Home World Technology How to track online orders and shipments with Deliveries for iOS

How to track online orders and shipments with Deliveries for iOS

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Cory Bohon / TechRepublic

Deliveries is an iOS app that has been around for a while, but over the years it has stood out as the best way to manage your online shipments and track the status of deliveries from multiple shipment carriers around the world. In addition, it can interface with some online order systems to track orders from the moment they’ve been placed to the moment they’ve been delivered at your doorstep or office.

Here’s how to get the app, set up syncing, create deliveries and track shipments:

Where to get Deliveries

Deliveries is a universal iOS app that runs on both iPad and iPhone, with a companion Mac app also available. The iOS version of the app is available for download on the iTunes App Store. Unlike some apps, this is a “buy once and use” app, meaning it doesn’t use in-app purchases.

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Syncing Deliveries

Deliveries offers two ways to sync your shipments added through the app: Junecloud sync and iCloud sync. Junecloud sync is a custom sync that provides a few extra features over iCloud, namely the ability to add shipments from a web browser. This, however, requires creating a secondary account and signing into the app through it.

Regardless of what syncing solution you choose, it’s easy to set your sync preferences right from within the app:

  1. Open Deliveries
  2. Open Deliveries Settings
  3. Select Sync
  4. You’ll be prompted to choose either Junecloud or iCloud. If you’re selecting Junecloud, you’ll be prompted to sign in or register for a new account (Figure A)
  5. When you’re done with your selection, any new shipments you add to the Deliveries app will be synced with the selected service.

Figure A

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With a syncing service configured, any new shipments will appear on your other devices and stay in sync when you archive or remove a shipment.

Cory Bohon / TechRepublic

Creating deliveries and tracking your shipments

There are a few ways that you can add a new shipment to the Deliveries app. In this tutorial, we’ll show you two ways: Adding a tracking number manually, and scanning in a shipment.

Adding a tracking number manually

  1. Copy your tracking number to the clipboard
  2. Open Deliveries
  3. Select the + button to create a new shipment to track
  4. Enter your tracking number in the field (Figure B). Note: you can also enter an order number from Amazon or Apple in this field. Deliveries will automatically recognize which service the tracking number belongs to
  5. Confirm or select a different service if the app doesn’t quite get the number correct for the desired service
  6. On the following screen, enter a name for the shipment, then select “Add” to finish the process

Figure B

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When adding a shipment, Deliveries will try to match the tracking number with the carrier service, but you can also manually select a service if it doesn’t do a perfect match.

Cory Bohon / TechRepublic

Scanning a shipment

To scan a shipment, you will perform the exact same steps as above, skipping step 1. When you reach step 4, tap the barcode at the bottom of the Add Delivery screen to bring up a camera view. Position the camera so that it scans the barcode of the shipment. The app will automatically add the tracking number to the tracking number field for you.

With a shipment now added to the app, you will receive push notifications for each of the status changes as the package moves throughout the carrier’s system.

To view a shipment’s details, select an active shipment from the main screen of the Deliveries app. You’ll be presented with a detail view of the shipment (Figure C), complete with a map showing the route of the delivery, it’s current status, and estimated delivery date. Tapping on the “View details online” button will open the carrier’s website in Safari to let you view the full history of the shipment.

Figure C

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Viewing the details of the shipment shows it’s last status update from the carrier and estimated delivery date.

Cory Bohon / TechRepublic

Why Deliveries?

Deliveries has been around since the pre-iOS days, providing shipment tracking through Dashboard Widgets in Mac OS X 10.4 “Tiger.” It was also one of the first available iOS apps to track your shipments, and over the years has added features and new releases to keep up with the iOS improvements. It is now the king of shipment tracking on iOS and Mac.

Pros: Amazon and Apple order tracking; support for more than a dozen different services and carriers (see tracking information here); ability to store and archive all your old shipments for viewing later; watchOS app that provides the same tracking ability as iOS; ability to scan in a package with the iOS camera to begin tracking it; notifications when package status changes.

Cons: Sometimes push notifications for tracking can be delayed; no ability to have the app automatically archive items when they’re delivered; no ability to print off a report for delivered items, which could be useful for business users.

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