Google continues to offer shopping features across its many platforms for the holiday season. this time, Gmail is getting a new package tracker.
This year’s Black Friday lands on November 25th and we predict that retailers will offer steep discounts or have early sales as a way to attract customers. This means that many packages in the mail and your email account are filled to the brim with shipping confirmations. With the shipping tracker (opens in new tab)Gmail will display a simple prompt to deliver important delivery information directly to your inbox.
As Google explains, orders that have a tracking number will display green text in your inbox list view letting you know when the package will arrive. Opening this email will display a summary card at the top letting you know if the package label has been created, if it is in transit, and if it has been delivered. You don’t need to copy and paste tracking information to another website to display basic order information.
If you want more information, the summary card comes with two hyperlinks you can click. One will take you to the order details page and the other to a timeline showing where your package is.
Google says that its Gmail packet tracker will be rolling out within the next few weeks first to mobile platforms before moving to desktop computers a few months from now. The feature will track packages that come through the United States Postal Service, UPS and FedEx, according to a company spokesperson. You can opt out of tracking updates by going to your Gmail settings and turning them off there. There are plans to extend the feature by adding a delay tag to let you know if the package is going to be late. Similar to the desktop tracker, the lag tag will be released in the coming months.
However, there may be some issues with packages from Amazon. A Google spokesperson told The Verge (opens in new tab) that Amazon’s unique “email format” will not allow Gmail to display tracking information from these orders. They go on to say that the feature won’t work “if a tracking number is not included in the merchant’s order email.” We’re told Google is considering expanding to other carriers in the future, which could mean Amazon support, but nothing has been set in stone at this time.
Packet Monitor sounds like a really handy tool, but we have some privacy concerns. According to Google, the tracking program works by having Gmail scan tracking numbers in your inbox to display package status. The same spokesperson revealed that the tracker does not include any new protection in addition to what Gmail already has (opens in new tab). If this is a concern, we recommend upgrading your device’s security with a protection suite.
Be sure to check out ours report from earlier in the week about updating Google’s search engine to include new “Special Offer” tags on product thumbnails and new pricing information.