The Touch ID sensor on Apple’s new Magic Keyboard, which debuted with the updated iMac earlier this week, works with any Mac with Apple’s M1 processor, René Ritchie and MacRumors report. The catch is that, for now at least, the keyboard is only sold with the new iMac equipped with the M1, available for pre-order from April 30.
Apple has been shipping MacBooks with built-in Touch ID for some time, but this is the first time it has been available as an accessory. The biometric security method can be used to log into the device, as well as to authorize purchases and log into certain third-party applications. 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 Mac M1 (at the moment?), But you can use them (with Touch ID!) On other Mac M1, or just as BT keyboards (no Touch ID) on the Mac Intel / other devices. https://t.co/mOOp5mbmg2
– René Ritchie (@reneritchie) April 20, 2021
The bad news for owners of older Macs is that the Touch ID feature of the new keyboard won’t work with Intel machines. The keyboard itself will work, but the biometric security will not. As Apple’s press release explains, the new keyboard requires the 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 already opened exclusive accessories for general sale. For example, it started selling the gray keyboard, mouse, and trackpad to everyone in 2018, having previously limited them to the iMac Pro in 2017.