Finest Package deal Monitoring App for iOS and macOS 2020

Photograph: Michael Hession

Our choose

Parcel

Parcel

Straightforward to make use of and fast to replace, Parcel has the whole lot it’s worthwhile to keep on prime of shipments from USPS, FedEx, UPS, and extra.

Parcel, for iOS and macOS, is essentially the most full-featured, easiest-to-use package deal monitoring app accessible for Apple gadgets. It takes solely seconds so as to add monitoring numbers in a wide range of methods, and the understated design permits you to simply see the place your deliveries are and once they’ll attain their vacation spot. Push alerts usually come sooner than with different monitoring apps, and the app syncs throughout all Apple gadgets and Parcel’s web site. Parcel prices $3 a yr if you wish to monitor greater than three packages without delay, however in contrast to the entire apps in our take a look at group that don’t cost a price, Parcel doesn’t comb via your electronic mail to gather private knowledge and promote it to advertisers. We predict privateness is value paying for.

The power to shortly and simply add a monitoring quantity is a very powerful characteristic of any package deal monitoring app, and Parcel affords a number of methods for you to take action, every of which is so simple as (and even less complicated than) the corresponding possibility in another app. In case you’re simply receiving packages, the primary technique you’ll in all probability use is manually including a monitoring quantity. You are able to do so contained in the app or with a protracted press of the app icon in your homescreen. When you’ve got a monitoring quantity already copied, Parcel will routinely acknowledge it; if not, you’ll be able to manually kind within the quantity. Or, if in case you have the shipping-label barcode, you’ll be able to merely scan it by urgent the barcode icon.

Three screens from the Parcel iOS app showing different parts of the package tracking process.
Parcel permits you to simply see your in-progress and delivered packages (left), in addition to detailed data on their routes (middle). It additionally has a easy display for including new monitoring numbers (proper).

Regardless of the way you add your quantity, Parcel nearly all the time acknowledges the package-carrier service (it helps greater than 300) immediately and accurately, routinely filling the identify in with out your enter. In some circumstances, when two carriers each use the identical monitoring quantity, you could want to pick out the right one. This three-step number-entry course of—faucet, enter the quantity or scan, and ensure—is the best of any app we examined. Different apps we examined required us to decide on the service as effectively, making the method take just a bit longer. In Parcel, you can too select so as to add an outline to any cargo, such because the identify of the merchandise inside or who the package deal is for, nevertheless it’s not required.

Along with copying and pasting a monitoring quantity or scanning a barcode, Parcel lets you ahead emails with cargo data to a novel handle. From there, it routinely provides the monitoring quantity to the app. This isn’t the one app that has such a characteristic (our runner-up choose, Deliveries, does as effectively), however Parcel supplies clear directions on easy methods to arrange automatic-forwarding guidelines for Gmail and iCloud accounts, which implies much less work in your half to look it up or in any other case determine it out. (In case you ahead emails from Amazon, you’ll be able to log in to your Amazon account via the Parcel app to have it pull within the identify of the merchandise that’s delivery. The developer informed us that the app doesn’t retailer any of the login data itself; moderately, the data is saved on-device. In our testing, the app didn’t all the time preserve us logged in.)

Parcel shows all of your deliveries in a single record (with moderately drab, uniform coloring), and when packages have a recognized arrival date, it exhibits a countdown subsequent to every such itemizing. You’ll be able to kind the record by when the monitoring was final up to date, the date objects have been added, the estimated supply date, or alphabetically. The app additionally has a filter to indicate all deliveries, energetic deliveries, latest deliveries, or accomplished deliveries; in testing, we discovered choosing energetic deliveries to be notably useful, though you could need to see accomplished deliveries relying on what you’re utilizing the app for. At any time, you’ll be able to have 50 energetic shipments being tracked, or 200 whole, together with accomplished deliveries. When you attain the restrict, it’s worthwhile to delete previous, accomplished deliveries as a way to add new ones.

A video clip showing an iPhone screen recording of scanning a barcode and setting up package tracking within the Parcel iOS app.
Scanning a monitoring quantity in Parcel is sort of instantaneous, and the app routinely detects the supply firm. Video: Nick Man

Tapping on any supply pulls up its monitoring historical past, in addition to a map charting its geographical progress from sender to recipient. The menu within the prime proper of the display affords plenty of useful choices, together with contacting the shipper’s customer support telephone line and sharing the cargo data. Parcel lets you ship monitoring data to anybody, whether or not they have the app or not—if you faucet the share button, it routinely generates a webpage with the complete monitoring information. The Deliveries app, however, requires the recipient to have the app put in to see what you share.

As soon as we narrowed our finalists to Parcel and Deliveries, we made certain they every had the identical set of monitoring numbers entered in order that we might see how they in contrast over the course of a number of deliveries. We found that, in nearly each case, Parcel would ship us push notification updates earlier than Deliveries, which appeared to do periodic checks of all of the numbers it was monitoring and ship a slew of updates without delay. It’s true that the majority updates aren’t essential or time-sensitive—do you actually need to know immediately that your new iPad has arrived on the FedEx hub in Memphis?—but when Parcel can let {that a} package deal has made it to your door sooner than the competitors, that’s an actual benefit, particularly if you happen to stay in an space the place packages are inclined to get snatched. By default, you obtain notifications solely between 8 a.m. and 10 p.m., however you’ll be able to toggle that setting to get alerts every time a package deal has an replace.

Parcel is accessible on each main Apple platform: iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple Watch (alas, there’s no Apple TV app). There’s additionally an online app which you can pull up from any browser. All of those keep in sync due to Parcel’s personal cloud service, not iCloud. The app’s developer, Ivan Pavlov, has saved the software program effectively up to date and has been fast so as to add new options, introducing them with every model of iOS. Parcel works with Siri voice-control shortcuts, and it has a widget for iOS 14 that may present the standing of a handful of shipments in your homescreen.

Most package deal monitoring apps are free to obtain, with an annual subscription price of $5 or much less. Parcel prices $3 yearly, though if you wish to attempt it out before you purchase, you’ll be able to monitor as much as three packages at a time with out paying. As a result of nearly all of the apps we thought-about are cheap, value wasn’t a deciding issue for us. The nominal price is totally value it for what you get.


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