Real-Time Air Quality Apps - Essay Sample

Published: 2023-09-12
Real-Time Air Quality Apps - Essay Sample
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Software Ecology Technology Air pollution
Pages: 7
Wordcount: 1851 words
16 min read


Having air quality real-time data is paramount in the current era, characterized by the increased air pollution because of modern urbanization. Therefore, it is vital to have relevant information on the functionality, design, and usability of the available quality air apps. This research will explore scholarly literature materials that will help in obtaining analyzing available information on air quality apps. In conducting the literature review, the study employs both conceptual and empirical analysis of the data. The study also uses a systematic review approach to analyze the app's information. The study selects the materials using the CRAAP analysis method, which considers factors such as the content's currency. The technique also helps the researcher to identify resources based on its relevance, authority, and accuracy. The article's purpose is as well a vital factor worthy of consideration when identifying research materials. The literature review segment of this study will review air quality apps design, usability, and functionality. The materials used are primarily scholarly journal articles and newspapers from ProQuest, SAGE, and Google Scholar, among other databases. The key search words are quality air apps.

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The Breezometer App

Breezometer is a quality air app that displays all the information on a single page, making it among the most straightforward designs (Fig 1.0). Such simple models are suitable for comfortable usability. Breezometer is designed to allow the user to access all the quality air information by scrolling down or up. Its design, like most other quality air apps, has the Breezometer AQI BAQI. It also shows the current air quality on the screens. Breezometer’s design allows each Breezometer AQI BAQI value to have excellent breakpoints for the various pollutants (Pérez-Medina, Zalakeviciute, & Hernandez, 2019). In a symposium seminar on how to use simple air quality tools, the Breezometer app was highlighted among the top user-friendly and easy to use apps (Pérez-Medina et al.., 2019) (Pereira et al.,2018). Apart from being user friendly, the app is also cost-effective. Breezometer app is among the apps with the best database design that facilitates data standardization and visualization, making it have top-notch functionality (Acosta-Vargas et al., 2019).

Fig 1:0 Breezometer Air Quality App Design Source: (Papathanasiou, 2019).

Breezometer has an improved low-cost sensor that makes it easy to detect environmental changes. The Breezometer’s promoters have made the app readily available on Google search by a click of keywords to ease the users from the struggles of accessing the apps. Such features are a significant contribution to its increasing consumers and high ratings. The app functionality is also enhanced by the availability of a detailed and precise map. Breezometer app, unlike the Plume Air Report app, is more accurate because of incorporating a local station AQ in its design. However, according to users’ reviews, the app lacks advanced settings options apart from changing the degrees from Fahrenheit to Celsius (Papathanasiou, 2019). Therefore, the app needs to improve its design by including advanced settings that will enhance its functionality and usability.

Plume Air Report App

Plume Air Report is an app with a similar design as the Breezometer but incorporates a more straightforward user interface compared to Breezometer. The app uses air quality in the surrounding to suggest if the weather will be suitable or unsuitable. Plume Air Report app design incorporates an AQI Value known as the PlumeAQI PAQI (Papathanasiou, 2019). The design also entails a cloud that the user can use to determine whether the weather will be sad or happy. The cloud is also designed to inform the user of the quality of air and the available pollutions. It also provides a segment that the user can click to get the statistics and the index showing the report’s accuracy. Plume App also contains a map that indicates the user’s location. The app’s usability is simple because of the simple design that allows the user to navigate with ease (Mahapasuthanon, & Zheng, 2019). The user can use the app to achieve his goals, such as deciding whether to go out for a walk or indoors by reading the quality of air and pollution using the Plume Air Report on his or her smartphone (Papathanasiou, 2019). The app also contains options on settings tab that the user can select to customize to fit his or her needs (Fig 2.0) (Papathanasiou, 2019). The app also notifies the user on the pollution hotspots in the cities(Papathanasiou, 2019).

Fig 2:0 Plume Air Report App’s Dashboard Source: (Papathanasiou, 2019).

Despite Plume Air Report’s simple design and easy usability, some individuals have criticized the app’s functionality and assert that it has low-quality color. Therefore, Plume Air Report’s software engineers should work on improving the app’s color to attain perfect functionality reviews. The app’s report is also not reliable because it fails to incorporate a local air quality (AQ) station. The app’s managers should strategize on linking with a local AQ station to improve its reliability. Digital apps should allow local quality air stations to be involved for improved accuracy (Lombi, 2018).

