Air Now is a Windows Phone app that tells you the quality of the air outdoors, pretty much anywhere in Europe and North America. If you like, you can set up a Live Tile to give you the information at a glance.
If you suffer from asthma or other respiratory complaints, it could be very helpful in preparing for the day ahead, or making the decision whether or not today is a good day to be in the city centre.
It’s a nice-looking, well-made app. If the information it provides is useful to you, you should download it.
We liked it most because of its integration of HERE maps and services, of course, and caught up with developer George Spyrou to find out more.
Here Three Sixty: Who are you and how did you get here?
My name is George Spyrou and I am a Software Engineer from Greece.
I have 10+ years of experience in Software Development and I strongly believe that Mobile is a major breakthrough and opportunity for developers to create apps and services that affect the daily lives of users.
HTS: How did you come to make Air Now?
GS: While researching for a GIS project I found out about the European Enviromental Agency Map Services. The near real-time feature of the Air Quality data combined with the Live Tiles functionality of Windows Phone made me think that this was a good idea for a mobile app for notifying users about air pollution levels near their location.
HTS: It’s free and has no ads. That’s very nice of you! Why?
GS: Actually, the model has changed recently. The initial version was free to try and the Live Tiles functionality was a paid feature for $0.99. I decided to make it free to get more visibility on the Windows Phone Store and get more users using the app, while trying to improve it based on user feedback.
HTS: We see that Appcampus [a joint-funded effort from Nokia, Microsoft and Aalto University in Finland] is referenced on your Twitter description. How did that help?
GS: The Appcampus programme was extremely helpful to the development of the Air Now app. Besides the funding part, participation at the Appcademy programme in November 2012 provided valuable insights on all the aspects of mobile apps (marketing, design, communications, legal etc.)
Thanks for Air Now, and your time talking to us, George. Good luck with your next app!
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