Gmail’s iOS and Android apps have been updated with a new interface that makes it easier to see where your packages are in transit and when they might arrive. The feature was announced last November, when Google said it would arrive “in the next few weeks”, but it’s only been spotted in the wild by the likes of 9to5Google and XDA Developers the past few days. It’s unclear exactly when it went live, but the feature seems to be available now if you know where to look.
The feature is currently opt-in, making it easy to miss if you don’t know where to look. Google’s original blog post announcing the feature had a screenshot of a prompt in the Gmail app asking if you want to enable the feature, but for now most people will have to dig through the app’s settings to enable it. On iOS, the “Track Package” switch can be found in the “Data Privacy” menu, while on Android, a switch with the same name can be found in the “General” settings section, according to android police.
Sure enough, when I enabled the feature in Gmail’s iOS app, I was able to see the new order tracking interface for a recent eBay purchase that was shipped via UPS. The new interface marks when the item has been delivered in the main Gmail inbox screen and provides a more detailed view when I touch the email itself. In contrast, the old interface doesn’t show tracking information in the main inbox view (beyond what a salesperson might include in an email’s subject line), and I have to tap a hyperlink in the email to see tracking information.
The feature does not appear to be supported by all delivery services. While it works for me in the UK with an order shipped by UPS, it doesn’t seem to show up for a similar order in the UK shipped via France-based delivery company DPD, or an order with my Netherlands-based colleague via Dutch courier PostNL. Google previously said the interface would be supported by “most major US carriers”.
But when it works, Gmail’s new package tracking feature is a nice little feature, and turning it on seems like a no-brainer.