How Long Does the Apple Pencil Battery Last?

There are two versions of the Apple Pencil, the Apple Pencil First Generation, and the Apple Pencil Second Generation. The 2nd gen Apple Pencil has several features that the previous generation lacks but, in terms of battery longevity, how do the two pencils hold out?

Both first and second-generation Apple Pencils have batteries that are rated to last through 12 hours of continuous use before reaching 0%. However, how you use the Apple Pencil, regardless of the generation, and your charging habits affect the overall rate.

Although both Apple pencil generations are rated for twelve hours on a single charge, the Apple Pencil 1st generation has one of the worst charging design choices in the history of braindead design choices. 

While it doesn’t change the charge rate, longevity, or functionality of Apple’s first, official stylus, it’s such a bizarre and unwieldy design choice, that it’s worth mentioning all the same. 

Charging and Maintaining Apple’s Pencils

It’s not that it’s difficult to charge the Apple Pencil 1st Generation, it’s that it is a bizarre, dysfunctional design choice. You plug the back end of your Apple Pencil into the charging port of your iPad.

That’s right, the Apple Pencil charges as if you’re getting ready to stab yourself in your stomach if you hold your iPad vertically, in both hands, which is basically how 99.9% of the population will hold a tablet. 

The Apple Pencil 2nd Generation, on the other hand, simply snaps magnetically to the side of your iPad, draining your iPad’s battery to charge its own. Both Apple Pencils rely on your iPad for a charge, while the Apple Pencil has the option of using an added adapter to plug into a lightning cable for wall charging.

Either way, there’s no using the Apple Pencils while they are charging. It’s simply a feature that no one has gotten around to yet, plus the fact that the added weight of a cable attached to the back of the Apple Pencil may adversely affect your drawing prowess. 

Also, keeping the Bluetooth on when the Pencils aren’t in use is a battery drain on both the iPad and the Pencils. With the Apple Pencil 2, it’s a simple thing to turn off the Bluetooth and slap the Pencil onto the iPad for charging. 

With the Apple Pencil 1, you should keep a charging brick handy and simply use the plug-in charge, lightning adapter to plug your Pencil in when you are finished after you turn off Bluetooth.

How to Keep Track of Your Apple Pencil 1 ; 2 Battery Levels

You can keep track of your current battery status on your iPad since neither Pencil has its own, digital display or any other indicator regarding the current battery level. 

  • On your iPad Home Screen, swipe to the right, from the left side of your screen to open up the Today View
  • Long press on any space on the Today View menu until the apps jiggle
  • On the top, left-hand corner of the Today View menu, press the + Symbol there
  • Locate Batteries in the list of Widgets that pop up to add
  • Select Batteries and choose your Widget size
  • Select Add Widget

Now you will have a dependable battery display for any connected Apple devices that are paired via Bluetooth. It will display your battery for the iPad, the battery status of the Apple Pencil (when it is paired and in use), as well as the battery status for any additional Bluetooth devices that are supported.

When it comes to the Apple Pencil 2, whenever you snap the Pencil to the magnetic side of the iPad, your current battery level for the Apple Pencil 2 will be displayed on the top center of the screen. 

For the Apple Pencil 1, the best method is the Widget method, or you can go into Settings > Apple Pencil and the battery level will be displayed on the large, right-hand column, along with other available options for the Apple Pencil.

Do Apple Pencils Overcharge?

Apple Pencils are designed not to overcharge. The Apple Pencil cuts off the charging once it reaches 100% and as far as the Apple Pencil 2 is concerned, it just remains magnetically attached to your iPad, waiting for your to collect it and get to work again. 

It doesn’t continuously draw power from your iPad once it reaches 100%. Also, since the battery inside of the Apple Pencil 2 is so small, the amount of energy that it draws from the iPad is nearly negligible. 

Since it doesn’t harm either of the generations of Apple Pencils to remain on the charger once it has reached 100%, it’s important to know that keeping the battery charged, even if it feels like you are spending a lot of time charging it, is a good thing.

Apple Pencil doesn’t do so well if they remain on a low level of charge. It’s called a “deep discharge” and the Apple Pencil will reach the end of its rope much sooner if you allow the battery to remain discharged for long periods. 

Whenever the battery is not in use, you should have it on the charger. It sounds counterintuitive and it’s not the way you would typically maintain other devices, such as your iPad or iPhone. 

However, the Apple Pencil has a pencil-thin battery (for lack of a better word) and it functions at its best when it is optimally charged, rather than running on a low battery. Every battery has a finite number of cycles—several charges before the battery is no longer optimal—and deep discharge will shorten those cycles.

Final Thoughts

The Apple Pencils will last for a solid 12 hours out of the box. However, depending on how well you maintain them over several months, especially when it comes to keeping them optimally charged, will determine how much that longevity holds. 

Like all batteries, there is no permanence with an Apple Pencil’s battery and eventually, it will reach the end of its path. Get the most out of it by keeping it well charged, well used, and well maintained. 

Steven Carr

Steven is a certified IT professional and gaming enthusiast. He has been working in the tech industry for over 10 years, and specializes in all things Tech-related. When he's not geeking out over the latest hardware or software release, he can be found testing out the latest video game.

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