Though it was announced months ago, Gmail’s new “Package tracking” feature is finally rolling out to users. You won’t see it without toggling the option first though, so head over to the Gmail app settings on your Android or iOS device, open those specific to an account you’ve got connected, and scroll down to where it says well, “Package tracking”.
Upon ticking this and going back to your inbox, you should see a few things. First, an indicator in the list view for any email containing shipping information for a product. Said indicator appears just below the email title and it will show you how far away your shiny, new purchase is at a glance (see below).
In my case, it retroactively shows packages that have already shipped to me by giving me their expected delivery date. In another instance as with the Secretlab order, it couldn’t find the right information for some reason, so it placed a simple “Getting package status” indicator there instead. This is likely because the order has already been delivered and that email simply didn’t have all of the required info inside of it for Gmail to make the determination, but I believe this is what will show when a package is getting ready to ship as well.
Lastly, 9to5Google posted a screenshot (above) of what it looks like when you open an email and see the shipping timeline in plain view. This is similar to how FedEx and other shipping providers visually lay out information, but the benefit here is that you won’t even need to leave your inbox to see if a delivery is in transit, delivered, or awaiting shipment!
The timeline also shows an external link to track the package directly, and an “Order details” button. What’s nice, however, is that it also shows you how it’s set to arrive, be it “from the carrier” or otherwise so that there’s no confusion on the specifics. I’d like to see this evolve over time to let you directly sign for a package and do other neat things too right from your email app, but I’m a futurist and get ahead of myself pretty quickly.
If you don’t yet have this feature after searching the settings for the aforementioned toggle, don’t worry – Google is said to be placing an informational banner at the top of your Gmail app once it’s rolled out to everyone so you have an opportunity to become acquainted with it.