We all know that apps are a daily part of our lives. After all, 56% of people on the planet own a smart phone, and according to Flurry, people are starting to spend more time using apps than they do watching TV. This begs the question: what apps work best in work cities? Are all urban mobile apps created equal? According to Bruno Aracaty, the co-founder of Colab, which was AppMyCity’s 2013 winning app, a good app “does something unexpected — or expected, but for some reason nobody has done it before.” While this is good general advice, all cities have their quirks and differences, which leads one to suspect that some apps will be more popular than others in different locations. We looked at four major urban centers — New York, London, Paris and Seoul — to see how which apps are tailored specifically to a city, and which are popular everywhere. Navigation apps are big in New York City, possibly because between the labyrinth of the subway and the constant changes to the 24/7 public transportation schedule, you have to be in the know to get to, well, where you want to go. Hopstop, of course, is essential, and the MTA Subway Time app is quite up-to-date and accurate. Exit Strategy NYC Subway Map is another app often cited on essential NYC apps lists and for good reason: this app helps you figure out what subway car you need to get on to be closest to the exit you need. Of course, we can’t leave cyclists out, especially with the newly installed Citibikes all around Manhattan. Get There By Bike is an app that tells you what are the best bike friendly routes. As for those with a little more money to splurge, taxi and car service apps — like CabSense and Uber — seem to be popping up more and more on best app lists as well. If you’re walking, Google Maps is generally the way to go. Other popular NYC apps are, according to NYCGo, Urbanspoon, Yelp, Flixster, and MoMa’s app. For London, much like New York, it seems to be getting around tops the priority list. Mentioned on almost all London app lists is CityMapper, which basically tells you all your transportation options with real time updates. The other essential app? The Tube App, which does what its name says — it gives you a map of the London subway system. As for cabs and bikes, Hailo is popular for the former, with Fueled’s London-based designer Rob Palmer claiming it as his favorite. With bikes, it’s the Barclay Cycle Hire App. It shows where and how many bikes are available, useful for both city dwellers and tourists. As for city living? Not surprisingly OpenTable, TimeOut London, and London’s Best Coffee are all recommended. For fun, the DailySpank grabbed second place on TheNextWeb’s Top 10 London Apps, while the London Pub Crawl Co basically lists which 160 of those quintessential British watering holes and eating institutions are the best. The most popular subway app in Paris (according to various online lists) are two: the official RATP app and the Métro Paris Subway. For bikes, use Vélib since the Vélib system is the predecessor of the Barclay and Citibikes. Probably because it’s Paris, one app that seems to be making its way around blogs as a must-have has nothing to do with transportation and everything to do with food. The Paris Pastry app gives you a list of more than 300 places where you can find sweets, pastries and candies. Other apps that are useful (and used) include Yelp, Whizzer (tells you where to find public bathrooms), and the Louvre Museum app, the which gives you a guide to that vast behemoth of a palace-cum-museum. Seoul is all about social. The biggest app is the messenger and calling app Kakaotalk and all its spinoffs (which are many and varied). The reason? A) it’s free, as long as you have a wireless connection, and B) pretty much everyone in Korea is on it (and the fun emojis and stickers don’t hurt). Not only that, but if you “befriend” a company on Kakaotalk, you can get deals and coupons. Basically Kakaotalk is the one stop shop for all things Seoul (and Korea) social. Want more proof? Just check out Korea tech blog’s Seoul Space for the top apps downloaded in Korea in February of 2013, and you’ll see Kakao dominating. Another popular app in Seoul? Between, which is a couples only message app and has over 1 million users. Basically, it’s Kakaotalk but just for couples, and basically is a way to schedule, update and manage your love life with your significant other. It also has public forums where couples can chime in on hot date spots and other couple-centric subjects. As for getting around, the two apps that seem essential are Jihaul Metro (the Seoul subway app) and the Seoul Bus app, which tells you both bus routes and schedules. As for maps, Google for once does not dominate. Instead, most people in Korea use Naver or Daum as search engines, so use their map apps are more often used.