Delivery Status for iPhone

With all the talk about iPhone apps right now, I figure it’s time to make an official announcement. I can’t share a lot of details at the moment, but I am working on a version of Delivery Status for the iPhone (and iPod touch), and I hope to make it available in the next few months. I plan to support most of the services that are available in the widget, with the exception of Amazon and Google Checkout. (Hopefully I can find a way to get those working in a future version.)

What features do you want to see in Delivery Status for the iPhone? Let me know in the comments below!

Update: Thanks everyone for your interest! The app is coming along well.


This entry has 45 comments.

Greg  Smith

Greg Smith wrote on June 23, 2008:

That’s great news. Will it be able to sync with the widget version?


Paul wrote on June 23, 2008:

I second syncing with the widget version. The tedium of typing in tracking numbers would deter from the usefulness of the application. Even if syncing was not possible, if I could just send myself an e-mail that contained a special URL that fed the tracking information to the app would be sufficient for me.


Blaze wrote on June 24, 2008:

Awesome! Can’t wait.


Jono wrote on June 24, 2008:

Yea, syncing from Mac to iPhone so you don’t have to keep typing in serial numbers makes sense.

Other than that the only other thing I’d like to see in this & the widget version is support for City Link (UK delivery service).


Skunkie wrote on June 24, 2008:

Delivery Status has made my life tracking packages a zillion times easier! I am extremely excited to hear about an iPhone version.

I honestly couldn’t ask for anything more than the widget already comes with except, like fellow commenters, syncing. That is the perfect addition to the iPhone app.

Thank you for such a wonderful widget!


Guido wrote on June 24, 2008:

Hi, a good notification system. Just like in mail on the iPhone. The the red dot with the number of changes (push technic). Syncing is also perfect idea!


Chris wrote on June 24, 2008:

Support for TNT parcel service in The Netherlands!



OwlBoy wrote on June 24, 2008:

Sync with the Widget(s) and Push notifications of updates in status.

But I will also say I know both things might be very complicated. Apple has not said how much the notifications will cost, or if it would require you to run a server your self that does the package tracking and then forwards to Apple’s notification servers. If that is the case then I can see people not wanting to give you their passwords to track packages on some of the services. Let alone the cost of running a server and the need make one.

And with syncing, I don’t even know if you can do that without having to maybe use a website as the in-between. Can an iPhone/iPod Touch app tell iTunes to go out into the system and collect some arbitrary data? I doubt it :).

I might be totally wrong on these points, but it seems like both features are huge projects that might be very complicated in some ways.

Also, I would recommend charging a small amount for the Appstore version especially if you get these 2 features going.


ecoeric wrote on June 24, 2008:

I second push notifications.


MFV wrote on June 24, 2008:

That´s great.

But please integrate Amazon as soon as possible :)
Push notifications would also be a nice feature.

Mike Piontek

Mike Piontek wrote on June 24, 2008:

Syncing is something I definitely plan to offer… I don’t know if it will make it in the initial version, but it will eventually. Right now I’m focusing just on the basics, recreating the widget’s functionality, and then I’ll start working on new features like this. Owlboy: yes, I’ll probably need to store the synced data on my server. My current plan is to encrypt the data before it’s even sent to my server, send it over a secure connection, and then store it with a password.

Push notifications are going to be a much bigger challenge. Apple hasn’t give us very many details yet, but this will almost certainly require storing everyone’s tracking details on my own server, like Owlboy said. Unlike syncing, the data would have to be stored in a way that gives my server access to the unencrypted information. My server would then have to continually check all of these sites for updates and send out notifications. So there’s a big privacy concern (which makes me uncomfortable too), a lot of load on my server, and I also have concerns that the delivery companies may not be happy when they see thousands of hits coming directly from my server. It is absolutely something I want to do, and I will definitely look into it once Apple gives us the full details, but I don’t know if I’ll be able to make it happen.

I do plan to charge a small fee for the app, but I haven’t decided on a price yet. It’ll be reasonable—I want to make it inexpensive enough that you won’t have to think too hard about whether it’s worth it. This money will help cover my costs and it’ll make it easier for me to keep improving the software. The widget, of course, will continue to be free. The nice thing is that the two share a lot of code, so if the iPhone app is successful then the widget will benefit directly.

Thanks everyone for the feedback so far!


Guido wrote on June 25, 2008:

In the keynote, Scott gave an example of push notification. They said it will be stored on the Apple servers. I’m no developer, so I can be totally wrong ;)
I think it’s perfect to make the application not for free. Unfortunately, you can’t make a variable price, depending on what the customer want to pay for the app (Between $0,99 and $99,-, for me it’s €). This possibility should Apple build in their App Store. Also TNT tracking for the Netherlands, if it’s not build in yet.

