Can I use Apple Magic Keyboard with Touch ID with other computers?

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Apple’s new 24-inch M1-powered iMac has arrived. It comes with a brand new Magic Keyboard with Touch ID, which is actually not sold separately, at least for now. If you’ve picked one, you’re probably wondering if you can use the new Bluetooth keyboard with other devices. The answer is, sort of. Yes, it works like a keyboard, but how Touch ID works depends on your hardware.

Here is the deal. The Touch ID sensor requires the secure enclave found in Apple’s custom M1 processor. This keyboard will be fully functional with any Mac M1 (presumably any Apple Silicon Mac when others arrive). If you’ve got the Mac mini M1, you’re good to go. The same is true if you have the 13-inch MacBook Air or MacBook Pro hooked up to a larger platform with monitors and a keyboard.

As with everything else, you will lose Touch ID. That includes the new M1-powered iPad Pro, strangely enough. It’s unclear why the iPad Pro doesn’t support it, but it’s possible that iPadOS just doesn’t support external Touch ID devices. If support is added later, it’s also unclear whether older iPads will benefit from support. For now, you should expect it to be just a Bluetooth keyboard.

The same goes for Macs equipped with Intel. They don’t have the secure enclave found on the M1, so with these PCs it will also be just a regular bluetooth keyboard. This is something that is not likely to change.

So yes, this keyboard will also work with any good Windows PC, any good Android phone or tablet, and anything that supports bluetooth keyboards as well. You will just be using the Magic Keyboard with Touch ID, but without the Touch ID functionality.

Note that while the Magic Keyboard with Touch ID is sold separately, you have to buy the 24in iMac if you want one in nice colors. Those sold separately are all in silver.

    24-inch iMac with 4.5K display
    Apple’s new all-in-one has a 4.5K display, M1 chipset, and comes in pretty colors. It also comes with a matching magic keyboard with Touch ID


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