Beijing Govt, Getting Serious, Releases Air Quality App

HOW do you know when something is getting serious? When’s there’s an app for it, obviously.

Tech website TechinAsia reported on Saturday that the Beijing government this week released an app to test the Chinese capital’s air quality.

According to the website, residents of Beijing had only the US Embassy’s @BeijingAir Twitter feed to check the air quality in the city.

And even then, government officials were skittish.

Now, there’s been a real reversal – a signal perhaps of how the pollution has become a very real public health issue for the Chinese government.

Not only are they publishing real-time numbers for the air’s PM2.5 (deadly particles) count, they’ve released a smartphone app so that users can check pollution stats while on the go.

Of course, there are already a lot of third party smartphone apps out there that are making use of Beijing’s official data and/or the data from the US Embassy’s twitter feed (here’s one, for example).

But this app, which was produced by the Beijing Municipal Environmental Monitoring Center (BJMEMC), is the first official smartphone app to report air quality data. It is available for both Android and iOS, and can access data from 35 different air quality testing stations around the city that report on the PM2.5 content of the air, as well as five other kinds of pollutants, TechinAsia said.

Check out some of the screenshots of the app here.

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