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The new Sonos[iTunes Link] Controller for iPhone app has really got me thinking about all the cool things we are going to be able to do with the iPhone. I’ve compiled this list of things you can manipulate with your iPhone.

Controlling your Car

Delphi has come up with a really cool app that lets your lock and unlock your car, power automatic doors, and even remote start your car.  Although it is just a concept, it was demo’d at CES 2008 working with a GMC Acadia vehicle.  It works with a blue-tooth enabled key fob that can work from up to a mile a way. This software also allows users to monitor and control several aspect’s of a vehicle’s system, including temperature, tire pressure, gas levels, oil levels, and can detect break ins.

Controlling What You Watch on TV

I already wrote about controlling your DirecTV DVR to setup recordings, but you can also control Tivo interface.

Believe it or not, You Can Use Your iPhone to Fly an Aircraft

The clever folks at UC Berkeley have developed a system to issue commands to unmanned aerial vehicles using a device we all know and love: the iPhone.

While the iPhone is specifically restricted from piloting the drones themselves, the team uses Mobile Safari on the iPhone to enter coordinates and select tasks for its airborne fleet. A web server then relays the tasks to the aircraft mid-flight.

The video shows, in real time, an exercise where a remote-controlled airplane is instructed to photograph a particular area underneath it. The photo is then transmitted wirelessly back to a workstation at ground control.

Controlling Your Home

There have been several different home automation applications for the iPhone.  iPhone Home Controller lets an iPhone User set up a home automation scheme using x10 automation hardware and a Safari/iPhone/iTouch optimized web interface controller.  Crestons Home Automation iPhone Application elegantly enables wired home owners to control lighting, temperature and all sorts of other things via WiFi or 3G, at home or anywhere else in the world. Users can even program in settings for multiple houses, enabling them to turn the AC on in Orlando while blasting the heat in Jackson Hole. You can get the source code for a home grown X-10 iPhone app as well.

Controlling your Bathomatic Bubble Bath Tub

You can even regulate the bubbles in your whirlpool tub with an iPhone.  Now that is luxury.

Controlling a Radio Controlled Car

A guy having fun figured out how to use the iPhone to control his RC Car. He set up an interface and leveraged the accelerometer to steer it.

Controlling your Music At Home

Sonos is a wireless digital music player that plays digital music files from your PC or networked hard drive anywhere in the home. The Sonos Controller for iPhone™ is a free application that turns your iPhone (or iPod® touch) into a full-fledged Sonos Controller. I am really excited because I have been eyeing their system for years but didn’t want to spend the $900. Their new iPhone app will let me buy just the ZonePlayer Base and I can use our iPhones and iTouches to control it around the house.

Remote, the well known free Apple app that lets you control iTunes and pipe music throughout your house. I described how to do this here.

Controlling your Music Jam

There are iPhone Applications that use your iPhone / iTouch touch as new generation midi controller for your favorite audio DAW or VJ performance tool.  iTM MCU [iTunes Link] is the latest iTM release Mackie Control Emulation for your iPhone or iPod touch ITMMidi [iTunes Link]. ProRemote [iTunes Link] is a product that runs on the iPhone and iPod Touch that uses your existing wireless network to control professional audio products such as Digidesign’s ProTools and Apple’s Logic Music production systems.These apps free you up so that you can sit at your instrument and make changes to your setup without stopping and walking across the room every few minutes.

Control Your Computer Controlling your Digital Picture Frames

Now that Wifi digital picture frames are becoming more available, I expect to see more of this, but right now I could only find one company that let you do this:  Control your digital picture frame with your iPhone. eStarling frames lets you use the application by SeeFrame [iTunes Link], to send photos from your iPhone to wifi connected picture frames.

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The Scientific Reason You Won’t Throw Your Stuff Away

When my great-grandmother died in the mid-90s, we found a number of questionable collections in her house, including a paper bag filled to the brim with meticulously cleaned-out egg shells and a very toxic jar of mercury she had drained from old thermometers. In short: She was totally a hoarder. Had she lived to see the age of reality television, we could have put her on A&E’s Hoarders, which tracks the lives of people who obsessively collect and can’t bring themselves to throw things away, even to the point of creating dangerous, trash-filled living situations.

