The Touch ID sensor in Apple’s new Magic Keyboard, aired alongside the updated iMac earlier this week, works with any Mac that has Apple’s M1 processor, Rene Ritchie a MacRumors report. The catch is that, for now at least, the keyboard is only being sold with the new M1 equipped iMac, which is available for pre-order from April 30th.
Apple has been shipping MacBooks with a built-in Touch ID for some time now, but this is the first time it has been available in an accessory. The biometrics security method can be used for logging into the device, as well as authorizing purchases and signing in to some third-party apps. The new Touch ID keyboard is available with a compact setup, as well as a full-size keyboard with numpad.
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 (no Touch ID) keyboards on Intel Macs / other devices. https://t.co/mOOp5mbmg2
– Rene Ritchie (@reneritchie) April 20, 2021
The bad news for older Macs owners is that the Touch ID function in the new keyboard won’t work with any Intel-based machines. It is likely that the keyboard itself will operate, not just the biometrics security. As Apple’s press release explains, the new keyboard requires the Secure Enclave in the M1 processor to encrypt the fingerprint information transmitted from start to finish.
Although the Touch ID keyboard is currently only available with the new all-in-one, MacRumors notes that Apple previously opened unique accessories for general sale. For example, it started selling the gray keyboard, mouse, and trackpad for anyone to buy in 2018, having previously been limited to the iMac Pro in 2017.