Yesterday, Apple announced their brand new 24-inch iMac and alongside the new computer, they also unveiled a new Magic Keyboard with Touch ID built into it. The keyboard is currently only available if you buy the new iMac as Apple doesn’t appear to be interested in selling it separately, at least for now.
There could be a good reason behind it because as it turns out, the new Touch ID feature is only compatible with M1 Macs. We imagine the keyboard can still be paired and used with non-M1 Macs, but you won’t be able to use the Touch ID feature. This means that including the 24-inch iMac, it will only play nice with last year’s MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, and Mac mini. Since two are laptops and have their own built-in keyboard, there’s really no need to sell the Magic Keyboard as a standalone accessory.
However, what’s interesting is that despite the Touch ID in the keyboard being compatible with M1 Macs, it is not compatible with the new iPad Pro, which was recently refreshed with an M1 chipset as well. We’re not sure why Apple has not made them compatible since they are using the same chipset, but it could be an operating system issue since at the moment, the iPad Pro is still running on iPadOS as opposed to macOS.
It is possible that Apple will eventually sell the keyboard by itself, but until we hear otherwise, the only way to get it is to buy the new iMac.