Ocado was the first UK online supermarket application available for the iPhone back in Summer last year, and they’ve now released an Ocado on the Go app for Android, including many great features that are missed out on the iPhone version.
Ocado iPhone App
When launching Ocado for the first time on your iPhone, you’re required to sign in to your online account. If you don’t currently have an account, you can’t create one from within the application so you’ll have to register before using the app. Once you’re in, you’re presented with a simply laid out home screen which allows you to quickly access delivery slots, view your orders and start shopping.
When shopping, you can browse through various categories which are further split in to sub-categories to help navigation. Browsing through products this way is somewhat time consuming as there are so many things to get through. Navigation of products is particularly awkward here, and the user interface could do with an update. Even some of the sub-categories are far too long to easily navigate through to make things easier. Want to search through French White Wine? Good luck sorting through the 82 sorts on offer.
Where Ocado on the Go does excel is the checkout process. Once you’ve got your basket items sorted, you can simply book a delivery slot of your choice from what’s available and everything else is handled with minimum hassle due to the fact that your card details are already stored on the account that you created earlier on.
Ocado Android App
The recently released version of Ocado on the Go for the Android platform certainly learns a number of lessons from the iPhone release version a few months back. The basic user interface is carried across from the iPhone version and looks very similar on Android on my Nexus One. Again, you can’t register from within the application so make sure your account is set up before you start to use the Ocado app. If you’re running it for the first time, ensure you’re connected to a Wi-Fi network as the app will download the catalogue from the net which weighs in at over 20MB.
From the home screen, you have various options from choosing a delivery slot, viewing your orders, viewing your basket and shopping. When compared to the iPhone version of the application however, you’ll find some small additions that make the world of difference to the usability of the app in general. There are various settings that you can play around with and change to your preference, including the chance to create a quickPIN which saves you from entering your password every time you complete a checkout. You can also choose to download the catalogue of products only when connected to Wi-Fi, so you don’t incur any unexpectedly high data charges if it downloads over the mobile 3G network in the background!
The best addition to the app is the search function which is available from the home screen of Ocado. Not only does it save you from navigating through all of the categories, but makes the whole operation of the app significantly easier for the user. A new feature also seen only on Android (for now) is the option to search for products by voice, a great feature of the Android OS. Depending on the product you’re searching for, this can be somewhat temperamental, but it’s a nice feature to have if you’re too lazy to use the Android keyboard!
Ocado on the Go is a great app to have on both the iPhone and Android devices, allowing you to buy products online without the need of a computer. It’s nice to see Android given as many features as the iPhone too (in fact more), which is unfortunately rare with many apps. I found the Android version to be easier to use out of the two apps, although both are great applications. If you shop with Ocado, you can get the app for free from both the App Store and Android market.