Checking the local air quality is important if you live in an area with high levels of environmental pollution, or suffer from pollen-related allergies. As it turns out, you don’t need any special app to check on air quality, it is now built right into the Weather app.
Apple gathers data on air quality using the Air Quality Index (AQI). In the U.S., U.K., Germany, and India, you can access this information on your iPhone. Other countries are not yet supported.
What Is Air Quality Index?
The Air Quality Index is a numerical indicator of the air quality in your area. It gets a little confusing, because each country has its own way of determining air quality.
In the U.S., AQI is divided into six categories, associated with a color and a number. Green (0-50) is ‘Good’ air quality, Yellow (51-100) is ‘Moderate’, Orange (101-150) is Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups, Red (151-200) is Unhealthy, Purple (201-300) is Very Unhealthy, and Maroon (301-500) is Hazardous.
Each country measures their Air Quality differently, but the color codes are similar to the U.S. Regardless, the intent is the same – you should be able to quickly assess the air in your area.
How To Check Air Quality Index Using Weather
Using the Weather app is probably the quickest way to check your local AQI. Follow these steps learn how.
1. Open the weather app, and check your local weather, or the weather of a place that has an AQI, like London.
2. The weather app will should you the AQI right underneath the current conditions. If it does not present itself, scroll to the bottom of the weather details. If there is no AQI information there, it is possible that you area does not collect that data.
Checking Air Quality Index With Maps
You can also check the Air Quality Index in the Maps app.
Follow these steps:
1. Open the Maps app. Tap the navigation arrow to center the map on your current location.
2. Look for a small, rectangular box in the bottom-right corner of the screen. You should see the current temperature and the AQI number along with a category color code.
If there is no AQI code, it could be because AQI is not available in your country. It could also be that you have the AQI feature turned off.
To turn the AQI feature on in the Maps app, follow these steps:
1. Open the Settings app and tap on Maps.
2. Scroll down to Air Quality index and turn the slider on.
When this feature is on, you should be able to see the AQI of any area in the world. If you are travelling, this is a great feature.
Final Thoughts on AQI
Having Air Quality Index built into the Maps app and the Weather app make it easier to assess the world we are living in. Hopefully, the Air Quality Index feature will be expanded to more countries soon.