Apple’s AirPods have been a standout critical and consumer success since their debut.
That’s mostly — or, at least, partly — because of their simplicity. As you’ve come to expect from Apple products, AirPods just work. They’re easy, seamless and require almost no effort to use on a day-to-day basis.
Of course, that’s mostly true for using AirPods with iOS devices like an iPhone or an iPad. The story is slightly different on a Mac.
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What’s the Problem?
For one, you aren’t able to tell at a glance which audio device your Mac is currently set to play through. Once you’re ready to connect, you still have a few steps to go through.
It’s a multi-click process. You have to enter the Bluetooth submenu to connect to AirPods (or any other Bluetooth-based audio device).
Then, you have to navigate back to the main Bluetooth menu to toggle AirPods. Sure, it’s not the end of the world. But it can indeed become a pain if you’re switching between multiple devices with a single Bluetooth audio accessory.
For example, if you frequently switch between various Macs and iOS devices with a single pair of AirPods, those additional and arguably unnecessary clicks can quickly add up.
Luckily, there’s an app called ToothFairy — by independent developer Michael Tsai — that streamlines and simplifies the process. It may only save you a few clicks when connecting to a Bluetooth device — but those add up.
How Does it Work?
Once you install the ToothFairy app, it places an icon in the top menu bar.
Even without any additional functionality, this ToothFairy menu icon does something magical: it lets you know, at a glance, whether your AirPods or Bluetooth accessory is connected.
(It can also show a small battery indicator to let you know how much juice is left.)
If you click on this icon, it’ll automatically connect to your Bluetooth device. Click on it again, and it’ll disconnect that audio device, and it’ll switch that device back to its default audio source.
Better yet, you can even set up hotkey shortcuts to do this automatically and without needing to click at all.
How to Set it Up
It’s not just using ToothFairy that’s simple; getting it installed and setting it up is also a breeze, too.
All you need to do is install the ToothFairy app from the Mac App Store. Once it’s on your computer, click on the ToothFairy app icon in the Dock or the Applications folder to open the app.
From there, you’ll see a menu pop up. This message lets you add specific Bluetooth-enabled devices to the menu bar (where you can control them).
You can also edit hotkeys here, as well as other preferences.
While Tooth Fairy is a breeze to use, there are some other features and settings to keep in mind if you want to unlock the full functionality of the app.
- Tooth Fairy can even make your AirPods sound better. That’s because there’s a toggle to always prefer a high-quality AAC codec when using Bluetooth devices. Typically, when you connect a Bluetooth device with a microphone, macOS will opt for a lower-quality SCO codec.
- Since Bluetooth devices with the H1 or W1 chips don’t need to be disconnected manually, there’s a toggle that can help prevent accidental disconnections for those specific devices.
- You can also Hide the Dock icon, so it’s out of the way. Need to get to the Tooth Fairy settings menu? Just right-click (or Control + Click) the menu bar icon.
Please let us know if you have any questions or comments. You can also reach out to Michael with any questions.