What you need to know
- Google has introduced a package tracking feature to Gmail.
- The new feature will allow you to view package tracking and delivery status directly in your inbox.
- It will support major couriers in the United States and will be available in the coming weeks.
Gmail users will soon no longer have to sift through their inboxes for tracking numbers or links, as Google is introducing a new delivery tracking feature to its email client.
Google announced in a blog post (opens in new tab) that it is launching a new package tracking option for Gmail users in the coming weeks. The feature will support major couriers in the United States, assuming merchants do send tracking numbers to customers. According to The Verge (opens in new tab), this option won't be available if a merchant does not include a tracking number in the order email, as in the case with Amazon.
The package tracking feature is optional, meaning you'll have to grant Google permission to scour your Gmail inbox for order tracking numbers. This information will then be used to prominently display the delivery status of your package right in the inbox list view. Status like “Label created,” “Arriving tomorrow” or “Delivered today" will appear at a glance.
It is meant "to help you save time and stay on top of all your shipments," Google says, positioning the feature as a handy capability especially as the holiday season is fast approaching.
When you click on an order email, a summary card will appear at the top, providing you with a more detailed timeline of where your package is at a given time and when it is expected to arrive.
If you no longer want Google to search for tracking numbers on your orders, you can disable the feature at any time by going to your Gmail settings. Even though this appears to be an automated operation, it may raise privacy concerns.
On top of providing an ETA of when your order will arrive, the new feature will also "proactively show a delay label" in the coming months. The goal is to help stay ahead of your shipment, bringing "the email to the top of your inbox so you don’t miss a beat (or a package)."
The latest change marks a new improvement for Gmail, which recently received a unified interface that allows users to customize their experience while also adding apps like Chat, Spaces, and Meet to Gmail for easier access.
Jay Bonggolto always keeps a nose for news. He has been writing about consumer tech and apps for as long as he can remember, and he has used a variety of Android phones since falling in love with Jelly Bean. Send him a direct message via Twitter or LinkedIn.
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