Where would we be without our AirPods? These Apple gadgets have been a huge success, and are great if you are using them on your iPhone or iPad. On your Mac, not so much!
The problem is that using AirPods on your Mac isn’t a simple plug-and-play thing like it is on other Apple devices. For one thing, you can’t tell just by looking at which audio device your Mac is currently set to. Then, there are a few more steps to go through before you’re ready to start listening.
Fussing with cumbersome Bluetooth settings?
To get your AirPods up and running with Mac, you have to enter the Bluetooth sub-menu to connect to the AirPods or any other Bluetooth audio device. Then, you have to go back to the main Bluetooth menu to switch on your AirPods.
[ Related: 11 Ways to Fix Bluetooth Issues on macOS ]
Yes, it only takes a few seconds, but you have to do this every time you want to reconnect your AirPods to your Mac. That means if you only have one set of AirPods that you use on multiple Apple devices, you must go through the Bluetooth settings rigmarole whenever you want to use them on your Mac.
This can become a real nuisance – you just want to plug in your AirPods and start listening!
There is a quick and convenient solution to this – ToothFairy. This app comes as part of Setapp’s suite of Mac apps. Setapp contains over 170 useful apps (including ToothFairy), and they are all contained neatly in the main Setapp app until you are ready to use them – no more searching for the apps you need, they’re all in one place.
ToothFairy is the AirPod companion for your Mac
ToothFairy aims to streamline the process of connecting your AirPods to your Mac. Indeed, ToothFairy is like a Bluetooth assistant. Connect, disconnect and switch effortlessly between all your Bluetooth devices like headphones, speakers, headsets, gamepad controllers, keyboards, mice, etc. with just a keyboard shortcut or directly from your menu bar.
No more constant clicking from menu to menu – sounds good!
Why we love the ToothFairy
There’s a lot to love in this little app, so let’s have a look at the reasons why we dig it so much:
- We like the choice of having the best audio quality when we use ToothFairy, because ToothFairy will ensure your Mac uses high-quality AAC codec for listening to music, gaming, or watching a video.
- ToothFairy’s icon for each of our devices goes on the menu bar, so we always know what’s happening with it, and if our AirPods are connected.
- The latest version has added icons for AirPods Pro, as well as Beats X, Microsoft Surface Earbuds, and an alternate icon for a pair of regular AirPod that are positioned symmetrically rather than offset.
- The app launches at login, so we’re not hunting around or waiting for an app to start when we just want to listen to some music or a podcast.
- We chose in the preferences to have a battery level indicator appear in the menu bar – very handy for us, so we don’t forget and run out of power!
- We don’t need to worry about accidental disconnections when we use ToothFairy – our devices with an H1 or W1 chip are prevented from disconnecting by mistake when we toggle the switch in Preferences.
- We find ToothFairy idiot-proof and easy to use, which is a must-have for us as far as apps are concerned!
ToothFairy: flaws but not dealbreakers
Nothing is ever completely perfect, so naturally, ToothFairy has some flaws. Minor ones – nothing that is completely off-putting, but should be mentioned.
Let’s look at some of the niggles with ToothFairy:
- There were a few issues reported in the past with the battery icon not showing the correct amount of charge, but this is supposed to have been fixed now.
- As ToothFairy only works with devices that can be connected via the macOS Bluetooth menu, you must make sure those devices have been paired correctly with the system before using them with ToothFairy.
How to use ToothFairy to connect AirPods to your Mac
We downloaded ToothFairy from Setapp, then installed and opened it.
Once opened, we found the option to install Bluetooth devices to the menu bar. These devices are controlled from the menu bar icon, and it lets you know whether your AirPods or Bluetooth devices are connected.
ToothFairy’s Preferences window we found by clicking on ToothFairy’s Dock icon, but you can also open it by Ctrl+clicking a device icon in the menu bar. Preferences gives you the option to add or remove devices, and also adjust the settings for each device.
To add a device, you must make sure it’s paired with your Mac through the Bluetooth pane in System Preferences.
We clicked on the + button in ToothFairy’s preferences window to open the Bluetooth selector, then chose the device we wanted to add (AirPods), and clicked Select. The device now appears in the list in the Preferences window.
A new menu bar icon is installed for each device you add to the list. You can choose from a range of icons that best suit your device:
You can also choose Advanced settings options, like running scripts on connect/disconnect, improve the sound quality, and prevent accidental disconnects:
We managed to navigate my way through this – it’s a simple checkbox operation for the advanced things you want ToothFairy to do – nothing really complicated here!
We clicked on the menu bar icon, and it connected automatically to our AirPods. Success! Simply click the icon again to disconnect. You can set up hotkey shortcuts in the app to do this with just one press, to save you even more time (we may do this eventually when we get round to it!).
Pricing and availability
ToothFairy is widely available and can be downloaded as a single app for $4.99 from the App Store, but it’s also available as part of the Setapp subscription service, something that we recommend to every macOS user, as one of the over a hundred applications available for $10 a month.
Setapp comes with a free 7-day trial of all the apps, so you’ve nothing to lose by signing up for it.
ToothFairy is an incredibly useful little app, and the simplicity of its design and use is what makes it so popular. If you regularly use Bluetooth devices on your Mac, ToothFairy will make it quick and easy to manage them and switch between them.
We managed to download, install, and successfully run ToothFairy with no problems. It’s easy to use, and we think the minimalism of the app is part of its appeal.
The (very minor) flaws mentioned aren’t dealbreakers, and if you’re looking for an app to help you get the best out of your AirPods on Mac( but is also easy enough that your grandma could use it), then give ToothFairy a try.