The Touch ID sensor in Apple’s new Magic keyboard, which debuted with the updated iMac earlier this week, works with any Mac equipped with Apple’s M1 processor. Rene Ritchie and MacRumors report. The great thing is that, for now, the keyboard is only sold with the new iMac equipped with M1, which is available for pre-order from April 30.
Apple has been delivering MacBooks with built-in Touch ID for some time, but it’s the first time it’s been available in an accessory. The biometric security method can be used to connect to the device, as well as to authorize purchases and connect to some third-party applications. The new Touch ID keyboard is available with a compact look, as well as a full size keyboard with a numeric keypad.
You can only buy them with Mac M1 (for now?), But you can use them (with Touch ID!) On other M1 Macs or just like BT keyboards (without Touch ID) on Intel Macs / other devices. https://t.co/mOOp5mbmg2
– Rene Ritchie (@reneritchie) April 20, 2021
The bad news for older Mac owners is that the Touch ID functionality in the new keyboard won’t work with any Intel-based machine. The keyboard itself will work, not just biometric security. As Apple’s press release explains, the new keyboard requires the Secure Enclave from the M1 processor to encrypt fingerprint information transmitted end-to-end.
Although the Touch ID keyboard is currently only available with the new all-in-one, MacRumors notes that Apple has previously opened exclusive accessories for general sale. For example, it started selling the gray keyboard, mouse and trackpad for anyone to buy in 2018, after previously limiting them to the iMac Pro in 2017.