The Touch ID sensor in Apple’s new Magic Keyboard debuted with the updated iMac earlier this week and can be used with any Mac equipped with an Apple M1 processor. However, the sensor cannot be used with the new iPad Pro, which also uses the M1 chip. Currently, the new keyboard is only sold with the new iMac equipped with M1, which will be pre-ordered on April 30.
Apple has been shipping a MacBook with a built-in Touch ID for some time, but this is the first time it has been used in an accessory. Biometric security methods can be used to log in to the device, as well as to authorize purchases and log in to certain third-party applications. The new Touch ID keyboard has a compact layout, as well as a full-size keyboard with a numeric keypad.
The bad news for owners of older Macs is that the Touch ID feature in the new keyboard will not work on any Intel-based computer. According to reports, the keyboard itself will work, not biometric security. As stated in Apple’s press release, the new keyboard requires the Secure Enclave in the M1 processor to encrypt the transmitted fingerprint information end-to-end.
Although the Touch ID keyboard is currently only available with the new MFP, MacRumors pointed out that Apple has previously opened up special accessories for general sales. For example, after previously limiting it to iMac Pro in 2017, it started selling gray keyboards, mice, and trackpads in 2018, which anyone can buy.