New External Magic Keyboards with Touch ID

Yesterday Apple also announced the release of the new magic keyboards (with or without a keypad), mouse, and trackpad for Apple Silicon Macs. These are the silver versions (no other colors!). When paired with an Apple Silicon Mac, you can get Touch ID on your Apple Silicon laptop or Mac mini. These products showed up earlier than I expected. When the new iMacs were first released, I figured it would take at least six months for Apple to get around to releasing the new accessories for other Apple Silicon Mac customers. (However, I also thought there’d be more colors.)

If you’ve never used a Touch ID laptop, they are pretty great. Not only can you unlock your Mac with it, but you can also do things like unlock system preferences and 1Password. I expect it’d be just as useful in front of a Mac mini and a monitor, provided you like using Apple Keyboards.

This release also makes me wonder about the likelihood of Face ID in a future Mac. It’d be nice just to sit behind your Mac and have it unlock, but those laptop screens are very skinny and it’s sounding like the big Apple Silicon iMac won’t show up until 2022.

If you’re not looking to buy a new keyboard but you do wear an Apple Watch, you should turn on the unlock with Apple Watch feature in the Security & Privacy preference. I wear my Apple Watch every day and while this feature is not reason enough alone to wear an Apple Watch, it’s a heck of a perk.

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