Though its not yet considered an official disorder, somewhere around 5 percent of Americans, or 15 million people, struggle with compulsive hoarding, as Bonnie Tsui noted in her in-depth look at the science of hoarding in Pacific Standard.

After years of being lumped in as a category of OCD, in May, hoarding will officially be recognized as its own distinct disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), the standard tome of afflictions used by mental health professionals to classify mental health issues. The first systematic study of the disorder wasn’t published until 1993, as Tsui points out, but like the amount of junk in my closet, the field is starting to grow.

Though the research is still preliminary, studies have shown hoarding is related to cognitive differences in processes like decision-making, sorting and categorizing. In fMRI studies of people with hoarding disorder, the areas of the brain associated with decision making lit up more when making choices about material objects, showing more emotional engagement with items than usual. Another study found that hoarders find it more difficult to make decisions about their own possessions than someone else’s.

Bad news for me: It’s probably genetic. Bad news for all of us: it seems more prevalent in the U.S., where we sure do love our stuff:

There is no question that the continuous acquisition of stuff is the backbone of American culture. According to Sandra Stark, of the Peer-Led Hoarding Response Team at the Mental Health Association of San Francisco, “Seventy percent of home-owning Americans cannot park cars in their garages because there’s too much stuff; one in 10 has a storage unit.” … In San Francisco alone, nearly $6.5 million is spent by landlords and service agencies each year on hoarding-related issues, which include eviction and the removal of children or the elderly due to health and safety concerns. Hoarding has been identified as a direct contributor to up to six percent of all deaths by house fire.

There are even different types of hoarding:

Monika Eckfield, an assistant adjunct professor in the department of physiological nursing at UCSF, has noticed two patterns of behavior in the course of her research. She calls one type of hoarder an “impulsive acquirer,” someone who actively acquires things for the thrill of it and keeps items because they reflect personal interests; she calls the other type a “worried keeper,” someone who tends to be more depressed and anxious, acquiring things passively and keeping them as a safeguard against potential future need. A worried keeper spends considerably more time trying to sort and organize belongings than an impulsive acquirer, and also feels more frustration with his or her living space.

Though the problem is getting more recognition, researchers are still working on an effective treatment. The cognitive behavioral therapy used to treat OCD has shown itself fairly useless when it comes to hoarding, and the treatments that do exist are expensive, involving months of work with clinicians and home visits.

And hoarding may even have somewhat of an upside, too:

The physical world of hoarders, Frost has observed, is much more expansive than what the rest of us perceive, and is often free of the rules that we are wont to impose. Even more intriguing, Frost told me that some of the neurological hallmarks of hoarding might indicate a giftedness in the aesthetic appreciation of the physical world, rather than pure illness. One of his patients had a pile that built up in the middle of her dorm room over the course of a week; she started perceiving shapes, colors, and textures, and it became a work of art—something with aesthetic value. “She couldn’t dismantle it, because that would destroy it,” Frost said.

The whole piece is definitely worth a read over at Pacific Standard.

All The Cool Iphone Secret Codes You Should Know

If you are wondering what exactly are secret codes, well, these are USSD codes that bring about some info when you dial them from your smartphone. Android smartphones come with their own set of secret codes but every different smartphone comes with its own set of codes, derived by its manufacturer and thus, it’s a tough task keeping a track of them. On the other hand, there are a handful of cool iPhone secret codes which I think everyone should know about. Curious about them? Don’t be! Here are 10 cool secret iPhone codes that you must know in 2023.

10 Cool iPhone Secret Codes You Shouldn’t Miss Out

Before taking a peek at all the codes for iOS devices, keep in mind that most of them are carrier-specific. And most importantly, they don’t work everywhere in the world due to either restriction or unwillingness of carriers to embrace those codes. So, don’t be surprised if some of those interesting codes fail to work for you. With this little disclaimer out of the way, let’s get started, shall we?

