Apps available to check on air quality in Malaysia
By Patrick Lee
The Star/Asia News Network
Tuesday, Jun 25, 2013
PETALING JAYA - Want to know how bad the haze is in your area on your smartphone?
A Malaysian-made Android application can help you decide whether or not to go outside or send your kids to school.
Entitled PSI Malaysia - Haze, the app compiles data from the Natural Resources and Environment Ministry website and provides mobile updates on Malaysia's Pollutant Standards Index (PSI).
Areas are clearly displayed along PSI levels: in Blue, Green, Yellow, Orange or Red, or according to their indicator stages.
Users can sort through different parts of Malaysia according to their respective PSI levels, states or even the nearest location to you.
They can also click on locations in the app for specific tips on how to handle the haze in these areas.
For example, the "Very Unhealthy" regions will tell you "to avoid all outdoor activity or to wear a mask if it's unavoidable".
The apps can be downloaded for free from Google's Play Store and is about 1MB in size.
At the moment, Apple devices do not have a Malaysia-specific air quality app yet.
Meanwhile, the Department of Environment (DOE) will also be providing hourly Air Pollutant Index (API) readings.
The data will be made available ministry and DOE websites soon.
Another app named Asia Air Quality on Google Play Store allows Android users to flip through more than 2,000 locations throughout Asia.
The app, which is also free, can be installed as a widget on a smartphone's home screen, and sends updates for cities in Mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Vietnam, India, Malaysia, Thailand, South Korea and Japan.
Asia Air Quality also allows a user to see readings from a Google Maps point of view.