PSA: Gmail’s new package tracking interface is now live if you know where to look

PSA: Gmail’s new package tracking interface is now live if you know where to look

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 first announced last November, when Google said it would arrive “in the coming weeks,” but it’s only been spotted in the wild by 9to5Google and XDA-Developers in the past couple of days. It’s unclear exactly when it went live, but the feature appears to be available now if you know where to look.

The feature is currently opt-in, making it easy to miss it if you don’t know where to look. The original Google 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 apparently have to go through the settings of the app to activate it. On iOS, the “Package Tracking” toggle is in the “Data Privacy” menu, while on Android, a similarly named toggle is in the “General” settings section, according to Android Police.

The old interface (left) displayed at the top of an email compared to the new (right).

Sure enough, when I enabled the feature in the Gmail iOS app, I was able to see the new delivery tracking interface for a recent eBay purchase that was shipped via UPS. The new interface highlights when the item was delivered in the main Gmail inbox screen and provides a more detailed view when I type in the email itself. In contrast, the old interface doesn’t show any tracking information in the main inbox view (beyond what a retailer might include in an email subject line), and I have to press a hyperlink in the email to see tracking information.

Gmail can now extract delivery information to display it directly in your inbox. Note that this eBay delivery confirmation email has the subject line “Order delivered”. Screenshot by Jon Porter/The Verge

The feature does not appear to be supported by all delivery services. Although this works for me in the UK with an order dispatched by UPS, it does not appear to appear for a similar UK based order dispatched via France based delivery company DPD, or for an order to my colleague based in the Netherlands via Dutch Mail PostNL. Google previously said the interface would be supported by “most major US shipping carriers.”

Still, when it works, Gmail’s new package tracking feature is a neat little feature, and turning it on feels like a no-brainer.

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