1. Field Test Mode Code: *3001#12345#*

This secret code on the phone triggers the Field Test Mode, which brings you a lot of technical details around your network. That’s not all though, as you can also use this code on your iPhone to get a more granular look at your network’s signal strength. The bars are a good way to view signal strength but if you want to know the exact strength, you can use this code to view signal strength in decibels. So, here’s how to do it:

In iOS 10 or Earlier

When you enter the code in your iPhone’s dialer and hit the call button, you will be taken to the Field Test page, where you will find various network details. Then, just press hold on the Power/Lock button unless you get the “Slide to turn off” option. Once you are on the power off-screen, just press and hold the home button and you will see the bars replaced with the network strength in decibels.

Once done, wait for 20-30 seconds for the network to settle down. Then, you can take a note of your signal strength, If the number is above -80 (-70,-60..), the signal strength is close to full and if it’s below -110 (-120,130..), the network has a pretty weak signal. It’s important to note that the signal strength will vary depending on if you are connected to a 3G or 4G network.

To disable the decibels and get back the usual network bars on your iPhone, you can open Field Test page again with the secret code and tap on the top-left edge, which says “Phone” or you can simply press the home button once.

In iOS 11, 12, and 13

With the introduction of iOS 11, Apple slightly tweaked the functionality of “Field Test Mode.” For a change, it no longer shows the numerical dBM (decibel milliwatts) cell signal indicator in the status bar of the iPhone. But fret not, there is still a way to check out the actual cellular signal as numbers on iPhone with the Field Test Mode in iOS 13, iOS 12, and iOS 11. To get started, make sure your iPhone has an active cellular connection so that it can access and use Field Test Mode to measure the signal strength. Simply open the Phone app enter the following number and dial it.


Now, the hidden Field Test Mode will open on your iPhone. Tap on LTE and then select “Serving Cell Meas.” After that, find the rsrp0 and the corresponding number which will be the numerical measurement of the iPhone cellular signal strength in dBm. For those unfamiliar, RSRP (Reference Signal Received Power) is considered to be the variation of RSSI measurement. As for the RSRQ, it stands for Reference Signal Received Quality. While rsrp0 is the preliminary cell tower, the rsrp1 is your next closest cell tower.

2. Hide Caller ID Code: *31#mobile number

If you have a carrier unlocked iPhone or a carrier that supports hiding your caller ID, you can use this secret code to present your caller ID as “Unknown” or “No Caller ID”. All you need to do is use the code that works in your country and add the mobile number you want to call anonymously and press the dial button.


Albania:#31# (cell phones)






Germany:*31# or #31#


Hong Kong:133







New Zealand:197


North America:#31# or *67

Netherlands:*31* or #31#



South Africa*31*

South Africa#31#

South Korea:*23 or *23#



Switzerland Landline:*31#

Switzerland Mobile:#31#

United Kingdom:141

We tried the code to mask our caller ID but it failed to work for us, so we will suggest you keep your expectations low.

3. Check SMS Center Code: *#5005*7672#

Every text message that you send from your phone first goes to a server or SM S center number, which then sends it to the number you send it to. If you have been facing a few issues regarding SMS, it’s best to check the SMS center number and you can use this secret code to do exactly that. You can just enter the code in the iPhone’s dialer and press “call”.

4. Call Waiting Code: *#43# (Check Status) *43# (Enable Call Waiting) #43# (Disable Call Waiting)

As you might have guessed, this iPhone secret code simply lets you check the status of Call Waiting and enable or disable it with ease. This should come in handy if you just can’t seem to find the Call Waiting options on your iPhone.

5. Call Barring Code: *#33# (Check status) *33*pin# (Enable Call Barring) #33*pin# (Call Barring)

6. Call Forwarding Code: *#21# (Check Status) *21# (Enable or Disable Call Forwarding) *21mobilenumber# (Divert Calls to this Number)

Don’t want to be disturbed by a phone call while you watch your favorite sports team fight it out? Well, for people unaware, Call Forwarding is a feature that lets you divert incoming calls to your other number or even a voicemail and you can use these secret codes to check its status on your phone or to enable it and divert calls to another number.

