Package delivery and order tracking is one of the new features coming to the Wallet app in iOS 16. It’s technically still in beta, but none of the merchant partners have released support yet, so it’s essentially unusable. Hopefully, we’ll see something with the release of iOS 16 in the fall; Presumably, the Apple Store app will support it so you can track your new iPhone on your old iPhone.
However, Apple recently published sample payloads as examples in their developer documentation, which gives us our first look at the UI in action.
Once the system is live, after making a purchase from a subsidiary retailer, the first thing you need to do is add the order to the Wallet app. This can happen automatically if you purchase the product on an Apple device itself – the merchant’s website will insert the order information into your Wallet. You can also add orders manually by clicking on a link.
Updates to the order are then automatically pushed to the user’s Wallet app. Supporting partners will also be able to configure push notifications when the details about the order change.
As shown in these screenshots, the Orders screen can be expanded very quickly. A delivery will show its status, tracking status, a link summary for tracking, expected date of arrival, a list of items in order with thumbnails, and more.
Example bakery orders include a button to view a scannable barcode at pickup as well as a bakery’s address with a one-tap action to navigate to that address on a map.
Orders are saved in Screen and synced via iCloud in the Wallet app so you can find them later, even down the road. The entire process is private by design, and data is synced using end-to-end encryption, so Apple doesn’t know what your orders are.
Generating order payloads that are viewable in the Wallet app naturally requires coordination on the merchant side to communicate with Apple’s back end. It remains to be seen how many companies will adopt this feature.
Apple has announced partnerships with Shopify, Narvar and Root e-commerce platforms, so expect it to start rolling out. They have promised to roll out the wallet order tracking integration later this year.
At the very least, you can certainly expect that the Apple Store app will be updated with iOS 16 to support this feature. This will mean that you can track the progress of declining Apple hardware purchases directly in the Apple Wallet app.
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