Top 13 Korean Mobile Apps To Use In Korea
When you arrive in Korea and you don’t know anyone, it can be hard to figure out how certain things work. A few western apps barely work or are barely used here, so we gathered 13 korean mobile apps that we use quite often or we thought are useful, so you are prepared for when you come to Korea.
1. Shuttle App
Shuttle is one of the many delivery platforms, that you can use here in Korea for food. Shuttle is a bit more special though. Shuttle offers everything in English, and they accept foreign cards to pay in advance. The delivery people will just put it in front of your door, knock and leave again. No need to wait with your cash or card until they arrive.
2. Yogiyo – Delivery App
Yogiyo is also used for food deliveries, which everyone in my household uses. It’s easy and has a wide arrange of restaurants/cafes. Whatever you want, they can deliver it. Some negative points about Yogiyo is that it’s only in Korean and they don’t accept foreign cards to pay in advance. You do have the choice to pay with either card or cash when they arrive at your door.
Then after ordering, you will get a message via your Kakaotalk, saying how long it will take to arrive. When the driver leaves, you get another message so you know it’s arriving soon.
3. Naver Map App
Naver Map is one of two map applications that you can use while you’re in Korea. Not all addresses show up here, and if not, you can use KakaoMap.
When you need to go to a certain destination and you want to use public transport, click ‘transit’. After that type in your preferred destination. Then click on directions. Now you can see the best public transport to take, which one has the least amount of walking etc. Here you can see buses and subways, so you can choose. When you pick one of them, it shows the complete route and how to walk to the stations/stops as well.
Then if you want to go with the car, the bike or if you want to walk, you can just click on the other icons.
4. Naver App
Naver is the Google of Korea. You can find anything on here, and if you’re looking for a restaurant or a café, look for them on here instead of Google. There are way more reviews on Naver and sometimes even blog posts.
Just like with Kakaotalk, you can also get the QR Code via Naver, which you can use to get into restaurants etc.
5. Naver Dictionary App
Since you’re still in a foreign country, and if you’re not fluent in the language, a dictionary app is quite helpful. Sometimes you will hear certain conversations and they will say a word you don’t know. Look it up using Naver Dictionary and you will know. Naver dictionary also shows the street style meanings or acronyms of words like ‘JMT’.
6. KakaoMap App
KakaoMap is just like Naver Map. If you can’t find an address on Naver Map, then try KakaoMap and the other way around. The two have a lot of common, so it’s mainly your preference when choosing between them.
7. KakaoTaxi App
When you’re at a main street and can wait for a little while, just putting your hand out and waiting for a taxi to see you, works fine, but when you need a taxi urgently or you’re not at a busy street, using KakaoTaxi is the best way to arrange one.
You don’t have to call anyone (they do sometimes call you out of courtesy when they have arrived), you just fill in your preferred destination. You don’t have to worry about your current address, since KakaoTaxi tracks your current location.
Now you can also decide if you want to pay in the taxi with either cash, credit card or your t-money card or if you want the fares to be automatically paid after you used the service.
After choosing the taxi that you want, it shows the number plate, the taxi driver’s profile and how far away the taxi is. This you can also share with your friends together with your expected arrival time.
Once in the taxi, you can follow the way that you’re driving via the app, to make sure they aren’t making a detour without asking. Then at the end you just pay (if you choose this option) and give a review of the driver and you can go on your way.
Click here to see a video of how KakaoTaxi works
8. KakoaMetro App
The subway is a public transport that is used almost every time you go out. Using KakaoMetro makes taking the subway less stressful, especially for first time users.
The app shows both the fastest and the simplest route for you to take. For the stations where you have to transfer/leave the subway, it also shows on which side the door will open. KakaoMetro therefore also shows how long it takes to transfer, since one station is bigger than the other.
For when you’re planning to stay until the latest time possible somewhere in the city, you can check on the app when the last train goes. Just click on the departure time and click ‘last train’. If you want to go back home later than that certain subway, you can always take a taxi.
Just like with KakaoTaxi, you can also share your expected arrival time with your friends with KakaoMetro.
Click here to see a video of how KakaoMetro works
9. KakaoTalk App
In Europe you have Whatsapp, in the US you have IMessage, in Korea you have KakaoTalk as a korean apps chat. Everyone here texts via KakaoTalk. KakaoTalk uses your phone number but also an ID and even a QR code, so getting someone’s KakaoTalk is relatively easy.
Once you have a Korean number, you will get more options on KakaoTalk then just texting, like shopping, bank, the current weather and air quality, mail, ordering and more. At the moment in Korea, with corona, you can also have a QR code via either KakaoTalk or Naver, which you can use when you go to a restaurant. It is one of many korean social apps.
An extra fun add to KakaoTalk is that you can change the theme of the chats and the homepage. Pick your favourite and it changes it’s theme.
10. KakaoBus App
KakaoBus is just like KakaoMetro, but it’s for busses instead of the subway. While you’re on your way, it will show you exactly at which bus stop you are at that moment, so you can’t miss your stop.
11. Papago App
Papago is used to translate on the spot. It’s quick and easy for when you’re not sure what a certain word or sentence means. You can just take a picture and select the words you want to be translated. You can also voice record a certain word/sentence and it again will directly translate it. Papago often saved me when I didn’t know a word or when people came up to me in Korea. I just gave them my phone and they will type it in for you.
12. Air Visual Air Quality App
Everyone knows that in Korea there are days where the fine dust is on an insane level. This application shows you the air quality in your area at that exact moment. By knowing this information, you can change your plans or decide to wear double masks or close your window or it shows you can just go out without any worries.
Air Visual Air Quality also sends an alert when the fine dust level in your area has become dangerous so you’re always up to date.
13. Seoul Public Bike App
A big activity in Seoul is to cycle in Hangang river park. With Seoul Public Bike you can rent a bike and it shows where you can pick up one and return one. Seoul has stations all around the city, so you do not have to worry too much about it. Seoul Public Bike is therefore also foreigner friendly, with English available and allowance of foreign cards.