Google Nest Hubs are handy little weather stations. You can easily see the current temperature and look into the forecast. They can also show you information about the air quality (AQI). In some places, that’s important to know.
In late 2021, Google introduced some air quality features for Google Assistant smart displays. The AQI is shown with the weather on the ambient screen, plus you can ask for the current conditions and get alerts when it reaches unhealthy levels.
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What Is AQI?
“AQI” stands for “Air Quality Index.” It’s simply a unit of measurement for the quality of the air. The higher the number, the worse the air quality. When there’s a lot of smoke, pollen, or pollution in the air, the AQI number is high.
There are several services that record air quality and publish AQI numbers. Google is using AirNow, which is run by the EPA. The index is specific to the United States, which—at the time of writing in September 2021—is where this Nest Hub feature is available.
The air quality index runs from 0-500 with six different color-coded levels of severity. 0-100 is the range you want to be in, anything over that starts to get unhealthy. The goal of the AQI is to provide a simple way to see the air quality at any time.
Of course, you don’t need a Nest Hub to check the AQI. You can easily check it on your iPhone, iPad, or Android device as well.
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How to Check Your Local Air Quality Index on the Nest Hub
The AQI features on the Nest Hub are not available everywhere. If the AQI doesn’t automatically appear on the display, you can check the settings to manually enable it. However, you still may see nothing if your area isn’t supported.
First, open the Google Home app on your iPhone, iPad, or Android smartphone or tablet and find your smart display in the list of devices.
Now, tap the gear icon in the top-right corner to open the Settings.
Next, go to the “Photo Frame” settings.
Scroll down to “Air Quality” and select “Show.”
If that doesn’t put the AQI on the ambient display, you’re not out of luck. You can still ask Google Assistant “What’s the air quality near me?” to see similar information on-demand, but it won’t be ever-present on the display.
That’s all there is to it! The AQI is not something everyone thinks about, but if you live in an area with frequent wildfires or bad pollution, it’s part of your life. The Nest Hub smart display features make it a little easier to keep tabs on.
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