If you press too hard, you will probably break or wear out the tip of the Pencil.

Is there an iPad app that turns handwriting to text? ›


A perfect iPhone and iPad app for converting handwriting to text. And not just only that, it is a full package to go completely paperless. Apart from basic handwriting features, users can create a full document by including images, text, GIFs, web pages, and whatnot.

What app does Apple use for writing? ›

From the start, Pages places you in the perfect creative environment. It puts all the right tools in all the right places, so it's easy to choose a look, customize fonts, personalize text styles, and add beautiful graphics. And everyone collaborating on a document has access to the same powerful features.

How do I write neatly with Apple Pencil? ›

If you are taking notes in the Notes app or another app, you can now select all of your handwritten text and choose the "Straighten" option to neaten it up a bit.

How do I hit return with Apple Pencil? ›

Tap to return

characters are typed at the current cursor position. Notice the Return button at the bottom right, which you can tap to start a new line.

How do I clear my Apple Pencil? ›

As you write with Apple Pencil, you can also delete words, insert text, and more: To delete a word, scratch it out. To insert text between words, tap and hold in a text area, then start writing when a space opens. To join or separate characters, draw a vertical line between them.

What app does everyone use to draw? ›

Best Free Drawing Apps for Digital Artists
👍 Adobe PhotoshopWindows, MacLearn More
ArtrageWindows, Android, Mac, iOSLearn More
ColorcinchWindows, Mac, iPad, AndroidLearn More
Adobe Photoshop SketchWindows, MacLearn More
1 more row
21 Oct 2022

What drawing app do pros use? ›

Photoshop CC (Windows/macOS/iPad) A professional graphics software that's popular with professional designers, photographers, and editors. Abundant in features, it is also useful for drawing illustrations.

What apps do Tiktokers use to draw? ›

Yes, Android has great alternatives like Krita, Autodesk Sketchbook, and ibis Paint X.

What is better than Procreate? ›

Both have similar interfaces and purposes; while Fresco can offer more platform options, Procreate has more of a focused Apple compatibility. But if you don't like its pricing, Fresco is your best option as its free version still packs a punch. And of course, you'd need to use Fresco if you don't have an iPad.

Is Procreate a monthly fee? ›

Procreate for iPad

No subscriptions. Just $9.99 USD exclusively from the App Store.

How much is Procreate a month? ›

How much does Procreate cost? Procreate is available for US $9.99, exclusively on the App Store. This price may vary based on your region.

Do real artists use Procreate? ›

Procreate is used by professional artists and illustrators, especially freelancers and those who have more creative control over their work.

Is Procreate $10 a month? ›

At the time of this writing, Procreate is only $9.99 for lifetime access. No monthly subscription, add-ons, or hidden fees. You can buy additional brushes and color palettes to use with Procreate, but you can use the entire app to its full capabilities with just this one purchase.

Is Procreate a lifetime purchase? ›

Procreate is $9.99 to download. There's no subscription or renewal fee. You pay for the app once and that's it. If you are already using an iPad Pro and Apple Pencil, that's a pretty enticing deal.

Do stolen Apple pencils work? ›

Sorry but no. The pencil has no hardware at all to determine its position nor to transmit it anywhere if it could. If you purchase an expensive stylus and lose it or it gets stolen, it's gone. You're out of the device and money.

Can a 2 year old hold a pencil? ›

During the age of 2-3 years, child uses palmed grasps technique to hold the pencil or crayon. In this your child will hold the pencil with their fingers. In his type of grasping the hand is usually facing downwards towards the paper while scribbling or writing.

Does Apple Pencil ignore hand? ›

Yes. When using an Apple Pencil, your iPad uses palm-rejection to sense - and ignore - your hand when resting on the screen. Pencil strokes are still recognised as you would expect. Handwriting recognition, however, remains an App-specific function.

Is it easy to lose Apple Pencil? ›

If you have Apple Pencil 1 and an older device, you don't have that option, and worse still, the Apple Pencil 1's rounded shape means that it can easily roll away. Even if you have the Apple Pencil 2 and a compatible tablet, you might find you lose it.