Mike Piontek

Mike Piontek wrote on June 25, 2008:

Here’s a nice photo of the keynote slide about push notifications. It does show it going through an “Apple Push Notification Service”, but the notification definitely originates at a third-party server.

TNT Netherlands is pretty high on my list. Hopefully in one of the next couple of updates!

Dan Peterson

Dan Peterson wrote on June 26, 2008:

I just wanted to say that’s awesome! Greatly looking forward to it man. Try and have some fun with it. I’m working on the UI for our iPhone app right now (1Password) and having a blast!

Mike Piontek

Mike Piontek wrote on June 27, 2008:

Thanks Dan! I don’t have a ton of experience with Objective-C, so it’s been a challenge, but I’m catching on quickly. It’ll get really exciting when I can test my app on an actual phone.

Mike S

Mike S wrote on June 30, 2008:

Great idea! Sounds like its going to be a sure-fire hit. I be you’d be surprised by the number of people, especially businesses, that may use it!


Laura wrote on July 6, 2008:

Great News!
And just to echo, I’ll be unlikely to use this on iPhone if I have to type in the tracking numbers. Just too cumbersome on the iPhone keypad. However, for folks tracking packages to another location (mailroom, landlord’s, gift recipient) having iPhone provide the delivery status will be a huge boon!


Robert wrote on July 15, 2008:

Radical, I love delivery status. You’ve probably already thought of it but some way for users to add their favourite carriers, maybe some form of config file for each carrier - it would have to be reasonably technical I imagine, but could still easier than hacking away at the widget. Though, I’m not sure how this could work with an iPhone application. Separating the carrier from the main code would at least take some of the responsibility of creating them away from you and potentially result in more functionality for users. Heck, I’d pay for the app if I knew I could add support for my favourite carriers!

Eugene R

Eugene R wrote on July 17, 2008:

What about bar code recognition? Like how it’s done in Delicious Library. It would be cool if you can just “scan” the label with your camera and send a package. I don’t need it personally but I think this must be useful for all ebayers :)


Jonathan wrote on July 22, 2008:

I love the Delivery Status widget, best one I’ve ever seen. I think an App store version for the iPhone (and iPod touch) will be great, and would gladly pay $2.99-$4.99 for it. Wouldn’t recommend charging more than that, but any less and you’d be cheating yourself. You’ve done great work on this!


chrisr wrote on July 22, 2008:

Sweet. You read my mind. Looking forward to it. I’d gladly pay as well, though maybe a free version to just track a couple packages at once, and a pay version to track unlimited packages.


andy wrote on July 23, 2008:

I’m looking forward to getting this available on the iPhone. I’d glady pay something for a standalone app, but the tricky part is figuring out how much people are willing to pay for an app versus just checking out UPS or FedEx’s web sites. Personally, I think $2 is the “sweet spot” you’re looking for.

At any rate, best of luck with wrapping this up and getting it on iTunes; I’ll be keeping an eye out for it.

Bob Aman

Bob Aman wrote on July 23, 2008:

I’ll definitely be buying the app, but not until it supports syncing. Typing in the ridiculous password for my company’s wireless access point was bad enough. I’m definitely not going to be typing “1Z3V3W800317320424” into my iPhone’s keyboard.

Mike Vitoroulis

Mike Vitoroulis wrote on July 24, 2008:

Since typing tracking numbers on iPhone is cumbersome, and there is no copy/paste, how about a bookmarklet that will take the tracking number of the current page (the USPS/DHL/FedEx page..or whatever) and add a new item to Delivery Status through that.

I know Twitterrific for iPhone has something similar in that there is a bookmarklet that will run the current MobileSafari URL through TinyURL and create a new Twitter update with the link in Twitterrific, so it’s possible…


IronRoad wrote on July 26, 2008:

Great News! I like the desktop version so much that I donated, and I’ll be more than happy to pay for an iPhone version.

In fact I’ll probably donate some more after buying the iPhone version just to say thanks. I find your widget extremely helpful.

Lucas Janin

Lucas Janin wrote on July 28, 2008:

Very great news !!!
I can’t want for it ! :-)


Oliver wrote on July 29, 2008:

I agree, two versions would be great: a free version to get exposure, limitation to one tracking number and only a very few popular carriers (e.g. UPS, FedEx and DHL) would be fine for the casual user and for trying out the app. And a premium version with all features for a few bucks.

I for one always hesitate to buy software on iTunes, so does everyone I know. Two versions is more along the try and then buy lines.

I’ve tried the desktop version on my wife’s desktop mac (very nice, but I don’t have a mac yet), but an iPhone/Touch app would be something I could use myself.