7. Calling Line Presentation Code: *#30#

8. IMEI Code: *#06#

Chances are, you already knew about this code, didn’t you? For people unaware, all phones come with their unique identification number and you can use this USSD code to check it on almost any phone. For more details on IMEI and its use, you can check out our detailed article on the same.

9. Show Your Number on Caller ID Code: *82 (followed by the number you are calling)

This code is primed for the folks who make all of their outgoing calls anonymously. Well, if you are one of them, then you can use this code to show your number on the caller ID. Notably, it can also come in handy in a situation where you want someone to know it’s you that’s calling. While *82 works for most carriers, T-Mobile has a separate code (*31#) for this purpose.

10. Get Local Traffic Information Code: 511

In an era where you have a ton of top-notch navigation apps such as Google Maps, Apple Maps, Waze, and more always ready to keep you in the loop about the traffic information, this code might seem useless to many. But I would still tell you to save it for the times where you don’t have an internet connection and badly want to get the accurate traffic information to reach your destination without getting stuck in jampacked traffic.

Bonus: View Your Cellular Data Usage AT&T: *3282# T-Mobile: #932# Verizon: #3282

If you often find your cellular data running out of gas, then this code might just turn out to be your savior. Using this code, you can quickly find out the data usage and burn your plan accordingly so that it doesn’t end before the deadline. Again, the code is carrier-specific, so you should contact your carrier provider to enquire about it.

Like the Cool iPhone Secret Codes?

How To Photograph Silhouettes With Your Iphone

Silhouetting is one of the most interesting techniques in iPhone photography. By leaving your main subjects in the dark, silhouetting helps you to create a sense of mystery in your photos while at the same time drawing more attention to their subjects.

But more importantly, silhouette photos just look awesome, and it’s very easy to take them with the iPhone. By the end of this tutorial, you’ll know how to photograph silhouettes with your iPhone on your own, and you’ll discover a few simple tips to make sure that they always look amazing.

Finding the perfect light

Whenever you shoot against the source of light so that your subject is illuminated from behind, the iPhone will automatically turn your subjects into silhouettes. It really is that easy to shoot silhouettes, as long as you know where to find such light.

To take photos against the source of light, you need to find what is known as directional light, which is essentially light coming horizontally from the side. On sunny days, there is directional light for about an hour after sunrise and an hour before sunset since the sun is low above the horizon at that time. If you live at a higher latitude – like Canada and most of Europe – the sun may also be sufficiently low throughout the day in winter.

Since the sun is low, make sure you can actually see it from your shooting location. Large open spaces such as the beach are really good for silhouettes, though you can take them anywhere where you can see the sun when it’s low above the horizon.

In the above photo, I found a small sunlit area when most of the park was already in the shadow because of the numerous trees blocking the sun. And did you notice that I placed the sun behind the tree? I did that on purpose to avoid a blown-out white area where the sun was supposed to be and also to avoid lens flare.

In most cases, light can only enter the scene from the sky. However, sometimes light can be reflected from wet surfaces, and it is also possible to create silhouettes against such reflected light, as seen in the following photo.

In many cases, you can also take interesting silhouettes indoors if there is directional light coming from a window, door, or another architectural feature. In the following photo, I could create a silhouette because the light was entering the room through the glass door.

When your subjects take up a large portion of the screen (as seen above), the iPhone will automatically set the exposure to the subject, thus ruining the silhouette. If that happens, you can fix the exposure manually by tapping on the brightest parts of the scene.

Finding the perfect subject

Once you’ve found good directional light, the next step is to find an interesting subject for your silhouettes. While you can create silhouettes from almost anything, the vast majority of my silhouette photos have people as subjects. I like human silhouettes, as they always create a sense of mystery when you try to imagine who those people could be.

I often choose to take silhouettes in popular places such as a busy beach so that I don’t run out of interesting subjects. If there’s a steady flow of people, I might just stay in one place and capture whoever is passing by, as I did in this photo.

Notice how lens flare – seen as a gray circle covering the person on the right – looks great in this photo, and the sun is completely blown-out. This may work well in some photos, but usually, I prefer not to have the sun shining directly into the iPhone’s lens.

