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Home / Tips and Tricks / View Air Quality in Apple Maps to See How Dirty Towns and Destinations Are «iOS & iPhone :: Gadget Hacks

View Air Quality in Apple Maps to See How Dirty Towns and Destinations Are «iOS & iPhone :: Gadget Hacks



While the United States generally does not have the worst overall pollution, air quality can change dramatically from day to day. If you are particularly sensitive to airborne pollutants, there are apps that show how clean or polluted air is in your environment and in cities you want to travel to. However, Apple makes these apps less relevant in Apple Maps with a new feature.

Beginning with iOS 12.2 (still in beta), Apple Maps gives you the ability to view the air quality index for an area in the United States. When this option is enabled, a colored AQI label will be displayed in the lower right corner of the map below the current weather conditions indicating the reported air quality for that particular location on the screen.

Air Quality Data Displayed in Apple Maps This app is from Apple's Weather Channel, which collects information from various sources, most notably from the EPA's AirNow system, state and local agencies.

To enable the feature in iOS 1

2.2, open the Settings app for your iPhone and tap Maps in the list. Next, look for the new Climate section and then switch to "Air Quality Index". Interestingly, there is also a switch for "weather conditions", which should be activated by default. Previously, Apple was unable to enable or disable the weather icon on maps.

If you are now on a city or a city zoom in a quarter, see the AQI value and the associated color. The scale ranges from 0 to 500, where zero is the cleanest air and 500 is the most dangerous for your health. The color of the AQI label on the card is the value, with green being the safest and chestnut the most dangerous.

According to the EPA, the AQI score is calculated using five air purifiers regulated by the Clean Air Act. These include ground-level ozone, particle pollution (or particles), carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide.

  • 0-50, Green : Considered as good, with satisfactory conditions and low air pollution risk.
  • 50-100, yellow : Considered moderate, with some pollutants in the air leading to health concerns only in a small number of highly sensitive individuals, such as those sensitive to ozone.
  • 101-150, Orange : Is considered unhealthy for sensitive groups. The general population may not be affected, but older adults, children and people with lung disease are at risk from ozone. The same people as well as people with heart problems are also at higher risk from particles in the air.
  • 150-200, Red : Considered unhealthy for everyone. Exposure may cause health problems and sensitive individuals may experience more serious effects.
  • 201-300, Purple : Considered very unhealthy, and exposed to any indoor or outdoor polluted air, it exposes to a serious health risk.
  • 301-500, Maroon : Classified as dangerous. Generally, do not walk outside without protective gear, as this is an emergency situation that is likely to affect everyone with serious health problems.
Image via AirNow

Now you can see if the weather / AQI icon is in a map view with 3D Touch touch, only show the general weather forecast for that day – with no predicted air quality reports. However, since iOS 12.2 is still in beta, this could change in the final stable release.

Do not miss: Using Google Maps or Waze with Siri instead of Apple Maps


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