It’s almost Friday, September 25. Do you know where your new iPhone 6s or 6s Plus is? Hopefully, it’s already on the back of that UPS truck, waiting to start making the rounds, and you’re sitting at home, anxiously waiting for it to show up at your door. Or perhaps your phone isn’t in the first batch of preorders, but will be on its way within the next week or two.
Sure, you could just wait and guess when it’ll show up, but that’s not why we have tracking numbers. Here are three tools you can use to track your iPhone before it even arrives.
If your iPhone isn’t scheduled to arrive on launch day, I have some good news for you: When it does finally ship in the next few weeks, you can track its exact flight and watch it make the journey to your doorstep. FlightAware, a live flight tracking website, built a super handy iPhone 6s flight tracker that shows the flight path of all U.S.-bound UPS flights. Just look for the departure-scan time in your UPS tracking number, and cross check it with FlightAware’s map and departure board. Then, watch the map to see your iPhone fly in real time.
Your iPhone is scheduled to arrive on launch day? Check FlightAware’s map to see if the iPhone’s plane took off and landed on time. Haven’t received a shipping notification from Apple yet? Try this hack using only your phone number to dig up some info via UPS.
Let’s say your iPhone is set to arrive on launch day, and thus shouldn’t be on the plane anymore (we hope). Now what? Tracking apps will push status updates to your, ahem, older iPhone to let you know when it’s shipping status changes. I really like Slice (free), a tracking app that keeps an eye on more than just packages. Slice connects to your email account and scans your mail to find shipment info, receipts, tickets, and other expenses. It’s smart, and knows the difference between a tracking ticket and a confirmation number.
With that info, Slice tracks all of your incoming packages for you, showing their current en-route spot on a map. You’ll get a status update whenever something with your order changes, like when a package arrives at the post office for processing or when it finally reaches the delivery truck. You can decide whether or not you’d like push notifications for those updates, and Slice has an Apple Watch component as well.
If you’re set to get your iPhone later this fall, Slice will monitor your receipts and keep you up to speed when it’s finally ready to go, keeping you in the loop with status changes. You can also pin that preorder to the top of your list, so you won’t miss anything if you’ve turned notifications off. Plus, having an app act as your concierge means you don’t have to constantly open your email, click the tracking link, and check the listing. Push notifications make that much easier.
If you’re not comfortable with having an app comb through your inbox, you might prefer an app you manually control instead. Parcel (free with in-app purchases) is another tracking tool, but this one just focuses on shipments and deliveries—you won’t find any budgeting tips here. Just enter your iPhone’s shipping number as soon as you get it from Apple, and Parcel will hunt it down. (You can also scan a package’s barcode.) Though UPS is Apple’s standard carrier, Parcel supports shipping info from more than 240 shipping companies worldwide.
Parcel will display your shipment’s up-to-date info within the app, and also in the Today tab in Notification Center if your device is running iOS 8 or iOS 9. Tap on an item to see where your shipment is in the app’s map view. However, if you’d like to receive push notifications, that will require you to cough up $2 to get the premium version of Parcel, which also lets you track more than three shipments at a time.
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