How to Add an Air Quality Widget in IOS 14
I’ve talked a lot lately about air quality – as a Californian it’s hard to avoid, but since many of the wildfires hitting the West Coast tend to be transported to the more eastern states, depending on the weather, this should make a difference. those outside the affected areas, too. I’ve already discussed many different apps you can use to check the air quality index of a specific location, but recently I found something even better to gauge if it’s a good day to go outside: a self-updating iOS widget.
Naturally, you need iOS 14 to use it. Assuming you’ve already installed the update, you only need to download one tiny free app: Bret Taylor’s Air Quality Reader . (Bless him for not charging an arm and a leg for this incredibly useful setup.)
Open the app, give it permission to use your location, and get fast, educational news on what the Air Quality Index really means:
After that, you can use the application as is; Zoom around your location to find the closest Air Quality Index sensor to you. You can’t do anything with this information, tapping on a point on the sensor does nothing, so you won’t really know which sensor the measurement represents. However, this is something.
However, the real strength of an app is its widget. Return to the home screen, press and hold anywhere other than the app icon, and tap the “+” icon in the upper left corner of the iPhone. Scroll down a bit until you see Air Quality as a widget option and click on it. Click the purple Add Widget button to do this.
You will now receive a tiny map of your location; I hope there is a sensor (or several) nearby. However, if you do not see the places you visit most often, such as your home, you can also long-press on the widget and press “Edit Widget”, which will allow you to manually set the location.
While this is a rough workaround, at least you should be able to set the widget to the closest nearest sensor if it’s too far away to appear on your map by default.
In a perfect world, the widget would just give you the number of the closest AQI sensor, or better yet, the median measurement taken from some of the sensors closest to you if you are in an area where there is a ton. I’m sure someone will soon build this into their application if they are not working on it yet. Until then, an air quality reader is the next best thing, especially if you live in an area where air quality is currently not so good. Identifying those rare days when you can go outside and breathe is a real treat.