If you are concerned about the local air quality due to forest fires, pollen, or environmental pollution, you can check the current Air Quality Index (AQI) using from your iPhone or iPad. Currently, Apple only supports AQI verification in certain countries (including US, UK, Germany, and India), but it is expected to be rolled out in other regions to the future.
What is an air quality index?
A Air quality index (AQI) is a digital indicator of the regional outdoor air quality in your area. Each country has its own way of determining air quality. For example, The United States Air Quality Index is defined by the EPA as a composite scale from 0 to 500 that integrates information on five different pollutants (ground-level ozone, particulate pollution, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide) into a single index.
The American AQI is divided into six categories, each with its own color. An AQI above 100 means that the air quality is dangerous for sensitive groups. As AQI increases, the number of people affected by poor air quality increases.
Air quality index (AQI)
Level of health problem
0 to 50
51 to 100
101 to 150
Unsanitary for sensitive groups
151 to 200
201 to 300
301 to 500
Countries like United Kingdom, Germany, and India each uses their own custom AQI methodology, but the color codes are similar to the U.S. There are too many variations in AQI systems to list them all here, so make sure of find the AQI in your region to understand exactly how it works.
Regardless of the country, the goal of each AQI is the same: to allow you to quickly see if your local air is breathable.
How to Quickly Check AQI on iPhone or iPad
One of the fastest ways to check the AQI for your region is to use Apple Maps on your iPhone or iPad running iOS or iPadOS 12.2 or later. To do this, open the “Apple Maps” app and then press the navigation arrow to center the map on your current location.
Once the map is properly positioned, look for a small rectangular box in the lower right corner of the screen. If your country is supported, you will see a local temperature and AQI number as well as a category color code.
If you don’t see an AQI number around, there could be two reasons. The first is that AQI may not yet be available in your country through Apple Maps. It is also possible that the AQI function is disabled in the Apple Maps settings. Go to Settings app> Maps> Air Quality Index and tap the toggle to turn it on.
The handy thing about using Maps to view AQI is that you can use it to check AQI from any region of the world where the feature is supported. Reposition the map, zoom in enough, wait a moment, and the AQI for that area will appear in the corner of the screen.
You can also use the Apple Weather app to quickly check AQI. Open the preinstalled “Weather” app, then scroll to the bottom of your local forecast page. There you will see “Air Quality Index” and “Air Quality” side by side.
As with Apple Maps, you can use the Weather app to check the AQI of other areas if you add them as forecast locations in the app. This can be very handy if you are planning to travel to an area and want to learn about AQI in the area before you arrive.