At other times, I might be walking around and actively looking for interesting subjects that would look great as silhouettes. That’s how I came across the following scene of a family feeding seagulls, which I knew would make the photo very interesting.

In this photo, two silhouettes on the right are overlapping, which doesn’t really look good. In general, it’s best to keep silhouette scenes simple and avoid such overlapping subjects as they can quickly get very confusing.

If you’re new to iPhone photography, you might not feel comfortable taking photos of people you don’t know. From my experience, it has never been a problem as most people don’t care about being photographed, and you can’t recognize anyone in silhouettes.

Of course, you could just take silhouettes of your friends and family. In general, I find it less interesting since I enjoy the unpredictability of subjects I don’t know. On the other hand, knowing your subjects gives you more control over the scene, and you can take photos that would never be possible otherwise.

On the same note:

Terms Used Electronic Communication Systems


Electronic communication systems dissolve the communication power to both the positive and negative impacts. Analogue or digital signals are fed to the system, processed in the circuits electronically for transmission and then deduced by the receiver.

Electronic communication systems are said to be highly reliable and efficient when the errors are minimised in the procedures. Social networking is the most utilised electronic communication system among the rest. People utilise mostly to share their opinion, and views on a respective matter through the assistance of social media platforms.

What is an electronic communication system?

Electronic communication is referred to as the sort of communication that is viewed, stored, transmitted or broadcasted utilising the electronic media such as phones, email, video and computers. Electronic communication in recent days provides immense benefit in the quick transformation of the data (Saregar et al. 2023).

Figure 1: Electronic communication system

In this digitalisation, communications have been enhanced with a broader range and it is possible and accessible only with the assistance of electronic communication systems. A lot of transformation has gradually occurred in the workspace, areas and society because of the Electronic communication system (Pollacco et al. 2023).

This source of communication is developed by transmitting information such as images, graphics, pictures, sounds, software, maps and many more

Types of communication systems

Communication systems are classified into different types which include analogue and digital

Analogue communication utilises analogue signals for the transference of information. Analogue communication utilises the signals that are represented by the sine waves. Analogue is mentioned as the constant time-varying signal where communication exchanges between two or more with the specified source. The messages created by the sources are generally in the form of analogue which is converted to digital type and then transmitted

A digital communication system utilises digital signals for information transmission

Electronic communication systems are categorised into distinct types which include messaging, voice calls, email, social media and many more. Communication medium has gradually transformed and developed due to the manner public communicates with each other for distinct purposes (Yazdeen et al. 2023).

Electronic communication systems make life more feasible with their wider reach to people across different parts of the world.

Uses of Electronic communication system

Electronic communication system lets individuals combine multiple media such as texts, graphics, sounds, video and others in a single message.

These consequences are meaningful interactions tailored to the nature of a specific audience. Narrowcasting and broadcasting represent the capability to improve numerous communications for the market subset.

As opined by Marković et al. (2023), electronic communication is quite interactive and involves the individual in two-way communications more actively. Electronic communication systems are used widely in every sector as it makes a new form of many-to-many interactions. Many organisational and business sectors utilise the facilities of electronic communication systems such as WWW (World Wide Web) as their personal interaction tools to enhance the effectiveness of teamwork.

Terms used in Electronic communication systems

Some of the common terms that are mostly utilised in Electronic communication system are −

Signals − Data is required to be converted into some digital type before it can be transformed electronically. A signal is demonstrated as that information which has been changed into digital type

Communication channel − The channel of communication is demonstrated as the medium by which a signal is transformed from the receiver or sender. The channel of communication can be simple copper or even a satellite system

Transducer − A transducer is referred to as the device that transfigures one energy form into the other. It is basically a device in the communication system electronically which transforms one physical variable type such as force, pressure and temperature (Luo et al. 2023). A basic example of a transducer is a phone’s receiver

Amplification − Amplification is referred to as the procedure of strengthening the signal’s amplitude utilising the electronic circuit. The amplitude of the signal gets low when the length between the receiver and sender’s signal is too large. In attaining this issue, amplification of that signal is carried out to rejuvenate the power.

