Supermarket giant Tesco has just released its first iPhone app, which allows users to search for their nearest store, get directions, and look through the product range.

Unlike the recent Ocado iPhone app, users cannot actually place orders via the app, but it is a potentially useful app. I’ve been trying it out…

Tesco Store Finder app

The launch of the app was delayed as Apple rejected the first version that was submitted to the App Store due to a problem when users answered no when it asked to use the current location.

It’s a simple app to use, and does what is says on the tin. Users can either use the iPhone’s GPS to get a list of local stores, or choose to type in their location instead.

Select a store and you can see useful details; address, contact number, as well as a list of facilities like cafes, cash machines, pharmacies etc. It does miss out opening hours though, which would have been a useful piece of information.

Tesco iPhone app

There is also the option to bookmark the store so you can find it more quickly later, as well as finding walking or driving directions via the iPhone’s Google Maps app.

One other useful feature is the option to find products in the local store, which is handy if you are looking for a particular product, such as a nice bottle of Pinot Noir: 

It even tells you where in the store to find the product to save you time spent looking for it. It could also be useful instore, if you can’t locate something: 

The app is easy to use, and is a useful addition to Tesco’s multichannel strategy, which should help drive a few more sales for the retailer. There is also a grocery shopping app on its way.

It contains some nice touches but is lacking some potentially useful features. Opening hours would be helpful, and information on prices and stock levels would be an improvement, though Tesco’s Nick Lansley answers some of these criticisms on his blog.