Apple last week announced and debuted an attractive new iPad option -- a sixth-generation model with an affordable $329 price tag, an upgraded A10 Fusion processor, and support for the Apple Pencil, an accessory previously limited to the more expensive iPad Pro models.

For MacRumors readers who are upgrading to Apple's stellar new tablet from an older model, we've put together a video and guide covering features, accessories, and tips for getting the most out of the sixth-generation iPad.

Apple Pencil

Apple Pencil support is the major new feature in the sixth-generation iPad, and there are a ton of useful tricks you need to know if you're new to the accessory.

newipadwithapplepencil

Pairing

Pairing the Apple Pencil to the iPad is as simple as uncapping it and plugging the Lightning connector into the Lightning port on your iPad. You'll see a popup that asks you to confirm to pair, and once you accept, the Apple Pencil is successfully connected to the iPad.

Charging and Battery

When you connect your Apple Pencil to your iPad, it'll let you know the battery level. You can also check using widgets accessed by swiping to the right of the Home screen. Scroll down to the "Batteries" section where your iPad and its connected devices (including Apple Pencil) are listed.

ipadwidgetbattery
Don't see a battery widget? Tap on "Edit" at the bottom of the list and tap on the "+" icon next to the "Batteries" option.

ipadwidgets
The Apple Pencil's battery lasts for approximately 12 hours, and it charges through the Lightning connector on the iPad or with any Lightning cable using an adapter that ships with the accessory.

If your battery is dead and you need your Apple Pencil in a hurry, just plug it in for 15 seconds. That'll get you enough juice to use it for a half hour, so it's never out of power when you need it.

Apple Pencil Fast Charge

Apple Pencil Capabilities

The Apple Pencil is a sophisticated device that does quite a lot when paired with the sixth-generation iPad. A new touch sensor in the iPad allows for the Apple Pencil to work, enabling a lag-free writing and drawing experience that's identical to using the Apple Pencil on the more expensive iPad Pro.

Your iPad knows when you're using your Apple Pencil and it blocks out other touch input. That means there's built-in palm rejection, so feel free to rest your hand on the iPad while you write or sketch.

ipad pro apple pencil screen
There are pressure and positioning sensors included in the Apple Pencil, which let it detect a range of forces to enable pressure-sensitive drawing and writing in supported apps. When you press lightly, you'll get a thin line. Press harder, and you'll get a thicker line.

On the same note, there are two tilt sensors that determine the orientation and angle of the Apple Pencil while you're holding it, a feature that lets you add shading to drawings and sketches by using the side of the tip.

Replacing the Tip

The Apple Pencil has a replaceable tip, so when it wears down, you can swap in a new one. An extra tip comes with the Apple Pencil, and you can purchase an additional package of four from Apple for $19.99.

applepencilreplacementtips
How often you'll need to change the tip will depend on how much you're using the Apple Pencil, but on average, a tip should last for multiple months to a year or more. To swap it out, turn the tip counterclockwise to unscrew it and then screw on a new one.

Apple Pencil Apps

The Apple Pencil is ideal for taking notes, writing, sketching, drawing, and other similar tasks on the iPad, and because it's been around for several years now, there are tons of apps that offer full support for the Apple Pencil's features. We've listed some of our favorites below:

  • GoodNotes 4 ($7.99) - GoodNotes 4 is a comprehensive note-taking app that offers a range of writing and sketching tools, along with OCR for searching through your written notes. You can also use it to annotate documents and PDFs with the Apple Pencil.
  • Notability ($9.99) - Notability is another app that offers all of the features you need for taking detailed, concise notes with the Apple Pencil. It's simple, easy to use, and offers tons of writing and sketching tools, but it's not quite as feature rich as GoodNotes 4.
  • PDF Expert ($9.99) - If you're going to be editing and annotating a lot of PDFs, it may be worth investing in PDF expert.
  • Pigment (Free) - Pigment is a coloring book app that lets you color in intricate designs using the Apple Pencil. Kids love it, and it's relaxing for adults too.
  • Affinity Photo ($19.99) - Affinity Photo is a lot like Photoshop - you can use it for drawing, sketching, editing photos, and more. It has full support for Apple Pencil, including pressure sensitivity and tilt. Use it to apply editing effects to photos or create paintings with its extensive brush library and brush tools.
  • Procreate ($9.99) - For sketching and drawing on the iPad, you won't go wrong with Procreate, an app that many iPad artists prefer. Procreate supports high-definition canvases, offers tons of brushes, and has full support for Apple Pencil.

Tracing Through Paper

Want to digitize a drawing that's on traditional paper? The Apple Pencil works through paper, so just place the sheet over the iPad's display, where it will be illuminated by the screen, and then trace the design in your favorite sketching app.