Modulation − Modulation is described as the act of data added to the optical-electronic waveform. The information is added by changing the phase of frequency of the waveform. Modulation in every case is extremely required because data is transferred and created via signals possessing low frequencies mostly (Feng et al. 2023).

A low-frequency signal is highly allowable for attenuation and it cannot be transmitted to the locations for long-distance. The original carrier wave possessing a low frequency is superimposed upon the carrier wave of high frequency. The complete procedure is termed modulation where AM and FM are considered major instances


Electronic communication systems have been proven to be immensely beneficial in different places as many individuals at distinct locations can work on similar documents, integrate research findings and hold meetings. The Internet and electronic communication system are often referred to as the enhanced tool for communication in the digitalised age. People can easily access globally without any physical movements with a distinct personality through the use of an Electronic communication system.


Q1. What is Bandwidth in an electronic communication system?

The highest data transformation amount over the connection of the internet is a provided time amount. Bandwidth is often falsely considered for the speed of the internet when the original volume is sent over the connection in a calculated time amount.

Q2. What are the main two types of Electronic communication media?

Email and social media are the most utilised media in the Electronic communication system. Through social media, users can publicly post to a particular group. Email is a personalised messaging app used mainly for official purposes.

Q3. What are the distinct types of Electronic communication?

Blogs, EBooks, calendars, data conferencing and many more are the types of electronic communication. Electronic communication systems are transmitted both over wireless and wired systems.

Q4. What does the term Repeater signify in the Electronic communication system?

Repeater performs both as the receiver and sender in the electronic communication system. The repeater’s job is to expand the communication systems’ ranges by signal amplification. A weak signal is obtained at the repeater which is re-transformed and amplified

Dyson Purifier Humidify + Cool Formaldehyde Review


Quiet fan

Humidifier easy to use

Excellent air quality display & app

Sensitive air purifier


Slight whine in operation

Not very portable


Our Verdict

If you’re looking for a humidifier, this is the luxury option to go for. It will also purify and cool your air and it has high-quality smart features and an in-depth display. Still, it’s not quite perfect: it has a slight whine when running.

There’s no more recognisable home appliance than a Dyson fan, thanks to its iconic design. The bladeless fan is available in a number of different forms: heating, cooling, air purifying and humidifying – and various combinations of these.

You can browse all the available appliances on the Dyson website in the US or the UK. They start in price at $419.99 in the US for a purifying fan or £349.99 for the simple Cool Tower Fan in the UK, and go up to $939.99/ £699.99 for Dyson’s newest multifunctional appliances.

We’re looking at Dyson’s latest combination air care appliance: the Purifier Humidify + Cool Formaldehyde (PH04). It’s a bladeless air purifying fan and humidifier. As the name suggests, it’s also one of the few air purifiers available that specifically targets and destroys formaldehyde in the air.

Design and build

Comprehensive, full colour display

Remote and app control

Not very portable: no wheels, fairly heavy at 8.2kg/ 18lbs

The Purifier Humidify + Cool Formaldehyde comes in a white, nickel and (very coppery) gold colourway. If you’re in the US, you can get it in nickel and (coppery) gold for $20 more. The key difference between the two colourways is that the fan loop is in silver rather than white.

If you’ve never seen a Dyson fan in real life, you might not know that they vary in size. This one is 92.3cm high, with a 31cm diameter base. Its footprint is probably slightly smaller than that of a standing fan and it’s not quite as tall. It would be a perfect height to cool you if you were sitting on a sofa.

Still, it’s not quite as compact as the Purifier HP09 Hot+Cool Formaldehyde. Although the two appliances share a very similar design, the clear water tank at the base of the humidifying model adds some height and marks out its specific function.

It’s a fairly heavy appliance at 8.2kg/ 18lbs and it doesn’t have wheels, so you’ll probably want to find a spot for it and leave it there. It’s not really suitable for moving from room to room with you.

Emma Rowley / Foundry

It comes with a matching copper-coloured remote control that, in a nice touch, magnetically attaches to the top of the appliance so you won’t lose it.

