Saturday, June 16, 2012

Useful Smartphone Apps

Having a smartphone/iPod Touch/tablet can be one of your best travel companions South Korea. In addition to being able to load this site for your instant references (heh), there are extremely useful apps that you can download to guide you on your trip.

The most well-known app when it comes to touring Seoul must be the app developed by Seoul Tourism Organization : i-Tour Seoul. In addition to that app, these are other applications that can help you through your trip in Seoul.

1. Seoul Travel Mate (iOS) - USD 0.99

This is my absolute favourite app. I use it to search for location given a particular address. It is especially useful when there are no maps given for places I am looking for and there are only addresses listed. In addition to that, it also has a subway guide that can be used offline. Choose your departure and arrival and it will show fare information, time taken, exchange stations and also the subway map for that particular journey. Stations can be chosen according to its subway line or by alphabetical order. This app was extremely useful during our visit. Highly recommended.

2. Skype (iOS, Android) - Free

This VOIP application is useful for its ability to call to phone lines. Although to call phones users would have to pay for some Skype Credit, the rate is usually much cheaper than using your mobile phone. Plus call to other Skype users are always free. Use the app to call home and the KTO translation service.

3. Google Map (iOs, Android) - Free

If your phone has GPS, this application can be really helpful. It can detect your current location, give directions to a particular destination and it even gives you access to your saved Google Map maps. Google has also recently announced that it will enable offline mode to phone versions so users can view their downloaded map when there is no internet connection.

4. Viber (iOs, Android) - Free

Viber is another VOIP application, the difference between Viber and Skype however is that Viber doesn't require username for registration but map users with their phone numbers. As long as you have the other user's phone number in your phone, it will automatically add that user as your Viber contact. The application also doesn't have to be running in the background for you to receive calls. As an addition, the messaging function has a location tag. If enabled, messages you send will carry with it the information of where you are at when sending the message. It can be useful if you are lost and your friends need to know where you are at.

5. Jihachul (iOS, Android) - Free

This app gives information on subway stations: timetable, exit info, phone number, available facilities and also buses that go through the stations. In addition to this, the application also can show the stations that user would go through between two determined stations and also the transit info. With location enabled, this station can also show the nearest subway location to where you are currently at.

6. World Nomads Korean Language Guide (iOS) - Free

This app has useful Korean phrases divided by categories. For each phrases there are the romanization and hangul scripts of them. The app will also read out the phrases aloud so you can practice your pronunciation before asking out your questions. This application is available offline and there is a paid version with more phrases.

7. Qibla Compass (Android) - Free

This application can show the location of qibla using only GPS but it requires clear sky view and may take a while. This feature is useful for when there is no internet connection at a place. Most other apps require wireless network to be available before they start locating. This app can also uses wireless network to find the location of qibla and it will locate faster using it. It also list prayer times for our current location.

 Using these apps can be battery draining, so make sure to bring extra battery with you!


  1. Assalammualaikum. Thank you for the info on apps. Nice work you have here. By the way, the qibla app that I'm using do not have Seoul as one of it's location. Do you have any recommendation on qibla apps for iPhone that actually has Seoul on it's list? Gamsa hamnida. Pangap sumnida.

    1. Waalaikumsalam,

      As far as I know qibla apps do not list current location to search for prayer direction, it will detect your current location using GPS and use it to point towards Mecca. Maybe you can try downloading Muslim Pro? I hope this helps :)