Nest Hub ambient screen gains air quality details

It tends to be very dry in the western parts of the United States, leading to significant wildfire activity. This summer has been particularly bad for fires, and so many are burning that many Western states, such as Colorado, are currently blanketed in smoke. Significant quantities of smoke in the air is bad for people to breathe and particularly harmful for those with conditions like asthma.

Google has announced a new way that it's helping people know about air quality outdoors before they leave home. New information about air quality is being offered on the ambient screen of Nest Hubs. The Air Quality information is presented as an Air Quality Index badge in the clock and weather widget for US users in some markets.

Along with new data on the Ambient screen, users can also ask, "what's the air quality near me?" That command will give users quality information out loud. Google has also enabled alerts to warn users when the air quality drops to an unhealthy level or when it may be unhealthy for particularly sensitive users. The information Google provides comes from the EPA.

It uses the US AQI to report air quality presented in a numerical value ranging from 0 to 500. It also offers a color scheme that is easy to learn, allowing users to tell how the air quality is in general at a glance. The higher the numerical value, the worse the air pollution is. The colors represent general categories of Good, Moderate, Unhealthy for sensitive groups, Unhealthy, Very Unhealthy, and Hazardous.

Users can find their nearest EPA air quality station using the website. The air quality information will be rolling out to Nest displays in the next several weeks. Users who don't want the information can control all related notifications and opt-out completely from seeing the HQ badge on the display in settings.