Other Apple Pencil Tidbits

Apple Pencil support is built into apps throughout the iOS 11 operating system. Inline Apple Pencil drawings, for example, can be inserted into Notes and Mail, while a useful Instant Notes feature lets you tap your Apple Pencil on the display of the iPad to automatically open a new note in the Notes app without having to unlock the iPad or manually open the app.

ios11ipadinline
If you use the document scanner in the Notes app to scan a piece of paper, you can then sign it or annotate it with Apple Pencil. It's a useful feature for documents that you need to sign and return to someone. You can also sign standard PDFs, either in the Mail app or right in the Files app.

With the sixth-generation iPad, Apple also added Apple Pencil support to all of its iWork apps, so you can use Apple Pencil with Pages, Keynote, and Numbers. You can also use the Apple Pencil for drawing on and annotating screenshots and photos with Instant Markup, a feature available in the Photos app or whenever you take a screenshot (just tap on the screenshot icon in the lower left corner).

instantmarkup
The Apple Pencil is, of course, designed for note taking and sketching, but you can also use it for navigation just like your finger.

Augmented Reality

The sixth-generation iPad includes an A10 Fusion chip, and while it's not as speedy as the A10X Fusion in the iPad Pro, it's still able to run any app or game in the App Store. Apple specifically said the more powerful A10 Fusion, which was first introduced in the iPhone 7, was added to the sixth-generation iPad to support augmented reality content.

ipadaugmentedreality
There are now tons of augmented reality apps built using ARKit in the App Store, and you can download everything from Pokémon Go to apps that let you preview furniture to educational apps, all of which have AR content. In the iOS App Store, you'll want to check out the specific AR categories in the apps and games sections.

iOS 11 on the iPad

iOS 11 introduced a whole slew of iPad-specific features that make using an iPad as a computer replacement a much more pleasing experience. The new sixth-generation iPad, with its A10 Fusion processor, supports all of these features.

ios11dock
A persistent dock, for example, houses all of your apps and makes it easier to use the built-in multitasking features for accessing two apps side by side. Using simple drag gestures that are easy to learn, you can use multiple apps in a variety of ways with Slide Over and Split View arrangements, as demoed in the video.

ios11ipaddraganddrop
Picture-in-picture, another multitasking feature in iOS 11, lets you watch a video on YouTube or another source while continuing to use other apps, which is super handy, and drag and drop features make it simple to move files and content from one app to another.

Control Center has been merged with a useful new App Switcher, accessible by swiping up from the bottom of the iPad. With the App Switcher, you can access all Control Center options and quickly switch between open apps with just a tap.

ios11appswitcher
You can find more detail on all of these iPad features in our iOS 11 roundup, which is complete with tons of how tos that are worth checking out for learning even more about iOS 11 and the new iPad.

Adding Accessories

While the new iPad supports the Apple Pencil, it doesn't have a Smart Connector and there's no option for a Smart Keyboard. Bluetooth keyboards are supported, though, and if you want to use your iPad for writing, coding, or other keyboard intensive tasks, it's worth picking one up.

ipadkeyboardcases
The sixth-generation iPad's design is the same as the fifth-generation iPad's design, so all existing iPad keyboards will work with the new model, and there are tons of options out there. Brydge, for example, makes a highly rated $99 iPad keyboard, and there are multiple options from Logitech, like the $99 Slim Folio. You can also use Apple's own Magic Keyboard for a Mac-like typing experience.

Did you get a new iPad? Are there tips and tricks worth knowing that we haven't covered here? Let us know in the comments.

Related Roundup: iPad
Buyer's Guide: iPad (Neutral)

Top Rated Comments

flyc14 Avatar
40 months ago
Traded-in my 16GB iPad Air (2013) for $130 and bought the entry level iPad (32GB) for ~$200. This by far is the most economical (I refuse the use the word cheap) iPad I've ever bought. By all measures, the most powerful. My wife bought the 7+ for over a thousand dollars, when it came out and this iPad has the same CPU!

The one qualm I had was the lack of anti-reflective coating on the screen. As you can tell from my many sequences in this video, where the reflection of the camera is annoying. Only an issue if you use it in daylight. For evening/night usage, this is perfect. I don't use the pencil.

Overall a great device. And thanks macrumors for posting this video, very useful.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Relentless Power Avatar
40 months ago
Interesting that none of the pretentious iPhone X crowd have started moaning about the "Huge" bezels.
What’s the relation to the iPhone X and this iPad article? The “Bezels” on the iPad serve a purpose allowing the user to adjust their grip because its larger and heavier.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Tubamajuba Avatar
40 months ago
1) Sell it

2) Use the iPad that you already have because it's almost exactly the same
I wouldn't be surprised if people said this same kind of stuff to the person who invented the wheel.

