During the presentation of the new iMac, Apple introduced a new wireless Magic Keyboard for its desktop computer. Two models equipped with the Touch ID fingerprint sensor were not left out also.
New keyboard incompatible with Intel chip devices
In addition to the slight redesign of the accessory. The real novelty of this Magic Keyboard vintage 2021 is of course the appearance of the Touch ID sensor. This component makes it easier to secure the opening of a user session. Moreover, it also gives access to saved passwords or payments via Apple Pay.
Many owners of iMac or MacBook with Intel processors find it difficukt to afford this brand new keyboard. However, Apple has showered its hopes by indicating that only Macs equipped with an M1 chip will be compatible with these accessories.
Moreover, it is currently impossible to order this new Magic Keyboard, which will only be offered when purchasing an iMac M1.
Magic Keyboard Touch ID will not be sold separately
The reason is technical and it depends on the brand. The Magic Keyboard with Touch ID integrates a secure enclave which, like on the iPhone or iPad, keeps the authentication data, here the fingerprint.
This enclave is designed in-house by Apple. Its main functionality is interacting with the M1 processor in a secure end-to-end manner, which is not possible with Intel processors.
Bad news also for future buyers of the iPad Pro M1. Despite a processor identical to that of the iMac, the Magic Keyboard will not be compatible with the tablet. It may be that iPadOS is not (yet) suitable for communicating with the accessory or simply that Apple wants to offer only one authentication method per device, in this case, facial recognition with Face ID for iPad, for simplicity.