Top 5 Kakao apps you need in Korea

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Kakao apps on a smartphone

Kakao, the large Internet conglomerate (재벌, chaebol), was formed by the merger of Daum Corporation and KakaoTalk in 2014. Alongside Naver, Kakao is one of the top companies in Korea with its main businesses focused on mobile applications and Internet-based services. Let’s learn more about Kakao apps.

Why are Kakao apps widely used in Korea?

Kakao has created some of the most used applications in Korea, many of which make living in Korea simple and convenient. Features ranging from communications to gaming, Kakao has it all covered. Over 90% of Korea’s population is using Kakao apps actively, making it one of the most popular platforms in Korea.

With high user convenience and a wide range of services, Kakao apps will be helpful during your stay in Korea! Below are the top 5 Kakao apps that make living in Korea easier.

1. KakaoTalk

The most popular free messaging application in Korea. Send messages, photos, videos, voice notes, and your location for free using your data connection. You can also enjoy free voice and video calling via the app. KakaoTalk features tons of emoticons including the adorable Kakao Friends. Not only can you use it on a mobile device, but there are also desktop versions for both Mac and Windows.

KakaoTalk also features integration with many mobile games so you can compare your progress and even go head-to-head with your friends. Did you know that you can also send gifts to your friends? The gifts are redeemable physically. KakaoTalk is a must-have if you are living in Korea.

2. KakaoMap

A popular GPS, navigation, and mapping application. KakaoMap features real-time public transportation and directions. You can also search for places of interest and get information including addresses, phone numbers, ratings, menus, and even blog reviews for restaurants.

Road-level view and satellite image layers are also available. Log into your Kakao app account to save your favorite destinations! You can also see what a sample taxi fare would be for your route and call a taxi directly from the app. These days, Starbucks locations feature a special logo in the app so you can always get your coffee fix quickly!

Kakao app - Kakao friends

3. KakaoT

Another popular Kakao app is KakaoT, an app used to hail a taxi right from your mobile device. This application is similar to Uber or Lyft but makes use of taxi fleets. The taxi drivers will be notified that you need a pickup once you enter your origin and destination. You can also view the location and estimated time of arrival for your driver right on your device. A picture of the taxi driver, the type of vehicle, and the license plate number are all provided for your security and convenience!

KakaoT is integrated with KakaoTalk to send notifications to your friends for your arrival time too. Using the app is free with no added fees, just the taxi fare!

4. KakaoBus

The popular Seoul Bus app was recently rebranded as KakaoBus. KakaoBus features 57 Korean city’s real-time bus information. You can browse bus stops, bus routes, and arrival times right on your mobile device. The app not only shows regular buses but also includes express bus routes and Maeul (마을, town) buses.

5. KakaoMetro

This app features up-to-date subway maps and timetables of major cities in Korea such as Seoul, Busan, and Daegu. Input your arrival and departure stations to find out which subway car door is nearest to your transfer point if needed.

You can also check which subway car is closest to your desired exit. Check out the most efficient routes just by tapping on the station names on the provided maps. Find out more about Korea’s public transportation system to plan your itinerary efficiently.

Do you know any other helpful Kakao apps for living in Korea?

Make living and studying in Korea even easier with these Kakao apps! For more information, follow the Go! Go! Hanguk blog and be sure to contact us about living and studying in Korea!

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