Thursday, June 26, 2014

How to know if Homeplus or E-mart is open today

If you want to know exactly when Homeplus or E-mart is going to be closed, a very simple Naver search will tell you precisely, and you really don't even need to know Korean to do it. Seriously, it is SUPER simple, and it's what all the Koreans I know do. Don't bother trying to count which Sunday it is today, or if today's a special holiday, or if your local branch closes mid-week, or guess what time it opens or closes. Ain't nobody got time for that.

Here's what you do:
  1. On your phone go to the Naver homepage. You can do it on your computer too, but in that case I recommend going to Naver's mobile site ( Otherwise you might not get the convenient info card. 
  2. Type in the store name (홈플러스 for Homeplus or 이마트 for E-Mart), followed by your branch. It's more reliable to include 점 ("branch") afterward. 
  3. Look at the red text next to 휴무 ("closed"). Those are the upcoming dates it's closed. 
For example, if you want to know when the E-mart in Yeoksam will be closed, just search 이마트 역삼점
For the Homeplus in Gangseo, search 홈플러스 강서점.
etc etc etc...

In other words, just replace the XX with your location in this link:이마트+XX점

Here are some screenshots I took on my phone. Notice the red text for holidays, and you'll also see that it's not always Sundays that the place is closed. You know the days of the week in Korean, right? 

월(Mon) 화(Tues) 수(Wed) 목(Thurs) 금(Fri) 토(Sat) 일(Sun)

A search for the Paju-Munsan branch of Homeplus shows it's closed June 9 (Mon) and June 24 (Tues) 

A search for the Daegu branch of Homeplus shows it's closed June 8 (Sun) and June 22 (Sun)

A search for the Yeoksam branch of E-Mart shows it's closed June 8 (Sun) and June 22 (Sun)

I see a lot of people asking about this on Waygook and Reddit and Facebook, so hopefully this post has helped you. Remember after you've searched it once and got it working, be sure to bookmark the results page. Then you will NEVER AGAIN have to freak out about whether or not you can buy your adorable Tesco Penguin Frosted Flakes today. 

Update - Feb. 2016:
Reddit user yh5203 has made a convenient English-language dedicated site, so give it a look too.

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Tuesday, June 10, 2014

How to save people's KakaoTalk profile photos

To save friends' KakaoTalk profile pictures, you don't have to rely on taking screen-shots. There are actually several apps that can save the photo files to your phone's storage, and they all work basically the same way.

What's the best app for this?


My vote goes to ProfileAlbum.

Yes, I blurred out my friends' beautiful faces
There are several apps that do this, but my favourite is "ProfileAlbum" because it is super simple, very minimal, and works with a variety of messenger apps:

How It Works

When you view your friends' profile photos, the file gets saved in Kakao's cache folder. You could, in theory, go snooping through these folders with a File Explorer, but it would be annoying because they are stored in weird folder hierarchies with weird file names. ProfileAlbum consolidates them in a clean list, and let's you check-box the ones you want to save to a folder that your Gallery app can see.

So here is the key thing to note: YOU MUST VIEW THE PHOTO AS BIG AS YOU CAN FIRST. The apps don't "download" anything; they just grab what is in your cache already. Thus, you should be sure to view the person's full-size photo FIRST, THEN run the app to save it. Got it? So you can't use it to snoop on people you blocked (unless you unblock them real quick, view their profile photo fully, then block them again before they notice Bob's your uncle)

Note that for best results in KakaoStory, don't just view the picture in its "story"-- click it to get it individual and full-screen, so that the version with the largest possible resolution will be downloaded to your cache.


I find this a great way to set Android Contact photos that are then utilized across all my Google-sync services. Note that there are apps that will better automate this process, but I feel uneasy giving apps access to my Contacts.
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