android air quality hero image

Depending on where you live, air quality can be a daily concern. Wildfires, 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 plenty of apps and services out there for checking your local Air Quality Index. iPhones and iPad can check with Apple Maps. It’s not quite 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?

The Air Quality Index is a scale used to rate the quality of the air. In the United States, the Air Quality Index is defined by the EPA. The scale runs from 0-500 and has six different color-coded levels.

Color Air Quality Index (AQI) Level of Health Concern
Green 0 to 50 Good
Yellow 51 to 100 Moderate
Orange 101 to 150 Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups
Red 151 to 200 Unhealthy
Purple 201 to 300 Very Unhealthy
Maroon 301 to 500 Hazardous

The rating takes five different pollutants into consideration: ground-level ozone, particle 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.

Other countries, such as the United Kingdom, Germany, and India, use their own Air Quality Index methodology, but the concept is the same.

Check Air Quality with Google Assistant

If you use an Android smartphone or tablet, there’s a very good chance it already has Google Assistant. You can use the Google Assistant to check your local air quality without installing any apps.

There are a number of different ways to launch Google Assistant. Say “OK, Google” or “Hey, Google” if that’s how you normally do it. Some devices can launch Assistant with a swipe from the bottom left or right corner, which is what we’ll use.

google assistant android gesture

Once the Google Assistant is listening, say “What’s the air quality?”

google assistant aircheck action

Google will tell you it can use a service called “AirCheck.” This service is a Google Assistant action, and it won’t install anything on your phone. Say “Yes” to bring AirCheck into the conversation.

google assistant aircheck action

AirCheck will open and ask for a location. Say “What’s the air quality in [your location]?”

google assistant aircheck action

You’ll get a readout for the air quality index and then AirCheck will leave the conversation.

google assistant aircheck action

To bypass all of this 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 for checking your air quality. Some of the apps are only for specific locations, while others are for general use. One app that we like is “Plume Labs: Air Quality App.”

The Plume Labs app is free to download and doesn’t contain ads or in-app purchases. You can add multiple locations, choose the Air Quality Index for your country, get alerts about air quality, and even see air quality on a map in select major cities.

EPA air quality app for android

If you live in the United States, another good app to check out is the official app from the EPA. The EPA “AIRNow” app is free and without ads. You can add multiple locations, see a forecast for the week, and view the primary pollutant.

plume air quality app for android

These tools can be invaluable if air quality is something that affects your daily life. Never leave the house again without knowing the conditions!

Profile Photo for Joe Fedewa Joe Fedewa
Joe Fedewa is a Staff Writer at How-To Geek. He has been covering consumer technology for over a decade and previously worked as Managing Editor at XDA-Developers. Joe loves all things technology and is also an avid DIYer at heart. He has written thousands of articles, hundreds of tutorials, and dozens of reviews.
Read Full Bio »