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Google is always working in silence to improve its search engine. Some of the recent developments we witnessed during the past months are the ability for Androids to delete the last 15 minutes of Google Search history, continuous scrolling on mobile devices, the Google multisearch feature in Lens, and more. Now, here is another simple yet helpful detail the company is adding to Google Search: air quality information for some cities in the US.
“We’re always working on new ways to connect people with helpful information when they come to Google,” a Google spokesperson said. “We continue to explore ways to make authoritative information on a range of sustainability and environmental topics readily accessible and look forward to sharing more in this space soon.”
The company first released the feature in India (it is also available now in Victoria, Australia) and is now on its way to bringing it to Search in the United States with help from airnow.gov and PurpleAir. Mobile and desktop web users can enter the city in the US they want to check, and Search will provide the information about the specified location. You can type “air quality in Boston” or “air quality in Brooklyn,” and you’ll be presented with US Air Quality Index (AQI) ranging from 0 to 400 and above (also interpreted in colors from green to purple). Besides the numbers, AQI will provide an interpretation of whether the score is good or hazardous. For instance, as of writing, the city of Brooklyn received an AQI of 27, which is good.
On the other hand, given that the feature is now tailored for US users, those living in the country can simply type “air pollution near me” to instantly gather air quality information about the places around them. All the information will be placed on a designated card in Google Search, and you get the option to share it through Facebook, Twitter, or email or copy the link.
The new feature is just one of Google’s steps to making Search a more effective and practical tool that users can use in navigating their daily lives. In March, the company underlined the changes in the performance of Google Search, though it might be unnoticeable for most people. It now utilizes the Multitask Uniform Model AI that can answer complicated queries, allowing it to provide more relevant search results and identify sensitive questions about suicide, abortion, and abuse. In the same month, Google also announced a new search feature to help patients view available appointments with health care providers. When the user clicks on the available appointment, they will be directed to the practice’s website to complete the appointment booking.