"It's just a rounded square. Big deal."
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
dirt_farmer Avatar
40 months ago
1) Sell it

2) Use the iPad that you already have because it's almost exactly the same
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
iapplelove Avatar
40 months ago
Interesting that none of the pretentious iPhone X crowd have started moaning about the "Huge" bezels.
Eww..can’t get more negative than this lol
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
gnipgnop Avatar
40 months ago
Nice tip on the tracing ability through a sheet of paper. Didn't know that was even possible...
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

siir apple event april 20

Siri Reveals Apple Event Planned for Tuesday, April 20

Tuesday April 13, 2021 12:04 am PDT by
Siri has apparently prematurely revealed that Apple plans to hold an event on Tuesday, April 20, where the company is expected to reveal brand new iPad Pro models and possibly its long-awaited AirTags trackers. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Upon being asked "When is the next Apple Event," Siri is currently responding with, "The special event is on Tuesday, April...
apple event spring loaded

Apple's 'Spring Loaded' Event Officially Announced for Tuesday, April 20

Tuesday April 13, 2021 9:04 am PDT by
Following an overnight leak by Siri, Apple today officially announced that it will be holding a special "Spring Loaded" event on Tuesday, April 20 at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time at the Steve Jobs Theater on the Apple Park campus in Cupertino, California. As with all of Apple's 2020 events, the April 2021 event will be a digital-only gathering with no members of the media invited to attend in...
apple event hashflag

Twitter Hashflag for April 20 Apple Event Goes Live

Tuesday April 13, 2021 2:21 pm PDT by
Following the overnight Siri leak and subsequent announcement that Apple will hold a media event on Tuesday, April 20, a new Twitter hashflag has appeared to help provide visibility for the event on the platform. For the last several recent events, Apple has utilized hashflags, which are little icons next to hashtags on Twitter, as a way to market its events. The company first started the...
iphone12cameras

Kuo: 2022 iPhones to Feature 48-Megapixel Camera, 8K Video, and 6.1 and 6.7" Sizes With No 5.4" Mini Option

Tuesday April 13, 2021 10:45 pm PDT by
The upcoming 2022 iPhone lineup will feature two 6.1-inch devices and two 6.7-inch devices, with no mini-sized 5.4-inch iPhone, well-respected Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said in a note to investors that was seen by MacRumors. Two of the iPhones will be high-end models and two of the iPhones will be lower-end models, similar to the current iPhone 12 lineup. Apple introduced the 5.4-inch...
macos catalina serial number

Apple Preparing Rollout of New Randomized Product Serial Numbers Ahead of 'Spring Loaded' Event

Wednesday April 14, 2021 2:08 am PDT by
Apple is advising its authorized premium resellers and dealers to prepare for new products with 10 and 12 digital serial numbers, days ahead of when it's expected to reveal a slew of new products. MacRumors previously reported that Apple plans to switch to randomized serial numbers for future products starting in early 2021. The company now seems to be preparing for that roll-out, telling...
duanrui iphone13 notch samples

More Leaked iPhone 13 Samples Show Smaller Notch, Repositioned Earpiece and Front Camera

Wednesday April 14, 2021 1:06 am PDT by
Leaker known as "DuanRui" has today shared an image of two iPhone 13 "film samples," which show the same rumored smaller notch design coming to the iPhone 13 series that we've seen from other sources. In past tweets, DuanRui has accurately leaked the correct names of the iPhone 12 models and an iPad Air 4 manual revealing its new design, so there's good reason to think this leak is credible, ...
Google maps feaure green

Google Maps App for iOS Finally Updated After Four Months

Monday April 12, 2021 10:03 am PDT by
Following the completed rollout of App Privacy labels for its App Store apps, Google today updated the Google Maps app for the first time in four months. Apple in December began requiring all new app submissions and app updates to include App Privacy labels, detailing the data that is collected by the app so consumers know what they're sharing. Google didn't begin implementing App Privacy ...
iPad Pro Mini LED

Mini-LED iPad Pro Expected at Apple Event on April 20 as Production Ramps Up

Tuesday April 13, 2021 9:53 am PDT by
Apple today announced that it will be hosting a virtual event on Tuesday, April 20 at 10 a.m. Pacific Time, and one of the new products expected to be unveiled at the event is a new iPad Pro with a Mini-LED display. In a brief snippet shared with paid subscribers, Taiwanese supply chain news website DigiTimes today reported that Apple supplier Ennostar has substantially improved its yield...
apple event particularly innovative article

Gurman: Apple's 'Spring Loaded' Event Won't Feature Anything 'Particularly Innovative'

Thursday April 15, 2021 1:30 am PDT by
Bloomberg's highly-respected Mark Gurman says that he expects nothing "particularly innovative" or "extraordinary" to launch at Apple's "Spring Loaded" event next week, Tuesday, April 20. Gurman made the remarks during an interview for Bloomberg Technology, in which he reaffirmed that Apple will launch a new 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro, with the higher-end model featuring a brand new...
spotify car thing 1

Spotify Announces the 'Car Thing' as its First Hardware Device

Tuesday April 13, 2021 7:03 am PDT by
Spotify has today announced its first hardware device, the "Car Thing," which is an in-car dash-mounted music and podcast player (via TechCrunch). Spotify is looking to provide a product for customers who want a "more seamless" and personalized in-car listening experience, especially in the large number of cars that do not support modern in-car infotainment systems. The Car Thing is aimed ...