How To View Your Location’s Air Quality Index From Your Mac’s Menu Bar

How To View Your Location’s Air Quality Index From Your Mac’s Menu Bar

You really have no reason to think about air quality unless there’s a problem. And when there’s a problem, there’s a problem. I live in Northern California, and the tragic Camp Fire has created incredibly unpleasant — if not unsafe — conditions throughout the area.

I had been checking sites like AirNow on a regular basis, but that gets a little tedious and depressing, when you see regular images like the one to the right. (Red means the air quality is pretty bad; purple means it’s really bad.)

Thankfully, software engineer Gabriel Lewis wrote a little app a few days ago that drops the air quality index directly in your Mac’s menu bar. All you have to do is supply a zip code, and the app — simply called “Air” — will refresh on a regular basis with your area’s air quality index. The number will even change colours to help you figure out whether conditions are great (green) or problematic (red) at a glance.

Considering the recent dust storm in Sydney this would have been a great little app to have.

As I type this, it’s slowly starting to rain where I live in Northern California, which means that the air has gotten a lot better since yesterday, and the Air app’s notification has turned green. My lungs hope it stays that way for a few days, at least.

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