Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Naver app "Labs" settings to customize the Naver app homepage

The Naver app has a section in the settings called "Labs" (네앱연구소), where you can optionally enable a few neat features. If you're familiar with G-mail's labs settings, it's very similar. Here's a quick rundown of the features offered.

To get there:

  1. open the Naver app
  2. tap the main Menu button in the upper left
  3. tap the gear icon
  4. choose 네앱연구소 (My App Lab), which is the only option under the 연구 중인 기능 section.

Here's what you'll see, with English translation:

Naver app "Labs" settings (네앱연구소) currently available

Naver App "Labs" section settings

Naver app Labs features

Topic auto-cleaner
안 보는 주제 자동 정리

This feature will automatically remove categories from your main Naver homepage if you haven't interacted with them in a user-set amount of time (30, 60, or 90 days). For example, if you never view the "Sports" section, then the app will eventually remove the sports section for you, and present more content for the sections you actually do browse.


Changes the fonts used in the app. You'll be asked to download a 16MB font package if you choose this. Interestingly, it seems over 70% of those who use this feature are women. I'm going to guess they're using "Choco Cooky."

Lock Screen
잠금 화면

Requires you to input a passcode for using the app. KakaoTalk also uses this feature. I don't know if it's just me, but I've noticed most coworkers do utilize this feature. I don't get it, myself. I guess they let others use their phones but want to keep the chats private. I never share my phone, so the default system-wide lock screen is fine by me.

Naver Home cover photo
네이버홈 커버

Changes the cover photo, i.e. the image behind the search box at the top of the app. You can replace the classic trademark green box with your own custom image from your phone or choose one of the cute Google Now-style images.

Here's an example from me that looks pretty bad. Maybe I need a better banner logo. If you want your own custom perfect photo here, make sure you choose one sized 800 x 277 pixels to fit perfectly.

Naver App with custom banner image

Here's the setting to choose the image, which shows some of the cute default choices offered. I couldn't figure out where these are stored. I'd like to download them and use them myself.

Image: Appilog

You can also see some other nice examples, many of which are either people's baby photos or K-pop stars, here.

Naver Home MyBoard
네이버홈 MY판

This lets you add your own custom category to the Naver homepage, right alongside "News," "Weather," "Sports," etc. For example, you could add a section for your favorite website and have it easily accessible. Mobile-friendly websites are best to add here. If you're browsing the web through the Naver app's built-in browser, there will also be a "send to MyBoard" option (looks like a hashtag) to add that page/site as a custom category.

For example, I added my blog as a custom board. Here's what it looks like on my Naver homepage:

I tried adding the RSS feed but it didn't work. It seems to work better with Naver services pages, but any mobile-friendly site will do.

Naver Light Home

Allows you to use the newish Naver Light home theme instead of the default Naver homepage. This is a lighter-weight version of the Naver home that loads faster and has more Google Now-style cards. I wrote a short post about Naver Light Home here:
10원 Tips: Naver Light Home, a new homepage for trips abroad

Custom Toolbar
커스텀 툴바

Wow, in the couple of days since I took the screenshot, Naver Labs already added this new feature, so it's not in the photo here. You can customize the toolbar, which is the floating menu that remains at the bottom of the page in the Naver app's built-in browser.

Secret mode
시크릿 모드

Basically just their name for "In Cognito" mode. Browse with this turned on, and it will delete your search/browsing history.

Screen capture editor
캡처 에디터

A fancy way to take and edit screen shots.

Keypad slider
키패드 슬라이더

This is handy if you do a lot of manual URL editing. We know it's annoying to try to slide the cursor with your finger through that tiny URL box up top. This adds a slider button so that you can more easily get the cursor in the exact spot you want. I can imagine this really useful to a few people, and useless to most.

Suspicious connection protection
수상한 연결 탐지기

Warns you when your Wi-Fi connection might be spoofed, especially for public Wi-Fi use. As it says itself: if you never see its message pop up, then good!

Gesture drawing
제스처 그리기

You can navigate by drawing large gestures on the screen. You can draw these gestures:
  • "N" to go home
  • "<" or ">" to go backward and forward
  • "^" or "V" to go to the top or bottom of the page
  • "W" to go to the URL input bar
  • "ㅁ" to open a new tab
  • "S" to cancel/refresh.

I tried this for awhile, and while it was a bit cool at first, it became bothersome and I disabled it.

Night mode
나이트 모드

Not a dark theme, but instead puts a red tint over everything, to reduce blue light and help you sleep at night. I already use a nice quality app called Twilight for this system-wide.

And that's it.

Now if only they'd take the plunge and have "English interface" as a labs setting...

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