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Google will track packages from the inbox of Gmail

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Google is adding package tracking features to Gmail that should make it easier to see where your orders are at a glance as you scroll through your email. In a blog post Wednesday, the company says that in the coming weeks, you’ll see “a simple, helpful view of your package tracking and delivery information right in your inbox.”

The features will work with “most major U.S. shipping companies,” but there’s an elephant in the room: Amazon. The retailer’s shipping notification emails don’t include tracking information and don’t even show which products were shipped (perhaps because the company didn’t want Google to be able to track what you bought from it and use that information for advertising).

Gmail will show you the delivery date on the list item for each shipping email, so you won’t have to open the email and click a tracking link to find out when to expect the package. However, when you open the email, you’ll see a card with more detailed information. For now, it looks like the feature will only be available on a voluntary basis – once it’s available, you can enable it via a notification in your inbox or through the settings.

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Google spokeswoman Madison Veld told The Verge that Amazon’s email format means Gmail can’t display tracking information. She said the feature is available “to participating merchants” and that “if there is no tracking number in the merchant’s order email, the package tracking feature will not be available.”

That’s not a unique selling point for Google – in the past, other package delivery apps have struggled to keep up with Amazon – but it does mean you can’t completely rely on Gmail to track your shipments. Still, the features Google has added are handy for people who don’t necessarily need the power of a dedicated package tracking app.

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Elizabeth Haire
Elizabeth Haire
Elizabeth Haire is in charge of coverage for laptops and desktops, and he stays current on the most recent developments in the gaming and technology industries. You can find him enjoying video games, watching social media, and waiting for the next Marvel movie when he isn't writing about technology.

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