Companies or individuals that send or receive packages via the United Parcel Service will benefit from UPS Mobile, a free app for Android and for iOS devices that can track packages, receive shipment-status notifications and easily locate UPS facilities. And while UPS Mobile doesn't provide all of the capabilities as UPS.com, does it's far better than toiling with UPS's UI-challenged website from the confines of a mobile browser.
The first thing to appear when launching the app is an invitation to "Track packages without tracking numbers" by joining UPS My Choice, a service that offers alerts and other free services. Accessible by residential customers only, UPS My Choice also offers the ability to reschedule or reroute shipments with a $5 in-app purchase or, for $40 a year, also can provide a two-hour delivery window.
Such services already are available to commercial customers, who can log in using their corporate ID. Since we already had one of those, we used it first to test the app's ability to create a shipment. The process itself was straightforward -- enter origin and destination addresses -- but was a bit disappointing when it didn't to link to our company's corporate or local address books.
We proceeded to enter the addresses, packaging info and desired service level, after which the price appears along with a prompt to pay by credit card; again no link to corporate. There's also an option to compare service levels and prices, and to add the standard battery of optional UPS services such as signature required and Saturday delivery. The app also asked for an email address to which to forward the the shipping label, defaulting to the one we had entered previously. Since the app itself lacks the ability to print, it might be faster just to create shipments from the same machine that's doing the printing.
There's also the ability to quickly create a price quote just by entering the origin and destination ZIP codes, package size and weight and the level of service. The app also can quickly locate UPS stores, shipping depots, service centers and drop boxes. Just enter a ZIP code and company facilities appear superimposed on a live Google Map.
Overall, UPS Mobile is a solid and useful app that consolidates and simplifies some of the most used features of UPS and UPS.com to allow senders and recipients to access UPS package info and services. With just a few more capabilities, UPS Mobile would be a must-have.
PUBLISHED JAN. 21, 2015