Apple today updated its Platform Security guide with additional information that explains what the new Magic Keyboard with Touch ID can and cannot do, as well as some more information about the Apple Watch feature that allows it to unlock iPhones when Face ID is unavailable.

Starting with Touch ID, the update includes confirmation that the Magic Keyboard with Touch ID is compatible with built-in Touch ID sensors, like those found on various Macs.

Magic Keyboard with Touch ID and built-in Touch ID sensors are compatible. If a finger that was enrolled on a built-in Mac Touch ID sensor is presented on a Magic Keyboard with Touch ID, the Secure Enclave in the Mac successfully processes the match—and vice versa.

This also means that there is little reason that the Magic Keyboard with Touch ID cannot be sold as a standalone product. It’s currently only available with a new M1 iMac order.

Apple also detailed more information about watchOS 7.4 and iOS 14.5, with the Apple Watch feature that unlocks iPhones getting particular attention.

For example, the following criteria must be met for an Apple Watch to unlock an iPhone.

• iPhone must have been unlocked using another method at least once after the
associated Apple Watch was placed on wrist and unlocked.
• Sensors must be able to detect that the nose and mouth are covered.
• Distance measured must be 2–3 meters or less
• Apple Watch must not be in bedtime mode.
• Apple Watch or iPhone must have been unlocked recently, or Apple Watch must have
experienced physical motion indicating that the wearer is active (for example, not
asleep).
• iPhone must have been unlocked at least once in the past 6.5 hours.
• iPhone must be in a state where Face ID is allowed to perform a device unlock.

That’s all good information to have and it might explain why, sometimes at least, the feature refuses to work.

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