Bill English

Bill English wrote on July 31, 2008:

I don’t think 2 versions (free & paid) is necessary. A couple of bucks for an application like that - I wouldn’t even think about it - it would be a for sure buy. To have all my tracking info in one easy to manage place on my iPhone? Sounds awesome! $0.99 or $1.99 would be a no-brainer for just about anyone. $2.99-$4.99 would still be a no-brainer for me, not sure about others. Heck, I paid $9.99 for that Super Monkey Ball game and I don’t play it anymore - I’d use this application a lot for a lot longer.

Keep up the good work, Mike! Really looking forward to this iPhone app. Love the Mac widget =o)


Michael wrote on August 4, 2008:

Ha, I actually thought about how nice it would be to have DeliveryStatus on my iPhone.
So I checked here and to my surprise it’s already in the works. Nice one!

Don’t care it you will charge $2,99 or $9,99. This is an instant purchase for me.

João Coutinho

João Coutinho wrote on August 5, 2008:

I’m waitting.

Danny Cohen

Danny Cohen wrote on August 8, 2008:

This would be great with the push notifications. It looks nice, and the idea of a way to import numbers from websites would be genius. Maybe make a free version with an add at the bottom (see if The Deck wants in on it like they’ve done for a couple other apps) and the few more popular carriers, and then a $0.99 version with no ads and more carriers would be no brainer?

Commandant Uno

Commandant Uno wrote on August 11, 2008:

Sweet! I love the widget and am looking forward to the iPhone version.

Aaron Gyes

Aaron Gyes wrote on August 12, 2008:

One thing to consider for push notification is that you could try to get the tracking companies to push notifications to you (still leaves privacy questions, of course), instead of hammering them once per hour. Most of the big boys let you register an email address or SMS number to be notified of updates.

Aaron Gyes

Aaron Gyes wrote on August 12, 2008:

To make it obvious: You’d have the iPhone client register the email addresses, not your own servers, so they’d never see your IP. They’d just be sending a shitload of emails to and etc.


SpY2K wrote on August 12, 2008:

Can’t wait for this! Very happy you are pursuing a touch version as the desktop widget is top notch… It might be neat to replicate the UI of the desptop widget on the iPhone by createing a similar approach as the weather widget where you can slide forward and back from package to package retaining the cool graphic UI. I would imagine a list view similar to what is presented above would be the standard view. Just a thought.


mhoutman wrote on August 19, 2008:


perhaps additional support for french post courier services



Scott wrote on August 19, 2008:

How’s the progress coming? Can’t wait for this App. I don’t care if it’s 4.99 or 9.99 it is worth it!

Let us know how it’s coming Mike & keep up the great work!



Clem wrote on August 22, 2008:

Keep up the great work Mike. Just noticed the 1st tracking app is now available on the store. I am sure it won’t be as good as yours, but i’d hate to see you lose out on $ to an inferior app :)

Mike Piontek

Mike Piontek wrote on August 22, 2008:

Thanks for all your support!

The app is coming along really well, I’m pretty excited about it. I’m very happy with how the design is progressing, and I’ve worked in a couple of cool features that aren’t in the Dashboard widget. If all continues as planned I should have 1.0 ready for beta testing next week.


kknupp wrote on August 24, 2008:

Awesome! I can’t wait.

Benjamin Ragheb

Benjamin Ragheb wrote on August 25, 2008:

The 1.0 release doesn’t need syncing or push notification. Plan for them, but don’t try to build Rome in one day just because a lot of noisy people want to move in tomorrow. Of course, this isn’t your first software project, so you already know what I’m saying.


Clem wrote on August 31, 2008:

“Noisy” People as you call us are just people excited for his work. Feel free to claim otherwise.

Patrick Haney

Patrick Haney wrote on September 4, 2008:

Good to hear another great Dashboard widget is coming to the iPhone. I’ve been using Delivery Status for what seems like forever and it’s always come in handy for me.

I’m with all the people that mentioned sync support, but I understand that this is no easy task for a developer. Obviously the initial release won’t have it, but I still think it’ll be a great app for the iPhone, especially once the push notification service becomes available.

If you need any help beta testing the app, Mike, let me know. I usually have at least 1 package I’m waiting for on any given day, so I’d be a good candidate.


Scott wrote on September 7, 2008:

Mike -

I’d be happy to assist in the Beta testing. I work for a large retail company who ships packages UPS/Fed Ex & DHL daily. Let me know if I can be of any assistance.

Buck Wilson

Buck Wilson wrote on September 8, 2008:

I’m a huge fan of the dashboard widget, and I’m really looking forward to the release of the iPhone application!

Keep up the fantastic work!

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