After almost 20 years since its debut, Gmail is still one of Google’s most popular products for both regular users and businesses. Gmail has improved steadily over the years, but Google hasn’t run out of ideas. Case in point: Google is adding integrated package tracking to Gmail, which looks like a real time-saver for those who are constantly checking in with their shipments.
Anyone who’s ordered things online, which has to be almost everyone with a Gmail address, has probably looked up tracking information for those shipments. You often get emails that place tracking just a few clicks away, but it still gets tedious when you have to check it multiple times. In the coming weeks, Gmail will save you a click by putting tracking information right in your inbox.
Emails that contain tracking info will have a handy estimated delivery date. Google says this feature will work with “most major U.S. shipping carriers.” When you open the email, Gmail will display a more detailed version of the order status. Based on the shipping status, Gmail will tag these emails as “Label created, Arriving tomorrow, or Delivered today.”
All the above functionality will be available when the feature rolls out in time for the holiday gifting season. In the coming months, Google says Gmail’s shipping awareness will expand to support an understanding of package delays. Not only will the label change to “Delayed” automatically, but Gmail will also bump the email back to the top of your inbox to make sure you’re aware. This is a bit similar to how Google’s dearly departed Inbox app would use its bundles feature to help you keep track of packages. It’s not the same as having Inbox back, but perhaps those who still mourn the loss of the app will find some solace in Gmail’s package tracker.
This is not the first time Google has plugged into the wealth of data in Gmail. Google Pay also grabs loyalty card info from emails, and the company’s various travel planner services can present travel and lodging info. As the feature rolls out, Gmail will ask for your permission to display tracking information. You can refuse if you want, but there’s no reason to — the data is already in Gmail, and Google doesn’t use it for ads anymore. So, you might as well get something out of the deal.
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