Breathe Air Quality App

The Breathe is another top air quality, according to Papathanasiou, 2019 analysis of highly effective QI Apps. Breathe is a product of Tobias Tiemeding. Papathanasiou asserts that the Breathe app has ton notch functionality because of its improved sensors that can sense the nearest DIY lufdaten sensor that detects the air quality data and displays it. Breathe is color-coded to allow every user to know the quality of air in the environment. The app also has a clear map that helps the user understand the locations and air quality levels (Fig 3.0). Breathe App design also has an Apple Watch App. Idrees and Zheng rank the Breathe app among the best and cost-effective apps in their 2020 research (Idrees & Zheng, 2020).

Fig 3.0: Breathe Quality Air App Dashboard Source: (Papathanasiou, 2019).

The Breathe app is an excellent app that allows the user to monitor his or her health by observing how good or bad the weather is based on the present pollutants. Breathe app, like many other apps, despite having excellent designs, also have some challenges that limit its functionalities. One of the problems that may limit its ability to meet its purpose is numerous Google ads that are destructive to the users. Therefore, the app would need to have improvements that limit multiple ads (Papathanasiou, 2019). Breathe app is also not readily accessible in the US Apple Store among other countries. Therefore, the manufacturers should make search optimizations engines (SEO) to enhance its availability on the search engines such as Play Store and App Store (Idrees & Zheng, 2020).

Local Haze Quality Air App

Local Haze Quality Air App is one of the best air qualities according to experiments by various scholars. Sotirios Papathanasiou, in his best five air quality apps, incorporates Local Haze. According to him, the app’s design makes it readily available on the SEO platforms. The Local Haze App shares some similarities with the Breathe app in its design, such as the availability of maps. The Local Haze has an added over the Breathe app because of its new connections with other data sources such as PurpleAir, the Us Department State, and Lufdaten (Papathanasiou, 2019). Such an advantage makes Local Haze Quality App’s functionality top compared to the competing apps because of improved air quality information.

Local Haze is an easy app to use. The designers have customized the dashboard to fit the user’s needs and experience. Local Haze app design also includes a GPS sensor that detects the nearest QI local station that also facilitates its functionality and reliability by the users. The app’s design also allows it to function even when the user’s GPS location is off. However, the user must select the local air quality center of choice. Local Haze app design improves its functionality by having the map that recalls the users’ definitive history from where they can resume the monitoring process. The design also has improvements that make it easy for the consumer to share the map on social media platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook (Donoghue, 2019). Local Haze Air Quality App is also a free QI app with a high consumer confidence rating (Donoghue, 2019). Due to the increasing quality air apps competition, the Local Haze App should improve its design to remain attractive to users, such as incorporating cool and exciting songs like other apps.

AirVisual Air Quality App

AirVisual is among the best cost-effective air quality apps according to research findings (Papathanasiou, 2019). The app has detailed information that helps the users to understand the quality of air in their environment (AirVisual, 2018). AirVisual designs also inform the user about the source of the data. The app is designed with features that best serve its purpose of alerting the users on the possible pollutions. For example, the app provides the user with a platform to access the world countries’ air quality. Unlike Breezometer, which does not contain advanced settings, AirVisual includes room for making changes to the settings (Fig 4.0). The user can, for instance, make changes to fit his or her needs, such as on what notifications to receive. AirVisual has a widget for android operating software and an Apple watch app that makes it readily available upon searching. Such functions improve the app’s usability and create customer value.

Fig 4.0 AirVisual App Dashboard Source: (Papathanasiou, 2019).

AirVisual App is designed to foster compatibility with the AirVisual Node, which is a subsidiary product of AirVisual. However, the AirVisual can also function without the AirVisual Node. Some of the app's excellent features are the seven days of the weather forecast and air pollution. Like other apps, AirVisual also provides information on the components air pollutants, which include PM2.5, ozone, sulfur dioxide, PM10, nitrogen dioxide, and carbon monoxide (Nielsen & Rimpiläinen, 2018). AirVisual app is designed for both indoor and outdoor use. AirVisual also has improved usability because of its easy availability on the search optimization engines. According to Motti et al., 2019 study, AirVisual is among the apps with top air quality consumer ratings and reviews (Motti et al., 2019). Reviewers indicate that the app is easy to use even for young children because of its simplified design (Singer & Delp, 2018).

EPA AirNow

EPA AirNow air quality app allows its users to access real-time data on air condition in the locality of interest. The AirNow app is a product of the United States Environmental Protection Agency (Damon et al.., 2019). Therefore, the app as an entity of the EPA has a functionality advantage over other apps owned by private entities (Delmas, & Kohli, 2019). The app has improved usability because it can access all the local air quality stations in the United States (Pavlovic et al., 2018). Therefore, it has access to vast data that is very helpful for the users while carrying out their day-to-day activities. The app allows the user to get prior information about the air quality and pollution for ozone, among others, in their city of choice (Benedict & Evans, 2019). The app also incorporates Google maps to help the users in getting the information for their preferred locations.

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