Depending on where you live, air quality can be a daily concern. Forest fires, pollen and pollution can affect air quality in your area. How to check the air quality index on your Android phone or tablet.
There are many apps and services out there to check your local air quality index. iPhones and iPads can control with Apple Maps. It̵7;s not that simple for Android devices, but there are still ways to do it quickly and easily.
RELATED: How to check your local air quality index on iPhone or iPad
What is the air quality index?
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 0-500 and has six different color-coded levels.
The rating takes into account five different pollutants: ground-level ozone, particulate pollutants, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide. The goal is to give you a simple measure of understanding air quality at any given time.
Other countries, such as the United Kingdom, Germany and India, use their own Air Quality Index method, but the concept is the same.
Check the air quality with Google Assistant
If you use an Android smartphone or tablet, there is a very good chance that it already has Google Assistant. You can use Google Assistant to control your local air quality without installing any apps.
There are a number of different ways to start Google Assistant. Say “OK, Google” or “Hello, Google” if that’s the way you normally do it. Some devices can start the assistant with a swipe from the lower left or right corner, which is what we will use.
When Google Assistant listens, say “What is air quality?”
Google says it can use a service called “AirCheck.” This service is a Google Assistant action and does not install anything on your phone. Say “Yes” to get AirCheck into the conversation.
AirCheck will open and request a seat. Say “What is the air quality in? [your location]? ”
You get a reading of the air quality index and then AirCheck leaves the conversation.
To bypass this entire conversation the next time you open Google Assistant, simply say “Ask AirCheck about [your location]. ”
Download an air quality app
There are dozens of apps in the Google Play Store to control your air quality. Some of the apps are for specific locations only, while others are for general use. One app we like is “Plume Labs: Air Quality App.”
The Plume Labs app is free to download and does not contain ads or purchases in the app. You can add multiple locations, select the air quality index for your country, get air quality warnings, and even see the air quality on a map in selected major cities.
If you live in the US, another good app is to check out the official app from the EPA. The EPA app “AIRNow” is free and without ads. You can add more locations, see a forecast for the week and view the primary pollution.
These tools can be invaluable if air quality is something that affects your daily life. Never leave the house again without knowing the conditions!