Emma Rowley / Foundry

On the appliance’s front is a round, full colour display. You can use the ‘i’ button on the remote to cycle through and show all potential measurements. It’s an extremely comprehensive list that shows:

Air quality

PM 2.5 (smaller particles)

PM10 (larger but still inhalable particles)

HCHO (formaldehyde)

VOCs (volatile organic compounds – toxic and smelly gases)

NO2 (nitrous dioxide – typically from vehicle emissions)


Humidity level

All of the air quality indicators have a four-colour chart – from green (good) to red (very poor) – so you can get at-a-glance information.

Emma Rowley / Foundry

You can also use the onscreen display to check the remaining filter life and your Wi-Fi signal.

MyDyson app

The Purifier Humidify + Cool Formaldehyde is a connected device that you can also control via the MyDyson app. This is a big plus as the app (formerly called Dyson Link) is beautifully designed and easy to use.

In our test, the appliance connected quickly and without trouble. Still, your results may vary, depending on the strength of your Wi-Fi signal.

Once linked, you can control your machine, view your air quality and see air quality trends, all in app. It’s also a straightforward business to connect to your Alexa, Siri or Google Home voice assistant, so you can switch it on and off with voice commands and add it to routines.

The app also contains a wealth of information on how to use your machine and troubleshooting.

Setting up the Purifier Humidify + Cool Formaldehyde

The machine’s set-up is not complicated. First, the tape needs to be removed and the filters fitted.

However, it might be an idea to watch the Dyson set-up video. If you do, you’ll see a model interacting with the machine with all the considered elegance of a Japanese tea ceremony. That is certainly not how it looked when I did it.

There’s a slight trick to removing the filters and the water tank: you need to use both hands at once to press the buttons on each side. This may mean that it may not be an ideal product for a disabled user.

While I found the water tank easy to move once I learned this, I still found the filter covers a bit fussy. They don’t attach and detach in a satisfying manner.

Next, you’ll remove the tank at the base and fill it with water. The tank is well designed, with wheels underneath and a carry handle on top, so it’s easy to do. And that’s it – very straightforward.

Using the fan

10 speed settings



The fan has 10 speed settings and is quiet in operation. Even at the highest setting, all you can hear is the sound of rushing air. There’s no mechanical noise at all.

However, I did find that that the appliance whines in operation. It’s audible when the fan is on its lower settings.

The top setting is very powerful as a personal cooling fan, in part thanks to Dyson’s air multiplier technology. What this means is that more air is drawn in from behind the fan and from the sides when it’s in operation.

Presumably, however, this air won’t have just gone through the purifier, which means that it may not be the best choice for people with hay fever or similar issues, who are looking for an air purifier/fan to help with their allergies.  

However, if you don’t want the cooling feature, you can change the direction of the airflow so that it comes out at the back of the machine and doesn’t blow directly at you, so this may help.

You can turn on fan oscillation to cool a wider area. There’s also a timer which you can set to 30 minutes, or 1, 2, 4 or 8 hours, and a night mode that sets it going on its quietest level and dims the display.

The fan also has breeze mode, which varies the airflow “to mimic a cooling refreshing breeze”. I’ve yet to meet anyone who finds this mode anything other than annoying but someone out there must like it: whoever it is, take note.

Using the air purifier

Catalytic (anti-formaldehyde) filter never needs replacing

Replace HEPA filter annually at a cost of $79.99/ £65

Air quality monitor is sensitive

Th unusual element in this purifier is the catalytic filter, which breaks down formaldehyde in the air and which will never need replacing.

You might have formaldehyde in your air if you’re painting or decorating, use fuel-burning appliances or just from cleaning products and cosmetics.

This is why its excellent display is so valuable: if your air purifier doesn’t give you much information, you won’t always realise when you need to use it

Outside of this, the purifier has a three-stage, HEPA filter that cleans the air of VOCs, smaller (PM2.5) and larger (PM10) particles. This is a comprehensive filter system that should remove anything unpleasant from your air at home.

Emma Rowley / Foundry

Still, it’s hard to measure its effectiveness against air purifiers from other brands. If you take a look at our round-up of the best air purifiers we’ve tested, you’ll see that most appliances show a clean air delivery rate (CADR), which is an industry-wide system of measurement, showing how long it takes to clean a room of a given size of different types of pollutants.

