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 is MacRumors relationship. The problem is that, at least for now, the keyboard is only sold with the new M1-equipped iMac, available for pre-order from April 30th.
Apple has been shipping MacBooks with integrated Touch ID for some time, but this is the first time it’s available in an accessory. The biometric security method can be used to log into the device, as well as to authorize purchases and access some third-party apps. The new Touch ID keyboard is available with a compact layout, plus a full-size keyboard with a numeric keypad.
You can only buy them with the Mac M1 (for now?) But you can use them (with Touch ID!) On other Mac M1s, or just as BT keyboards (no Touch ID) on Intel Macs / other devices. https://t.co/mOOp5mbmg2
– Rene Ritchie (@reneritchie) April 20, 2021
The bad news for owners of older Macs is that the Touch ID functionality in the new keyboard won’t work with any Intel-based machine. The keyboard itself will reportedly work, but biometric security won’t. As Apple’s press release explains, the new keyboard requires Secure Enclave in the M1 processor to encrypt end-to-end transmitted fingerprint information.
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 to anyone who bought them in 2018, having previously limited them to iMac Pro in 2017.