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Gmail is ready to help you track your Christmas packages

Google is rolling out a feature for its Gmail email service that lets you track your packages directly from within the app.

With the holiday period (or simply Christmas to Brits) upon us, ’tis the season for a near constant bombardment of package dispatch emails and missed deliveries.

As revealed in a new blog post, Google will be addressing this issue over the coming weeks with a new feature that lets you track packages from directly within the Gmail inbox. Emails containing tracking numbers will be surfaced, together with the current delivery status, both in the inbox entry and in a summary card at the top of individual emails.

Information such as delivery dates and status updates (‘label created’, ‘delivered today’ etc.) will appear in green. In future, Google plans to add a label and to surface the relevant email when there’s a delay to one of your packages.

You’ll need to opt in to this feature once available, either from your inbox or in Gmail settings. You can opt out at any time from the settings menu.

There’s an annoying catch here. As is often the case with new Google features, it will seemingly only be available to US customers for now. Or at least, that’s what we’ve drawn from Google’s assertion that the new feature will be compatible with “most major U.S. shipping carriers”.

Apple recently released its own package tracking feature to iOS 16, but in a much more limited form. This implementation works in the Wallet app with supporting businesses, and only on orders that use Apple Pay payments.

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