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Last year, Google started prominently showing air quality (AQI) data to Nest Hub and other Smart Display users. You can now also search for air quality on Google to get detailed information.

Searching “air quality” in the United States shows an identically named card. You can specify a city in the query to find data for a location other than your current one.

Update: Besides the US and India, this data is also available for Victoria (EPA Victoria) in Australia. Meanwhile, this city-level data can also be found by searching “air pollution near me.”

In the United States, this data is “From airnow.gov and PurpleAir,” and you’re able to “Choose area” with key locations offered. There’s a map, which follows light or dark mode settings, with color-coded pins of available stations in the area. 

Below the map is an explanation of the US Air Quality Index (AQI) and station list. Each entry can be expanded for a text description of what healthy conditions are and to see when it was last updated, as well as the specific provider.

If there are not enough stations, you can enable “include air sensors,” but Google notes how “sensor data may have unknown performance and inaccuracies.” You cannot zoom in on the map so you have to rely on dot colors.

This feature first rolled out in India last November and is dependent on local partners. The US rollout looks to have been more recent. It works on both mobile and desktop web, as well as the Google apps on Android and iOS.

This feature is quite useful and comes after Google Weather in 2018 stopped displaying air quality data. The next step would be to merge AQI with the Weather app on Android as well as its widgets.

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About the Author

Abner Li

Editor-in-chief. Interested in the minutiae of Google and Alphabet. Tips/talk: abner@9to5g.com