New External Magic Keyboard with Touchbar?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by I-Bot, Oct 25, 2016.

  1. I-Bot macrumors member

    I-Bot

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    #1
    I did not happen to see any threads on this but if there are threads, please combine them or close this thread. Now that we are aware what the new MacBooks are going to look like and the fact that they will have a Touchbar on them, do you think Apple will release a new Magic Keyboard with Touchbar? I know last year when the MacBook was launched, they released a new Magic Trackpad, Magic Mouse and Magic Keyboard so I don't see why Apple won't release a new Keyboard with Touchbar if in fact the MacBook with Touchbar is release this Thursday.
     
  2. Floris macrumors 68020

    Floris

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    #2
    haven't heard anything either. just a couple more days, we will soon know.
     
  3. JTToft, Oct 26, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2016

    JTToft macrumors 68040

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    #3
    I think they will, but not until later. Won't be released with the new MacBook Pro in order to keep exclusivity for a while.
     
  4. squirrrl macrumors 6502a

    squirrrl

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    #4
    I hope they release it with the new iMacs.... I really want one for my mac mini at work and at home... especially the touch ID....

    I have a feeling, though, that the touch ID won't work with old computers since they would need their secure chip to control the ID... unless they build in the chip into the keyboard.
     
  5. garrick2007 macrumors member

    garrick2007

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    #5
    I wondered all this too just last night. But yes I'm guessing it would need a T1 Chip in the keyboard. This would have to be a pretty hi-tech keyboard. Huge battery and price tag of at least $260 - $300
     
  6. Cougarcat macrumors 604

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    #6
    It'll happen eventually for sure but as @garrick2007 mentioned it'll be extremely expensive.
     
  7. yadmonkey macrumors 65816

    yadmonkey

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    #7
    I wonder how much added power requirement the touchbar would add. Could it still be wireless and have a satisfactory battery life?

    I really want this to happen and I think it will. However, it will probably lack a numerical keypad and force me to make a Sophie's choice!!
     
  8. squirrrl macrumors 6502a

    squirrrl

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    #8
    Yeah... I'm afraid of that.. considering the magic keyboard is already pretty expensive at $100, I wouldn't pay more than $200 for one with a touch bar, but, like you, I suspect they will price it higher... my guess $249. (we should have a pool for when and how much)
     
  9. garrick2007 macrumors member

    garrick2007

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    #9
    Well we know its OLED so its a pretty low power screen, think of it maybe as 4 apple watch screens sliced and spread across. Being the current keyboards current tasks are very simple its said to last 2.5 months vs the magic trackpad which only last 4-5 weeks & all depends on the kind of bluetooth you are using. Id say if we can at least get to the battery life of the trackpad id be happy with that. Honestly makes no sense for one to have better battery life then the other anyways but of course we will take it. The good news is Apple cares a lot about there iMac at least so this will push them to make the upgrade. I guess they could also make this a stand alone device? lol
     
  10. JTToft macrumors 68040

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    #10
    - Varies on usage of course, but in my experience the difference isn't that big. Keyboard does last a bit longer. But I charged both fully at the same time a while ago, and keyboard is down to 64 % while the Trackpad is at 60 %.
     
  11. ascender macrumors 68020

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    #11
    I guess it might be announced when the iMacs get a refresh? But I'm sure MacBook Pro owners would like the option for when they link up to an external monitor and/or want to use clamshell mode.
     
  12. MrXiro macrumors 68040

    MrXiro

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    #12
    I want it for my Mac Pro set up! Would be great to use FCP X. I'm not getting a laptop to edit video.
    I would actually prefer if the thing was wired too. While the wireless setup is nice it's a pain in the ass to have to charge it. I would just leave the lightning cable in at all times. It's not like I'm taking my keyboard to go.
     
  13. garrick2007 macrumors member

    garrick2007

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    #13
    Exactly my thoughts, but then again Apple doesn't care about the pro market :/
     
  14. Awjvail macrumors 6502

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    #14
    It would be pretty expensive - isn't the TouchBar underpinned by what is basically a modified Apple Watch?
     
