Apple’s Next Magic Trackpad Should Have a Touch ID Sensor (But Probably Won’t)

Jason Snell, in a post from August 2022:

I wanted to do a quick follow-up on my recent post about attaching an Apple Magic Keyboard with Touch to the underside of my desk, because I’ve now done what I threatened to do at the end of that piece: I’ve broken into the keyboard, removed the important bits, and then reassembled it into a little 3-D printed case that contains just the Touch ID button. [...]

Anyway: It works. But I would really love it if Apple would just make a Magic Trackpad with integrated Touch ID.

My desk setup: MacBook Pro with the lid closed, connected to a Studio Display, with my beloved Apple Extended Keyboard II, a mouse on the left (I’m right-handed for most things but taught myself to mouse left-handed all the way back in college, when I started getting RSI), and a Magic Trackpad on the right.

I’m happier with this setup than I’ve ever been with any Mac I’ve ever used. The downside though is that I don’t have Touch ID, because my MacBook’s lid is closed, and I don’t use Apple’s Magic Keyboard. So on workdays, I tend always to wear my Apple Watch, which gives me a lot of the same advantages as Touch ID: I can log into my sleeping Mac without typing my account password, and I can confirm many actions (like Apple Pay purchases, and moving protected files to the Trash) with a double-click of the side button on my watch.

But whenever I’m wearing one of my other watches, I really miss Touch ID. I don’t miss it enough to go through the DIY project of ripping apart a Magic Keyboard to move the Touch ID sensor into a standalone case, though. So I wish that either (a) Apple would add a Touch ID sensor to the Magic Trackpad; or (b) someone would start selling pre-assembled Touch ID sensors in a nice case, repurposed from Magic Keyboards. It’s a bit of a waste to destroy a Magic Keyboard just to repurpose the Touch ID button, but I’d happily pay for it. And while I wish Apple would add a Touch ID sensor to the Magic Trackpad, I doubt they will — that would sully the minimalist “no buttons” look of the Magic Trackpad, and, for people who use a Magic Trackpad alongside a Magic Keyboard, would give them two Touch ID buttons.

Update: Perhaps a hypothetical Magic Trackpad with Touch ID need not look that different at all. There are Android handsets with fingerprint sensors under the display; Apple could put one under the surface of the trackpad, perhaps with nothing more than a subtle dimple or divot to indicate it.

Update 2: Basic Apple Guy mocked up a standalone Touch ID “Magic Button” back in 2022, and Quinn Nelson made a video about making his own.

Thursday, 28 December 2023