Desktop Macs have so far lacked a convenience function that is found in all current Apple notebooks: the Touch ID fingerprint sensor. With this, the device can be matched quickly and conveniently. In the future, the technology will finally end up in Macs for the desk: Specifically in the new iMac, which the manufacturer presented on Tuesday at the “Spring Loaded” keynote.
Fast unlocking at an additional cost
If desired, users can purchase the Magic Keyboard with Touch ID, which is supplied in the respective color of the M1-iMac. It is offered in addition to the normal Magic Keyboard and a Magic Keyboard with numeric keypad and Touch ID. According to Apple, the sensor integrated in the Magic Keyboard with Touch ID communicates securely wirelessly directly with the M1 SoC installed in the all-in-one computer in order to carry out a comparison. It should be impossible for sensitive fingerprint information to leak.
In principle, the Magic Keyboard variants with Touch ID are also compatible with other M1 Macs, i.e. MacBook Air M1, MacBook Pro M1 and Mac mini M1. However, Apple does not plan to offer the hardware separately – at least initially. Accordingly, you could use the external Touch ID keyboards on other M1 devices – although it is currently unclear how the pairing takes place – but you can only get them with a fresh iMac.
Available from May
The Touch ID devices can also be used on Intel Macs, but there they only act as a simple Bluetooth keyboard without fingerprint function. These machines lack the necessary SoC as a counterpart, the included secure element for the internal Touch ID function, which is found in mobile Intel machines, is incompatible.
Apple has not yet announced any surcharges for the Touch ID keyboards. The new M1-iMacs can be pre-ordered from April 30th, delivery will start in the second half of May. The machines start at 1450 euros with an 8 GB RAM module and 256 GB SSD.
On the subject of M1-Macs, Mac & i currently leads a survey about the satisfaction of the users with the new machines. It will be published in a later edition of the booklet.