Problems with the Air Quality Index on the Apple Watch in the UK

Last week, Dave Mark posted an article about Apple Maps and the air quality index on The Loop. I had chatted with Dave before he had published this, pointing out that the system used in the UK is different from that in the US. In the US, the scale used goes from 1 – 500, and the UK uses a scale from 1-10.

Here in the UK, I do see the current AQI on Apple Maps, with the appropriate number, and a color that gives a visual idea of where it is on the scale. As you can see here, the AQI is quite poor, because there is very high pollen (death to rapeseed!), and Maps shows that with an orange background.

Aqi maps

My Apple Watch, however, gives different information. It shows that the AQI is indeed 8, but if you look at the AQI complication, you can see that the little dot is down at the green end of the scale. When I tap the complication, it says that the AQI is Good, which is clearly wrong.

Aqi watch2     Aqi watch1

It seems that, while the weather app on the Apple Watch is getting the right number, it’s not using the appropriate scale. It thinks that this is the US scale, so no matter what the AQI is in the UK, this will show as Good, because it’s matching it to a scale that goes up to 500.

This is a minor problem of localization: the Apple Watch knows where I am, and should provide the correct information. But it’s a pretty dumb one, that is easy to fix.

2 thoughts on “Problems with the Air Quality Index on the Apple Watch in the UK

  1. You might try Air Matters and it’s Apple Watch complication. Apple’s AQI doesn’t work in Canada but Air Matters does.

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