AirPods are pretty impressive; there is little doubt about this. But even though they connect to iOS devices without fuss, their integration with macOS can be a bit more complex overall. This utility fixes that and looks amazing at the same time.

As you know, if you have AirPods, connecting them to an iOS device after the initial pairing is a simple case of selecting them as audio output. It’s almost magical, but when it comes to choosing AirPods to use on a Mac, you can be left fiddling with the Bluetooth settings or trying to select the correct outputs in the System Preference windows. It’s just not nearly as smooth as it should be, and frankly, it’s unforgivable that macOS doesn’t connect to AirPods in the same way that iOS does.

But you can fix all that with AirBuddy, a lightweight utility from developer Guilherme Rambo. This is a developer who made a name for himself by discovering devices deep in the iOS beta code before they were announced, so he clearly knows his way into Xcode. This is also evident because AirBuddy brings iOS-like AirPod functionality to Macs for just $5.

Once installed, AirBuddy first shows itself when you open the AirPods charging case next to your Mac. When you do, you’ll see a gorgeous, animated representation of your AirPods and their case, as well as their current charging status. If you’ve seen the iconic view iOS users get when they do the same thing, you’ll know what we’re talking about and it looks right at home on a Mac.

Looking great is one thing, but there is also functionality. To prevent the communication that Mac users are all too familiar with, AirBuddy offers a simple «Press to Connect» button that connects your Mac to AirPods and selects them as the output option, without you having to do anything yourself. It’s a beauty, and again, Apple should have built this right into macOS.

That’s not all of this trick. AirBuddy also provides a Notification Center widget that can display not only the battery life of your AirPods, but also your Mac (assuming it’s a laptop). Also, any iOS device connected to the same Mac also shows up there as long as it’s connected to the same Wi-Fi network. It’s worth the price of the entrance ticket alone!

Surprisingly, there is even more on offer here. While AirPods are the biggest use case, AirBuddy will also work great with anything that has a built-in W1 chip. This means that there are several Beats options on the table as well.

How to install AirBuddy

Download AirBuddy. The suggested price is $5, but you can pay more if you want.

Once installed, move AirBuddy to your Applications folder and launch it. The options are pretty simple, with two checkboxes per sale. Check the ones you need, depending on whether you will be using AirPods or another W1-enabled accessory. You can also choose where the animation should appear on the screen when it detects your AirPods or W1 accessories.

Check the device you want to connect

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