In their latest updates, Google Maps and iOS will show one more critical indicator: air quality. In Pixel phones (and soon, Android), the Air Quality Alert shows the air quality index of their given location. For this to work, location tracking and GPS should be on by default.
What made this possible is Google’s collaboration with trusted government agencies like the Environmental Protection Agency, and some 3rd party air monitoring services like PurpleAir.
The Air Quality Alert will also come with helpful links, a few activity pointers (whether it’s safe to hike in the mountains or stroll in the city), and a general indicator if the air is breathable or highly toxic.
This feature is not only available for Android users, but iOS can get the same benefits provided they user install Google Maps on their iPhones. To access this feature, users can tap on the button located on the upper right side of the screen, then select Air quality.
Wildfire Alert is also a new addition to the existing Google Maps features. This is possible thanks to the collaboration of Google and the National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC).
The wildfire alerts will also show connected and relevant air quality index information, making this nifty app a perfect companion for people who love the outdoors.
For now, these features are only available for US-based residents. There’s no word yet on its availability in other countries, although that would also mean Google approaching local weather monitoring agencies if they were to implement the feature for devices in the Philippines.