XDA Basics: Can I use Apple’s Magic Keyboard with Touch ID with other computers?

XDA Basics: Can I use Apple’s Magic Keyboard with Touch ID with other computers?

Apple’s new M1-powered 24-inch iMac is here. It comes with an all-new Magic Keyboard with Touch ID, which actually isn’t sold separately, at least for now. If you picked one up, you’re probably wondering if you can use the new Bluetooth keyboard with other devices. The answer is, kind of. Yes, it works as a keyboard, but whether Touch ID will work depends on your hardware.

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

As for everything else, you’ll 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 simply doesn’t support external Touch ID devices. If support gets added later, it’s also unclear if older iPads will get support. For now, you should plan on it just being a Bluetooth keyboard.

The same goes for Intel-powered Macs. They don’t have the secure enclave found on the M1, so with those PCs, it’s also just going to be a regular Bluetooth keyboard. This is something that’s not likely to change.

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

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

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Rich Woods
Rich Woods

Managing Editor for XDA Computing. I've been covering tech from smartphones to PCs since 2013. If you see me at a trade show, come say hi and let me ask you weird questions about why you use the tech you use.