Charging an Apple Pencil Can Keep You From Unlocking Your Car

Originally published at:

In a strange twist, the second-generation Apple Pencil’s charging mechanism can interfere with car key fobs. Luckily, it’s easy to avoid the problem.

I’ve experienced this several times now.

The way this story written suggests it is unlikely because who charges their Apple Pencil in their car? But when I carry my iPad and Pencil (2nd generation), I have to connect the Pencil to the iPad or I’ll arrive at my destination with a dead Pencil. My 2019 Toyota key often refuses to work when I carry the fob and the iPad+Pencil in the same bag or backpack.

Once you are used to keyless entry, t’s really annoying to have to dig for the fob. I’m experimenting with different pockets to see if I can figure out where I can store the fob and still be able to get into my car reliably.

This wouldn’t be a problem if the Pencil was like the first generation unit and would hold its charge when stored separately in a bag. Or, if you could turn off the Pencil so it wouldn’t stay active (and kill the battery) when it sensed it was in motion near the iPad.

1 Like

We’re suggesting it’s an edge case because there are a lot of variables that all need to be true for it to affect you. But we published it to begin with because we thought it was sufficiently annoying and hard to track down that anyone who was experiencing it would appreciate knowing what was happening.