Thursday, February 4, 2016

Naver Maps now has offline navigation


Naver Maps has added offline navigation in the app, so you can set your phone on your dashboard and get some nice looking 3-D driving directions. I tried it out, and it works pretty well, though for now it's only in Korean.

Here's what it looks like in action. I started it at Apgujeong Station (압구정역) in Gangnam and told it I want to arrive at Itaewon Station (이태원역) across the river.





Start screen when choosing Navigation from the main Naver Maps menu. It locks onto me via GPS.
Click the little green car with the arrow to start. Cute and simple. I like it.



I put in my destination and clicked Start. It gives me an overview of possible routes, including estimated distance, time, and even how much it will cost in gas. The routes look identical here; there's just a tiny difference at the destination that you can't see behind the big blue "Arrival" bubble. First one looks good, hit the red button and let's begin.


Boom, turn-by-turn navigation begins. 
Another overview of the trip.

You can keep it in the normal map mode, or  switch to this snazzy 3-D view in the view options, which is one of the three main buttons on the app. I like how simple they've made this, so even people with, ahem, moderate Korean ability can fly through it. 



Well isn't that cute. When I cancelled the trip, these cute numbered subway station exit signs popped up on the map.



Image: Naver Maps Blog

This of course is using data, but you can also pre-download the area/region for offline navigation. There are a few map data packs in the app settings for downloading the data by region (Seoul and surrounding capital area, Jeolla and Jeju, etc.). If you've downloaded one of these region data packs, it will automatically check for updates to it and prompt you to download the latest version. Handy for updating the data before leaving wi-fi and getting in the car again. You can see how to do that in the screenshot here from .


I've only tried it for a day, but so far so good. Since I use Naver Maps regularly anyway, it's nice not to have to keep an additional bulky app (I'm looking at you, T-map and Kimgisa).

And if you're looking for a nice full English translation of how to use the various features of Naver Maps, check out this helpful post. The screenshots are a tiny bit dated but it's all basically there.

Drive safe out there. Not like this.


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