Depending on where you live, air quality can be a daily concern. Forest fires, pollen and pollution can affect the air quality in your area. Here’s how to check the Air Quality Index on your Android phone or tablet.
There are many apps and services to check your local air quality index. IPhones and iPads can check with Apple Maps. It’s not that simple for Android devices, but there are still ways to do it quickly and easily.
What is the Air Quality Index?
The Air Quality Index is a scale used to assess air quality. In the United States, the air quality index is defined by the EPA. The scale goes from 0 to 500 and has six different color coded levels.
The assessment takes into account five different pollutants: ground-level ozone, particulate pollution, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide. The goal is to give you a simple metric for understanding the air quality at any given time.
Check air quality with the Google Assistant
If you’re using an Android smartphone or tablet, chances are it already has the Google Assistant. You can use the Google Assistant to check your local air quality without installing any apps.
There are several ways to launch Google Assistant. Say “OK, Google” or “Hey, Google” if that’s how you normally do it. Some devices can launch the Assistant by swiping your finger from the lower left or right corner, which we’ll use.
After the Google Assistant listens, say “How’s the air quality?”
Google will tell you that it can use a service called “AirCheck”. This service is an action of the Google Assistant, and it will not install anything on your phone. Say “Yes” to bring AirCheck into the conversation.
AirCheck will open and ask for a location. Say “What is the air quality in [your location]? “
You will get an Air Quality Index reading, then AirCheck will exit the conversation.
To bypass all this conversation the next time you open Google Assistant, just say, “Ask AirCheck about [your location]. “
Download an air quality app
There are dozens of apps in the Google Play Store to check your air quality. Some apps are intended only for specific locations, while others are intended for general use. One app we like is “Plume Labs: application for air quality. “
The Plume Labs app is free to download and does not contain ads or in-app purchases. You can add multiple locations, choose the air quality index for your country, receive air quality alerts, and even see the air quality on a map in some major cities.
If you live in the United States another good app to check out is the official app of the EPA. The EPA “AIRNow” application is free and ad-free. You can add multiple locations, see a forecast for the week, and view the main pollutant.
These tools can be invaluable if the quality of the air affects your daily life. Never leave the house again without knowing the conditions!