How do I find a dead iPad? ›

Tap Find My, and then Find My iPad. Make sure that Find My iPad, Find My network, and Send Last Location are all turned on. These will make sure that Find My tracks your iPad's location, and makes the iPad easier to find even if its battery is dead or it's not connected to the internet.

Does Apple Pencil leave marks? ›

Another good reason to wipe off your iPad screen is that your Apple Pencil can leave impressions on your screen protector that might look like permanent scratches, but aren't. There are times when I see little imprints that can just be wiped away.

Can a 12 year old watch a 6 year old? ›

In general, kids can start babysitting siblings for short periods around age 11 or 12. Start by leaving them for short amounts of time and gradually increase it as they prove themselves trustworthy. Don't leave them alone overnight until your oldest child is at least 16.

Is SnapKidz still a thing? ›

Snapkidz has been discontinued.

What apps kids should not have? ›

Bark's Top 12 Most Dangerous Apps for Kids
  • Snapchat. Kicking off our dangerous apps for kids list is one that most parents are probably familiar with. ...
  • Instagram. Close on the heels of Snapchat is Instagram, the popular photo and video sharing platform owned by Facebook. ...
  • Discord. ...
  • Yik Yak. ...
  • Among Us. ...
  • Twitter. ...
  • Omegle. ...
  • Hoop.
2 Feb 2022

› article › reasons-to-get-an-a... ›

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Can Apple Pencil be used for games? ›

The Apple Pencil was designed to write, mark up, and draw. If you want to use the Apple Pencil while playing a game then the Apple Pencil might start drawing on your iPad. You can turn off Bluetooth on your iPad to try to prevent the Apple Pencil from drawing while playing a game.

What do you do with the Apple Pencil when not using it? ›

When I'm finished with the Apple Pencil, I go into Settings, Bluetooth. Tap on the i to the left of Apple Pencil and tap forget device. When I want to use the Apple Pencil again, I uncap it and plug it into the lightning port.

Do Apple Pencil tips wear? ›

If you barely ever use your Pencil, the tip might last for years; if you're a Procreate whiz who draws every day, it might not make it six months. But in general, the average Apple Pencil user should replace the tip at least once every two years. This is more than enough time to wear down a Pencil tip.

How long do tips last on Apple Pencil? ›

Once every two years is a good rule of thumb. Replacing the Apple Pencil tip at this interval will be smart for most users. Perhaps if you use your pencil very much, you should consider doing it more often.

Do Apple pencils become dull? ›

When you first use an Apple Pencil, it might seem even smoother than a real pen. But like most gadgets, it's not built to last forever. Its tip can get worn down pretty quickly, turning that smooth glide into a chunky drag. Luckily, Apple sells replacement Pencil tips, and they're pretty easy to switch out.

Can someone steal my Apple Pencil? ›

Sorry but no. The pencil has no hardware at all to determine its position nor to transmit it anywhere if it could. If you purchase an expensive stylus and lose it or it gets stolen, it's gone. You're out of the device and money.

Does writing with Apple Pencil damage screen? ›

The Apple Pencil is designed to make sure it does not cause any damage to the screen unless there is debris or a foreign object on it that is causing the damage. However, you can definitely still use it with a screen protector. Have a great day!

Can Apple track Apple pencils? ›

Many Apple Pencil 1 and 2 owners have wondered if you can track the Apple Pencil with Apple's Find My app. Unfortunately, while you can use Apple's Find My app to find most Apple devices, this feature doesn't work with the Apple Pencil.

Is it OK to leave Apple Pencil attach to iPad? ›

It's Ok but it will draw some power to charge. If it stays charged and the iPad battery is low that's also OK. But if both are low, that could be a problem. If the iPad is running quite low, I would take off the pencil.

Does the Apple Pencil drain iPad battery? ›

If you're in the market for an Apple Pencil and worried about how it will impact your iPad battery, don't be. In most cases, the impact should be minimal. While there have been software bugs that caused the Apple Pencil to be more power hungry than it should have been, Apple eventually addressed those.

Should I always keep my Apple Pencil charged? ›

It is essential that if you have an Apple Pencil that you charge it regularly - whether used or not - so as to protect the battery from deep-discharge. Do not allow a pencil to remain in low-charge state for any period of time - as the internal battery will fail, rendering the Pencil useless.


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