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Airpods and moving between devices

i0Nic

macrumors 65816
Original poster
May 17, 2006
1,456
67
Sydney, Australia
Hey there,

I have the Airpods (just got them today) and when I switch between listening to my iPhone and Mac it doesn't happen as 'seamlessly' as i thought - ie when going from iPhone to Mac I need to click the bluetooth icon and tap Airpods --> Connect to get them to pair. I would have thought this would happen seamlessly when I am in the vicinity of the Mac and start playing audio on the Mac. Am I doing something wrong, or is this how it is?
 
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Relentless Power

macrumors Nehalem
Jul 12, 2016
35,151
37,461
Hey there,

I have the Airpods (just got them today) and when I switch between listening to my iPhone and Mac it doesn't happen as 'seamlessly' as i thought - ie when going from iPhone to Mac I need to click the bluetooth icon and tap Airpods --> Connect to get them to pair. I would have thought this would happen seamlessly when I am in the vicinity of the Mac and start playing audio on the Mac. Am I doing something wrong, or is this how it is?

No. That's how they were intended.
 
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PCtoMAC1

macrumors 6502
Mar 16, 2012
358
127
Thanks for posting that question! I was wondering the same thing and was becoming very frustrated when mine weren't being "seem less".
 
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i0Nic

macrumors 65816
Original poster
May 17, 2006
1,456
67
Sydney, Australia
Thanks guys. I was hoping it would 'just work' but that's ok. Maybe in a software update they can work even more seamlessly.
 
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dotnet

macrumors 65816
Apr 10, 2015
1,227
921
Sydney, Australia
It does just work, sort of.

Of course you cannot listen to music from the iPhone Music app via the AirPods, then open your Macbook and expect it to steal the AirPods away from the phone. That's not going to happen, and would be terrible.

However, when I stop the music on the phone and put the AirPods back in their case they will connect automatically to the Mac if the Mac is open and unlocked, the phone is locked and I take the AirPods out of the case and put them in my ears. It takes a few seconds for that to happen (you'll notice that the volume bars in the menu bar speaker icon change, assuming the internal speakers were set to a different volume). This does happen automatically though, and without clicking anything.

I think the key is that your intention must be reasonably clear for automatic switch-over to happen. Nilly-willy switching between devices because you happen to unlock one of them or click on a youtube link would be quite bad and aggravating.

I'll have to experiment a bit more with this and see to which extent expectation and reality match.

What doesn't work is switch-over to and from the Apple TV. The AirPods must be explicitly connected and disconnected as Bluetooth devices there.
 
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udayrulz

macrumors member
Aug 16, 2010
49
7
Was a bit surprised by that as well. I need to double check but i think my QC35's can connect to multiple devices at once and switch over to whatever is playing music.
 
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Brookzy

macrumors 601
May 30, 2010
4,917
5,312
UK
OP was right. The original intention was for the switching to be completely seamless, however Apple changed their mind before release to make it switch seamlessly only between iPhone and Apple Watch. See this comment from iMore in their review, first describing the expected functionality and then updated to add the row-back.

Screen Shot 2017-01-16 at 14.38.24.png
 
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CharlesShaw

macrumors 6502a
May 8, 2015
681
653
OP was right. The original intention was for the switching to be completely seamless, however Apple changed their mind before release to make it switch seamlessly only between iPhone and Apple Watch.

Even imore's review shows that - pre-release - they would not switch between the Mac and an iOS device without having to select them, so everyone needs to let that idea go.
 
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udayrulz

macrumors member
Aug 16, 2010
49
7
What if more than one device is playing music (or video)?
Bit late with my reply but I used my QC35 after a while this weekend. They can be connected to a maximum of two devices at the same time and the audio switches to whatever device last played music. So for example if I am listening to music on my Mac and the phone rings the headphones automatically switch over to the phone and then back to the laptop once the call ends.
 
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dotnet

macrumors 65816
Apr 10, 2015
1,227
921
Sydney, Australia
Bit late with my reply but I used my QC35 after a while this weekend. They can be connected to a maximum of two devices at the same time and the audio switches to whatever device last played music. So for example if I am listening to music on my Mac and the phone rings the headphones automatically switch over to the phone and then back to the laptop once the call ends.

Are you sure the call wasn't going through the Mac?
 
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OzyOly

macrumors 6502a
Jun 3, 2009
777
140
Bit late with my reply but I used my QC35 after a while this weekend. They can be connected to a maximum of two devices at the same time and the audio switches to whatever device last played music. So for example if I am listening to music on my Mac and the phone rings the headphones automatically switch over to the phone and then back to the laptop once the call ends.

This is good to know. Cheers.
 
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didier.ma

macrumors newbie
May 5, 2014
17
0
Hmm, I was actually surprised it switched itself today.

iPhone - Connected - Not playing anything
iTunes on Mac - Not Connected - Previously connected

When I play the music on iTunes, it said "Connecting to AirPods" and then in a few seconds music starts to play. I was actually almost paused it because I realised I forgot to connect it to my AirPods and worried the sounds would just come out from the MacBook speaker.
 
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C64

macrumors 65816
Sep 3, 2008
1,234
222
I've setup a keyboard combo that triggers this AppleScript. Use the name of your AirPods and you can quickly connect to them on your Mac.
 
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tivoboy

macrumors 68040
May 15, 2005
3,288
300
I don't find the switching from iphone to watch happening well at all. I try to use them with my watch for running but MUST turn off bluetooth on the phone before they will connect at all. So, it's really not as seamless as the literature would indicate.
 
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