The Touch ID Sensor in Apple’s new Magic Keyboard, which debuted alongside the updated iMac earlier this week, works with any Mac equipped with Apple’s M1 processor, Rene Ritchie and MacRumors report. The catch is that at least for now the keyboard is being sold only with the new iMac equipped with M1, which is pre-orderable from April 30th.
Apple has been sending MacBooks with an embedded Touch ID for a while, but this is the first time it’s been available in an accessory. The biometric security method can be used to log in to the device, as well as to authorize purchases and log in to any third party programs. The new Touch ID keyboard is available with a compact layout, as well as a full-size keyboard with a numpad.
You can buy them only with the M1-Mac (right 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 owners of older computers is that the Touch ID feature on the new keyboard won’t work with some Intel-based machines. The keyboard itself is said to work, but not the biometric security. As Apple’s press release explains, the new keyboard requires the Secure Enclave in the M1 processor to encrypt the transmitted fingerprint information from 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 up exclusive accessories for general sale. For example, it started selling the gray keyboard, mouse and treat for anyone’s purchase in 2018, after previously limiting them to the iMac Pro in 2017.