As expected, Apple has unveiled the updated M1-based iMac line in a completely new design. Not only was the candy bar released in seven color variations, but also got a thinner body than the previous generation model. This became possible thanks to the reduction in the size of the motherboard and the built-in cooling system. But behind the coolness of the new iMacs both internally and externally, we completely missed out on the new Magic Keyboard. But in vain. Because there is something to discuss here too.
The Magic Keyboard is very interesting. If only because in this generation Apple has abandoned the feigned seriousness in design and the use of strict accents with chopped edges. Instead, the company’s designers relied on soft shapes, rounded corners, and calm, but at the same time colorful shades.
Magic Keyboard с Touch ID
Suitable not only stylistically – you don’t need a lot of intelligence to paint an accessory in a bright color – but also technologically. Now it is not just a block of keys, but also a kind of mini-checkpoint that gives the user access to the computer itself, requiring him to confirm his identity with a fingerprint.
In general, there has been talking for a long time that Apple will integrate Touch ID into the Magic Keyboard. There was even talk that the top row of function keys would be removed in principle, replacing it with the Touch Bar. But for the time being, it was decided to leave the touch panel exclusive only to the MacBook Pro, but the fingerprint scanner was added.
Apple did not elaborate on how it managed to securely store biometric data in isolation from the T2 coprocessor, but apparently, the M1 chip allowed it to do so. That is, the actual recognition is most likely done on a computer, and the keyboard itself acts as a fingerprint collection tool.
Touch ID does not work in Magic Keyboard
This theory is indirectly supported by the fact that the next-generation Magic Keyboard with Touch ID will work with other Intel-based Macs, but only without a fingerprint scanner. Yes, the new keyboard works fluently with MacBook Air, Mac mini and MacBook Pro. The same is most likely true for the 2021 iPad Pro, which is based on the M1 chip. Although it is possible to pair with old iMacs, it will not be possible to achieve full-fledged work and protection from the Magic Keyboard.
However, Touch ID is needed not only to verify the identity of the user. The fingerprint scanner is suitable for other tasks as well. For example, iMac users can now confirm online purchases with Apple Pay by simply placing their fingers on the reading area on the keyboard. Previously, only MacBook Air and MacBook Pro owners had this opportunity. You can also confirm purchases in the Mac App Store using Touch ID on the Magic Keyboard, which is also very convenient.
Unfortunately, you won’t be able to buy the Magic Keyboard 2021 separately from the iMac 2021. At least at first. If you remember, Apple put a similar restriction on the black keyboard that came with the iMac Pro. But then – nothing changed her mind, and users had the opportunity to buy peripherals in an interesting and atypical color for the Mac line, albeit at an increased price. However, in the case of the Magic Keyboard, the limitation is more justified, given its limited compatibility.