E-commerce is a booming industry and it can be difficult for customers to keep track of all expected shipments. You can install one of the many package tracking apps available or simply use the emails that each seller sends you. Before last year’s Black Friday, Google announced a new package tracking feature in Gmail that intelligently condenses communications from sellers and shipping services into clear package tracking data. We now have the option to manually enable this feature.
Google has long summarized product and seller information received in email in a field below the subject line, complete with a quick link to track the product. This information panel has now been further refined, as noted by 9to5Google. It includes Material You dynamic themed elements, quick links to package tracking and order information, and a three-step progress bar that shows the order status (placed, shipped, and delivered). The title of the card contains the name of the product and the estimated date of arrival in green. The latter can also be seen under the subject line of the e-mail in the inbox list view.
From left to right: Old package tracking card; new package tracking card with progress indicator; new package tracking card in mailbox; new package tracking card without progress bar
Interestingly, the progress bar did not appear for all pending online orders during testing. Instead, we’ve only spotted a more condensed version of the original design so far. Sometimes this card said that the order was expected even if it had already been delivered. This could be because some mails don’t contain all the information needed to show the progress bar, but it could also be a design change that Google hasn’t talked about yet.
The new interface is already being rolled out and a related message should appear in the app. However, if you don’t see it, you can enable it right away with a few simple steps:
- Open the Gmail application on your Android device.
- Tap the hamburger menu in the upper left corner to open the navigation drawer.
- Scroll down and select Settings.
- Tap your email address.
- Scroll down and enable the Package tracking option below General platoon.
A similar implementation is in the works for Gmail’s web interface, but Android and iOS users can enjoy this feature immediately. The new integration makes Gmail even more useful for average users and also ensures that new features are in line with Google’s Material You design guidelines.