With the rapid growth of vehicle population and vehicle miles traveled, automobile emission has become a severe issue in the metropolitan cities of China. There are policies that concentrate on the management of emission sources. However, improving the operation of the transportation system through apps on mobile devices, especially navigation apps, may have a unique role in promoting urban air quality. Real-time traveler information can not only help travelers avoid traffic congestion, but also advise them to adjust their departure time, mode, or route, or even to cancel trips. Will such changes in personal travel patterns have a significant impact in decreasing emissions? If so, to what extent will they impact urban air quality? The aim of this study is to determine how urban traffic emission is affected by the use of navigation apps. With this work, we attempt to answer the question of whether the real-time traffic information provided by navigation apps can help to improve urban air quality. Some of these findings may provide references for the formulation of urban traffic and environmental policies.