Slice is a cutting-edge way to stay on top of your online shopping

by Marty Gabel

The press release from the folks at Slice states that the app saves time, tracks your packages and gets you organized. It’s a straightforward premise and this clever app works very well. While using it I had one of those “why hadn’t anyone else though of this before?” moments.

You have to give Slice access to your email account directly. Only Gmail or Yahoo! mail accounts work right now, so if you use another provider, or have shopping orders from another country, Slice isn’t so effective currently. Clearly, some folks might have issues granting an app purchase to the deepest depths of their email account, but Slice has a full privacy policy and disclosure about what it does.

Slice works its magic and plows through your email tracking down online shopping orders. Once its done, it lets you know how many orders are on their way and from which particular merchant and you can easily track them too. Even smarter, it detects all your older orders (providing you’ve kept the emails) so you can see a full history of them, even down to the dollar amount spent.

It’s really quite clever and the app’s design is colorful, clean and easy to navigate. You don’t need to type in multi-digit tracking numbers for FedEx, UPS or USPS and trawl your way through emails trying to find them. The app easily detects them and you can see where your package is at any given moment. Slice also offers push notifications to let you know when your item was delivered.

The historical element of Slice is quite effective too as it keeps all your receipts in one place so you know how much you’ve spent. It’s an easy way to track your spending if you’re on a budget or if you need to send items back for an exchange or refund.

Apparently, Slice can also keep track of daily deals from places like Groupon and LivingSocial, but I didn’t detect any of those in my email. I thought it was quite cute that this Android app even tracked my iTunes App Store purchases (hi, Apple!), Intuit tax return payments, and even old concert tickets. My only regret was deleting many of my more recent purchase emails (I like a clean inbox), but I can see the app being effective for future orders.

There’s still work to be done here. Some reviewers in the Market claim that not all their orders were correctly detected, but I was still impressed with the results. And hopefully, the nice folks at Slice will open up their app to detect different email accounts so it can get wider uptake and iron out any other gremlins.