Gmail's copying Apple Pay's package tracking feature just in time for the holidays

Apple Pay fall 2022 promotion
(Image credit: Apple)

Google has announced that it is rolling out a new feature that will allow people to track their orders right from within Gmail. The company says that it will be available "in the coming weeks" and will work across most major shipping carriers in the United States.

That's a major distinction compared to the approach that Apple recently took with its iOS 16 package tracking feature. There, only orders placed with supported businesses and made using Apple Pay can be tracked via the Wallet app.

Track all the things

Google's announcement, made via blog post, means that package tracking details will be available right from within the Gmail app with information showing the various stages of delivery. "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."

"You can opt in to receive package tracking updates right from your inbox or in Gmail settings," Google says. "Gmail will then automatically look up order statuses using your tracking numbers and surface them in your inbox." Importantly, the company also says that  "you can opt out at any time through your Gmail settings.

Google also intends to improve on its initial rollout in the coming months, saying that it will proactively surface deliveries that have been delayed.

The new feature is set to be available just in time for the holiday season, so you'll at least know when your package has gone missing. Unfortunately, Google isn't yet in a position to actually fix that for you — but who knows, maybe that's a feature that'll make its debut next year.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.