As much as we’ve adopted many of the technology marvels of the 21st century, we still do a few things the old fashioned way. Amazon isn’t the world’s largest online retail store because of drones. It’s trucks that deliver the packages. Old tech, meet new tech.
How do you track your packages? Most online retailers these days will have a built-in tracking mechanism, but if you use multiple online retailers then you have to login and visit multiple website pages for delivery updates. There’s a better way. Actually, there are two better ways.
Mac. iPhone. Watch.
The internet was made for buying products. No longer are you limited to the stores near where you live or work. Forget the drive. The shopping world is your oyster mall, and about anything you can imagine can be purchased online. For Mac users, as well as iPhone and iPad users, tracking is made easier by these two apps. The first is Deliveries, which I reviewed just last year. Also available on Mac, iPhone, and Watch is Parcel, which works much the same way– it tracks your packages after shipment and during delivery– and is worth all the four and five star reviews; Mac, iPhone, iPad, and, yes, Watch.
All that’s really required to use Parcel on your Mac is the carrier name and the tracking number. Parcel supports more than 300 different delivery companies, including all the major ones from FedEX to UPS to USPS, DHL, TNT, and many others, both international and regional.
Once you’ve entered the correct information Parcel checks on status and delivers push notifications which work on Mac, iPhone, iPad, and Watch.
Parcel uses Apple Maps to locate the package delivery, but if you’re away from your Apple products it can also be viewed on a Web Access page.
Unlike Deliveries, however, the Mac version of Parcel is free but limited to tracking three shipments at the same time. After that you’d need to subscribe to the annual premium service and that’s priced at $2.99 each for the macOS and iOS versions.
I would appreciate more clarity on how the delivery tracking works on Parcel. The developers say tracking data is collected on their servers but there’s no hint of security capability. Still, Parcel works very quickly to push out notifications, and that means you can get notices on all devices at roughly the same moment.
The feature that has me most excited about package delivery notifications is the Watch option. All you need is the status notification which ranges from in transport to delivered, including time and date.
Getting a notification on Watch that a package is on the way or out for delivery is sweet.