However, Dyson has some objections to CADR as a measurement and doesn’t really use it. You can find out more on the Dyson website. So, all we can do is tell you how it well it worked during our testing period.

I might have been a tiny bit sceptical before using it – because of Dyson’s stance on CADR – but I was impressed in the test.

The appliance was set up in the living room, and after we had cooked lunch on the hob in the kitchen on the other side of the hall, the display showed a rise in PM 2.5 pollution in the air and assessed the air quality as poor.

My home is by no means of palatial size but this is the first time an air purifier has been sensitive enough to detect that change so far away from the kitchen. It could also detect a change in air quality from a window opening, and from a spray cleaner used in another room.

Emma Rowley / Foundry

We’ve tended to have the windows closed most of the time recently, because of the unseasonably cold weather, which doesn’t help indoor air quality. Seeing the change in air quality on the display motivated me to run the air purifier and open the windows regularly to refresh the air.

This is why its excellent display is so valuable: if your air purifier doesn’t give you much information, you won’t always realise when you need to use it.

The only issue to flag with the purifier is the ongoing cost. The 360° Glass HEPA+Carbon filter costs $79.99/ £65 to replace, which is a little pricier than those of rivals. The machine will let you know when it’s time to change it, but Dyson recommends you do so every year.

Still, whichever air purifier you buy, you’ll need to replace the filter. People question why they’re not washable, but if they have a VOC-catching carbon layer, that’ll just get saturated over time and there’s no option but to replace it.

Using the humidifier

Easy to use

Auto mode

Can be switched off if you only want the fan and purifier

The humidifier element will probably mean that this Dyson appliance is more niche than other combination fan models. Depending on where you are in the world, you might have more problems with damp than with a lack of it.

If you don’t want to use the humidifier all the time, you can switch this function off and just use the appliance as a fan and air purifier.

The humidifier couldn’t be easier to use. You just need to fill the water tank and press a single button

However, if you have your windows closed a lot and the heating on (and congratulations if you can afford that) you might find that you get sinus headaches, dry skin and cracked lips, or that there’s a lot of static, all of which can be signs that the air in your home is too dry.

Estimates of the ideal humidity level vary a bit, but it’s a range from 30-60% or from 40-70%, depending on which source you use. Within that range, you’ll find a comfortable level.

Emma Rowley / Foundry

The humidifier couldn’t be easier to use. You just need to fill the water tank and press a single button.

You can choose auto humidify or set a level from 30%-70%. Obviously, though, this is a humidifier, not a dehumidifier, so you can’t lower your room’s humidity with this appliance. We have tested the excellent Meaco Arete One if you’re looking for a dehumidifier.

Earlier models of the Dyson humidifier were reported to have problems with the deep cleaning cycle. So it was a bit of a worry when, after only using the appliance once, it wouldn’t turn on and requested a deep clean right away. However, there’s a video that shows how to do it (you’ll need citric acid and it takes an hour) and after a deep cleaning cycle, it ran perfectly.

One thing to note is that the air where I live tends towards dampness, especially at this time of year. That means we had no problems reaching a healthy humidity threshold and were unable to test how it performed in an area with very dry air.

Price and availability

At the time of writing, we could only find the Purifier Humidify + Cool Formaldehyde for sale from Dyson (US, £919.99 or 939.99, depending on the colourway; UK, £699.99).

It’s at the top end of the price range for Dyson’s air care appliances. That’s because of its multi-functionality and the fact that it can destroy formaldehyde in the air, which is a rare feature. It does everything that any Dyson fan can – except for heating.


You can buy all of the appliances that make up the Purifier Humidify + Cool Formaldehyde separately, for less than the price of this one. But then you’d be storing and using at least three separate appliances – four, if you want a really good air quality monitor – and we doubt that any would be as comprehensive and easy to use.

This is an excellent appliance that performed well during our test. We were particularly impressed with the sensitivity of the air purifier and the huge amount of data on air quality it provides, both on the display and in the app.

If you’d like to see more air purifiers and combination appliances, have a look at our round-up of the best air purifiers we’ve tested.

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