5 Must Have Apps If You Love Korea!

5 Must Have Apps If You Love Korea!

APPS IF YOU LOVE KOREA

When you think of advanced technology, what are the first countries that you think of? Korea? Yeah, we were thinking that too! South Korea’s technology scene is growing faster than we can finish one episode of Extraordinary Attorney Woo: and that’s no exaggeration! The Korean smartphone and smartphone application scene offers advanced technology and features upon features with each application. South Korea has one of the most engaged population when it comes to using the apps and you can find an app for almost any of your needs! Any... of your needs!

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If you’re living outside Korea, it can be frustrating if you miss out on the next-level application experience. And you’ll most likely run out of phone storage if you try to jump into the scene with no plan. We’re here to give you a helpful segue into the Korean app scene with 5 must have apps if you love Korea.

Let’s start by introducing the app culture in Korea. The categories available are endless, with gaming being a big part of the culture. Most young Koreas have games like 리지니M made by the company NCSOFT and 하트2 created by NEXON Company. These companies, including Kakao Games, are the top 3 when it comes to mobile games!

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Everybody loves shopping, so it’s no surprise that this is the next most popular category of applications used in Korea. The 2 most used applications are Coupang (쿠팡) and 11st (11번가).

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Then we have finance, dating apps and local apps for communication, food delivery and entertainment. Another fast-growing category of apps includes health and fitness, as well as podcasts! The main categories of apps to get if you love Korea are under communication, because why should you stan alone? food delivery - cause everyone loves Korean food and snacks! podcasts for our little dose of Korea on the go, webtoons and off-course entertainment! Teens and young adults in Korea are really into Naver Webtoon and gaming.

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How frustrating would it be to know about South Korea and the exciting culture, but never get to experience it until you get on that plane? It’s so convenient to have apps make your life a little easier and more comfortable. If it wasn’t for these apps, we wouldn’t be able to learn about our favorite idols, experience authentic Korean foods, make friends who stan the same groups! Or even.. find the love of our life living abroad.. Also, if the love of your life speaks Korean.. you’re going to need to brush up on your Korean language skills with a language app!

5 Must Have Apps if you Love Korea

Communication: Kakaotalk

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Kakaotalk is first on our list, being the representative communication app for the whole of Korea. Kakaotalk is used at least once in any of the dramas that you’ll watch. Try and listen out for the well-known “Katalk” notification sound. Unless you’re watching a period drama… then don’t hold your breath.

Kakaotalk hasn’t been around since that long ago. Kakaotalk can be downloaded on iOS or Android and although it’s mainly a messenger app, it has so many features, that you’ll never really have a reason to leave. It’s free to use and once you log-in, the world of Korea is at your fingertips. You can chat to your friends in the Regular Chat, or find new stan groups, or language communities to join with the Open Chat feature.

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The emoticons on the app, compared to any other messaging applications, are unbeatable in terms of their aesthetics, humor, and cuteness! It takes your messaging to the next level! Recently, Kakaotalk added the Voice Chat communities where you chat with voice notes instead of texting. It’s exciting being able to join a group that’s chatting about the same things that you like or practicing Korean together and being able to jump in and say your piece. I mean, it’s nerve-wrecking.. but exciting!

Android App

iOS App

Korean snacks: Seoulbox

Our next app is for a taste of Korea. Just imaging this scene if you.. watching a Korean drama, texting with your friend on Kakaotalk, and eating Korean snacks! You’re basically in Korea without being in Korea. Seoulbox is a Korean company that has Korean snacks, magazines and K-pop merchandize.

They also have an app where you can order the Korean snacks straight from Korea and have them delivered to your home. So all you need to do is get your drama ready, dim the lights, open up your snacks and you’re there, in Korea, and nobody can tell you otherwise.. until your drama’s over and you finish all the snacks! In that case, time for your next order, and next drama. There’s really no end. The have a subscription option so you can schedule in your Korean getaway sessions every month!

Android App

iOS App 

Webtoons: Naver Webtoon

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One of the most used apps among the young people is Naver Webtoon! Webtoons are like digital comic books and before they came around, actual comic books in Korea were trending faster than they could be printed. The webtoons they have been spicy, interesting, funny and they tell you a lot about the nuances of the Korean culture.

If you see a Korean entertainment show and all the young people are using their phones in the background, many of them are probably deeply immersed in a webtoon. All the more reason to try it out. All of Us Are Dead is a K-drama that was based on the webtoon called Now at Our School.

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There’s many other K-dramas based on webtoons. What's Wrong with Secretary Kim? as well as Itaewon Class and My ID is Gangnam beauty! If you’ve never read a webtoon, try these ones out first! Many of them are available in English, but if you want to try reading them in Korean, here’s an opportunity to take your language skills to the next level!

Entertainment: Vlive

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If you want to take a break from watching K-dramas, but not leave the Korean entertainment scene, Vlive is the best place to go! It’s a video streaming site owned by Naver, the Korean Google, and was made so that idols can vlog and broadcast more of their lives.

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If you’re wondering what your favorite Oppa is up to, you’ll find your answer here. There’s a free version, and use can get special membership access too. It’s also available on iOS and Android. Later this year, they will join with Weverse to provide even more personal and exciting content. You can keep up with your favorite groups, comment on their live vlogs and get a personal shout-out! We know you’re probably smiling at this point, imagining all the possibilities, because we’re smiling just writing about it!

Android App

iOS App 

Studying Korean: Duolingo

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Duolingo has become one of the most popular apps for learning Korean. It’s a fun app for learning languages and its effectiveness is based on actual research! If you want to learn Korean so you can be proficient enough to watch K-dramas without subtitles or even live in Korea, Duolingo is the perfect place to start.

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They have short lessons so you can learn Korean in a way that’s not burdensome and you feel like you’re making progress every time you show up on the app. The language community is supportive and learning feels like a game so you’re motivated keep playing! You can download the app on Android and iOS and get your Korean learning journey started!

Android App

iOS App 

Apps like these make Korea and really, the world, feel much more accessible. They allow us to connect with anyone, anywhere on the planet in literally a few seconds. We can become best friends with someone even if we’ve never met. It’s so much easier to find someone who gets you, when your options are open to the whole world! It can be lonely to stan alone, and life becomes so much more exciting when you can share your excitement with a whole community who feel the same way.

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It’s also crazy how we have access to all the Korean ramyeon and snacks that we see in K-dramas. You don’t need to keep wondering about how it would taste anymore. The fact that shopping for Korean snacks is not limited to where you are is super exciting!

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As for language, your Korean language skills don’t need to suffer anymore. Before, everyone was saying that you have to go to a country to learn the language, but not in this present day and age. There’s so many people that have disproved that by showing off amazing language skills without immersing themselves by travelling to the country. Immersion can happen right where you are.. in bed or on the couch.

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These top 5 apps are basically your Korean ecosystem. Everything you’d need if you want to feel like you’re in Korea. Make sure you try all the apps and spend at least a day or two exploring all the features!

 

 

Author: SUJI SOHN

About the author: Suji was studying in London in the year 2019 and, although being separated from her family, her passion for Korea was growing. She noticed that a lot of her close friends loved Korean culture, food, music, and dramas and gradually started to fall in love with Korea, but there weren't many opportunities to actually "experience" this wonderful nation!

Suji was aware of what she needed to do to introduce Korea to her friends' lives and, conceivably, to those of everyone else who was curious about a piece of Daehan Min-guk.

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