  15. LiveM macrumors 6502a

    LiveM

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    #15
    The Apple Watch isn't expensive because of its parts. ;)
     
  16. ctyrider macrumors 6502a

    ctyrider

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    #16
    It would seem like extending TouchBar/TouchID functionality to iMacs would be main driver for Apple to offer it in a stand-alone keyboard. It's pretty clear they won't care extending feature parity to Mini or MacPro desktops.

    But I don't know how technically feasible this would be, especially with TouchID security implications. Apple needs to security store fingerprint data, in a way that physically ties Secure Enclave to the device it's protecting. There are research articles out there that describe the lengths Apple went to physically protect Secure Enclave in an iPhone.

    Placing T1/SecureEnclave chip in a portable keyboard raises all sorts of security challenges. For instance what happens to the SecureEnclave data when a keyboard is a paired with a different computer?

    For those and other reasons - I wouldn't bet on TouchBar/TouchID available in a stand alone keyboard any time soon.
     
  17. yadmonkey macrumors 65816

    yadmonkey

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    #17
    If the Apple Watch can already unlock your Mac, is it really that big of a stretch? If it is then I suppose they could always release one without the TouchID function. The other functionality is really what it's about for me.
     
  18. ctyrider macrumors 6502a

    ctyrider

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    #18
    There is a subtle difference here.. AppleWatch is a tiny computer, to which you're authenticated as a unique owner. The Mac authentication then happens via secure channel between watchOS and macOS. The current Apple Magic Keyboard is not a computer, it's a basic Bluetooth accessory. To implement Touch Bar and Touch ID in a keyboard - Apple would need to turn the keyboard into a small computer, akin to an IOS device.

    While it's probably technically possible - I just don't know if today's Apple cares enough about consumer desktops to go that length.

    And Magic Keyboard with Touch Bar but no Touch ID would be a bit silly.. If they do extend Touch Bar to standalone keyboard - they would almost have to include Touch ID as well.
     
  19. yadmonkey macrumors 65816

    yadmonkey

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    #19
    Touch Bar w/o Touch ID doesn't sound silly if you use Final Cut Pro or Logic Pro, the latter which I would hope gets the Touch Bar treatment. The potential seems amazing.

    That said, I would fully expect the KB w/ Touch Bar to be a small computer and would gladly pay $300 for it, with or without Touch ID.
     
  20. ctyrider macrumors 6502a

    ctyrider

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    #20
    Sure, Touch Bar without Touch ID would be just as useful for apps that take advantage of it.. But what I meant was - it wouldn't make a lot of sense for Apple to go through all the trouble of extending the Touch Bar to the Magic Keyboard, and leave Touch ID behind.

    And you're probably not too far off on $300 price tag for something like that. It would be a nice option to have for people with Mac Pros etc.. I am just skeptical that Apple will offer it - my odds are 30%/70% against ;)
     
  21. MacGizmo macrumors 6502a

    MacGizmo

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    #21
    Consider this: The cost of the current, relatively 'dumb,' Apple Magic Keyboard is $100. It does absolutely nothing special, and it's really just a Bluetooth device. To put a Touchbar into it would mean that it would require a boosted power supply, a mini iOS installation (which means a separate processor), an LCD screen, and a secure enclave chip for the ID feature.

    All of that would surely dictate a $250-$300 price tag for the consumer (if not more).

    How much is a basic Apple Watch that already offers touch ID? Yeah. So enough said about touch ID for the Mac desktop.

    Now for the rest of the "touchbar features," you can get them in the existing software without the need to remove your hands from the keyboard/mouse or your eyes from the screen. So why would you want to add two steps to the process? What does the user (or Apple, for that matter) have to gain by adding a screen to an external keyboard (or the chin of the iMac)?

    Then again, Apple has done some crazy things in the name of selling overpriced hardware... so I suppose it could happen.
     

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