The Touch ID sensor in Apple’s new Magic Keyboard, introduced earlier this week along with the updated iMac, 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 will only be sold with the new iMac with M1 equipment, which can be pre-ordered from April 30th.
Apple has been shipping MacBooks with integrated Touch ID for some time. However, this is the first time it’s available in an accessory. The biometric security method can be used to log in to the device, as well as to authorize purchases and to log in to some third-party apps. The new Touch ID keyboard is available with a compact layout as well as a full-size keyboard with a number pad.
You can only buy them with the M1 Mac (for now?), But you can use them (with Touch ID!) On other M1 Macs or just like 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 of the new keyboard won’t work on Intel-based computers. The keyboard itself should work, just not the biometric security. As explained in Apple’s press release, the Secure Enclave in the M1 processor must encrypt the transmitted fingerprint information for the new keyboard.
Although the Touch ID keyboard is currently only available with the new all-in-one, MacRumors notes that Apple previously opened exclusive accessories for general sale. For example, the gray keyboard, mouse, and gray trackpad began selling to everyone in 2018 after previously being limited to the iMac Pro in 2017.