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Tech review: Shoppers wll love these great shipping apps

The AfterShip app can help you track packages

The AfterShip app can help you track packages from lesser-known shippers. Credit: Newsday/AfterShip

Last week we looked at shopping apps, and this week we look at the flip side: shipping apps. Whether you’re expecting a delivery, need to return an item or send your own package, these apps get the stamp of approval.

USPS Mobile

(iOS, Android; free)

The United States Postal Service comes in for plenty of criticism, but there’s nothing to criticize in this app: It is excellent. Get tracking information for packages and Priority Mail, Priority Mail Express, and Certified Mail deliveries. Calculate shipping costs and schedule a package pickup by your letter carrier. You can also handle some chores without going to the post office, like setting up a mail hold if you’re away.

FedEx Mobile

(iOS, Android; free)

With this app, you can track all FedEx packages — those you’re receiving and those you’ve sent. If you regularly ship via FedEx, you can access your FedEx address book to find a contact. Create and print shipping labels, and if you don’t have a printer, the app can give you a QR code. Bring your package to a FedEx Store and an employee will scan the code and print the label for you.

UPS Mobile

(iOS, Android; free)

This app from the United Parcel Service is a perfect tracker to tell you when your package is arriving (and where it is on the delivery chain), and it can also let you change the delivery date. Have a package you want to send or an item you need to return? Create a shipping label in the app, print it out, tape it to your package, and drop it off at a UPS Store.

AfterShip Package Tracker

(iOS, Android; free)

The apps from FedEx, USPS and UPS, along with Amazon’s Shopping app for packages delivered by Amazon’s own fleet, will track the vast majority of deliveries for most people. But if you’re using a lesser-known shipper, this app can keep you posted. AfterShip has tracking information for more than 750 couriers. And yes, it also covers FedEx, USPS and UPS.

Zoom adding in-office features

Zoom has been the go-to app for work-from-home video meetings during the pandemic, but the company is getting ready for a return to the office. Zoom has unveiled new features including Rooms Kiosk Mode, where a “virtual receptionist” welcomes building guests before they are allowed entry. Zoom is working on other work-in-office features as companies begin phased approaches to getting employees back to physical workplaces.

— PETER KING

Microsoft Office for iPad arrives

During the pandemic, your iPad may have become a part of your work-from-home toolbox. But one major app was missing. While Microsoft Word and Excel were available as standalone apps, the Microsoft Office suite was not. (Office has been available for iPhones and Android for a year.) That has changed: Apple has finally made Microsoft Office for iPad available, and it can be downloaded on the App Store.

— PETER KING

Eyes in the sky

The Federal Aviation Administration is using a network of satellites to track all Boeing 737 Max flights around the world. The Max, grounded in March 2019 after a second fatal crash in less than five months, resumed flights last month. The FAA said if any unusual events occur on the plane, “safety engineers and inspectors will use the early notification to further analyze the incident.”

— BLOOMBERG NEWS

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