Besides the iMac 2021, Apple showed off an all-new Magic Keyboard with Touch ID at its Spring Loaded event with heaps of attractive new products. While for the time being, the new Magic Keyboard is only available with the new iMac, it’s now confirmed that it will be compatible with any M1 Mac machine.
The new Magic Keyboard uses Apple's fingerprint authentication tech to give users password-free unlocking of their macOS machine, and the ability to make digital Apple Pay purchases through their fingerprint.
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The news of wider macOS compatibility comes by way of Rene Ritchie (opens in new tab), who took to Twitter to verify the information. It means that you’ll be able to squeeze oodles of extra use from the new keyboard with built-in biometrics, working alongside the 13-inch MacBook Air, MacBook Pro and Mac mini M1.
Intel-based MacBooks, plus other Bluetooth devices, will also be usable with the Magic Keyboard barring the use of Touch ID. The reason for this is Touch ID works with the Secure Enclave feature found on the Apple M1 chip.
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 as BT keyboards (no Touch ID) on Intel Macs/other devices. https://t.co/mOOp5mbmg2April 20, 2021
The new keyboard will arrive in several options: a standard version with Touch ID, one without Touch ID and an expanded version that boasts Touch ID with a numeric keypad.
Top among the changes is, of course, the addition of Touch ID, which has been the preserve of the best iPhones and the older MacBook Pros for some time. Introducing Touch ID to desktop Macs improves security, bringing a quicker way to securely access a Mac machine with just a top of your finger.
This isn't the first time that Apple has rolled out iMac-exclusive accessories that can then be purchased as standalone items at a later date.
The iMac Pro launched alongside the Space Gray variants of the Magic Mouse, Keyboard and Trackpad in 2017 — a trio of accessories that then became separately available later down the line.
All in all, it's great news for those saddled with the latest M1 Macs, but wishing to use the new keyboards. While the MacBook Pro and MacBook Air come with the Magic Keyboard's scissor key mechanism, for people who wish to use them with an external monitor, mouse and keyboard, having access to the new standalone Magic Keyboard could be a boon.
Update: Speaking of ID, Apple's digital ID feature has been delayed.