Apple has confirmed in an official document that its new Magic Keyboard with Touch ID works with any MacBook that has a built-in Touch ID sensor.
New Magic Keyboard with Touch ID Works Normally with Any MacBook with Built-in Fingerprint Sensor
Details regarding the new Magic Keyboard with Touch ID has been scarce. There was confusion whether or not the new keyboard is 100% compatible with the Mac and how the Touch ID sensor will work.
It is super clear that the new colorful keyboard offers perfect compatibility with the new 24-inch iMac. But what if you wanted to use the Magic Keyboard with Touch ID on another Mac? Will the Touch ID sensor work?
In an official document updated today by Apple, dubbed the Platform Security Guide, the Magic Keyboard with Touch ID offers 100% compatibility with any MacBook and the Touch ID sensor will work with any laptop from Apple that has a built-in Touch ID sensor.
Magic Keyboard with Touch ID and built-in Touch ID sensors are compatible. If a finger that was enrolled on a built-in Mac Touch ID sensor is presented on a Magic Keyboard with Touch ID, the Secure Enclave in the Mac successfully processes the match—and vice versa.
If the Mac you plan to use this keyboard on does not have a built-in Touch ID sensor, then the keyboard is not for you. However, it will function like a regular keyboard without Touch ID.
The reason why Touch ID will work with any MacBook with a built-in Touch ID sensor is this - these Macs have a dedicated Secure Enclave chip, something which other Macs do not. Once you place the finger on the Touch ID sensor, it will match the print stored in the Secure Enclave and it will authenticate or unlock anything you are working on.
You do not have to set up Touch ID again either once you pair the new Magic Keyboard. It will simply access the existing data stored in the Secure Enclave.
Keep one thing in mind here - the Magic Keyboard with Touch ID is not available as a separate purchase. You have to get it with the new 24-inch iMac. But given this compatibility with the MacBook, we are certain that Apple will make the keyboard available to everyone later, if not sooner.
Previously, it was also revealed that the keyboard does not offer Touch ID functionality with the M1 iPad Pro. It was also believed that the Touch ID sensor will not work with any Intel Mac either. Thankfully, the new details revealed today offers a clear stance.