In an effort to streamline your online shopping habit, Google’s Gmail is reportedly adding a feature that lets you track your package.
Google says that the feature will arrive in time for the holiday season, which is obviously a hectic time full of plenty of online shopping and package tracking. Users will be able to opt-in to this new feature either by a prompt at the top of their inbox or the app’s settings menu, and will be able to opt-out whenever they want. But Gmail VP of Product Ilya Brown wrote in a Google blog post:
For orders with tracking numbers, Gmail will prominently display your current delivery status in your inbox list view and in a summary card at the top of individual emails. Package tracking will be available across most major U.S. shipping carriers and will provide important details at a glance, such as estimated arrival date and status — like “Label created,” “Arriving tomorrow” or “Delivered today.”
A cursory look at my Gmail app and settings confirms that the feature hasn’t launched just yet and Google didn’t mention in their blog post when, specifically, the feature will launch but stated that it will be arriving “in the coming weeks.”
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Gmail has introduced similar features to supplement their email app before. For example, Gmail’s flight information feature will list flight information that’s connected to Google Travel at the top of receipts from the airline you bought your ticket from. While other apps like Shopify’s Shop have already distilled the package tracking process into one interface—Shop combs your email for tracking numbers and displays their order status in one list—this appears to be a first for any email provider.
What’s curious about this new feature is what it will mean for data sharing and advertising opportunities. Yeah, sure, Gmail users can opt out whenever they want, but as long as they’re opted in, Google will likely have access to a wealth of information on where you’re spending your money.
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