What you need to know
- Google is experimenting with a new Package Tracking Early Access Program.
- It allows the company to show important tracking important from within the search engine.
- The Early Access program does require courier services to opt-in.
If you appreciate Google's Assistant's tidy little reminders of your incoming packages, you'll be pleased to know that Google is looking to do something similar for its search engine. Via the rather verbosely-named Package Tracking Early Access Program, the search giant wants to allow users to see most of their important tracking information right from the search engine.
As can be seen in the example on the right, searching for 'package tracking' with the name of your courier service will open an applet within the search results that let you key in your package number and get access to all the relevant information, like the expected delivery date, as well as a timeline of where your package has been since it was sent out.
The feature does require shipping companies to opt-in — which they can do so here. Google will also require carriers to "provide a RESTful JSON or XML API that returns the package tracking information", though the company's engineers promise to help make already existing APIs compatible with its system in case the courier can't manage it by themselves.
It's also available worldwide — always nice to see for yours truly, all the way from the warm heart of Africa.
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